How To Start Building Strong Self Esteem Right Now
Photo: Natalie Live / The Tiny Closet
"I realized I didn’t have to change myself to have the life I wanted and that at the end of the day, people are people. Most are going to like me, some won’t and many won’t care but what people are most drawn to is authenticity and a person who isn’t afraid to just be themselves. I wanted to be that person. I wanted to love all of me – not just some of me." — Natalie Live.

Most people desire to feel beautiful inside. They want to feel empowered and walk through live beaming with a strong sense of self worth but many of us don’t have it. Or we have more like “something” like it; a shaky, fragile, broken, illusion version of it. Self esteem is more than us telling ourselves that we are good enough and beautiful and strong and powerful; it’s being able to feel these emotions with every fiber of our being. It’s being unapologetically yourself, without needing validation from anyone else about who you are and why you are. It’s about not letting your perceived weakness break your spirit and redefine who you truly are.

What you think of yourself really matters. It matters because what you think of yourself is immediately reflected in everything you do. It’s reflected in how you look at yourself in the mirror to how you make love to how you talk and relate to your significant other, children, friends and family. Your actions are a mirror of your self esteem. If your self-esteem and self-worth is cracked and broken, this is the image that you see of yourself and that other people see of you. If you feel broken you act broken. You hurt yourself with negative thoughts, you hurt others with gossip, feasting in their pain and putting others down whether verbally or mentally. You waste time comparing yourself to past version of you or to others and can’t seem to get a grip. You languish in your own purgatory of negativity that has been proven to be so powerful, that your body begins to turn against you as does your mind. You become what you think so much so that everything you touch turns into sand in between your fingers. From your career to your home, if you don’t sincerely believe in your worth, it’s difficult to realize dreams that you have. And why would anything you want come to pass if even you don’t believe you are worthy?

No matter who you are, even if you’re the most positive Care Bear walking the earth, it’s hard to be happy for yourself or others when you don’t see yourself as worthy. But there is a silver lining. Like most things in life, this can be fixed. For many of us, daily intentions and shifting our mindset does wonders in rehabbing our self esteem.


Many of us believe that if we just try harder or push ourselves to the limit, getting what we want will somehow flip our self esteem switch and we then, retroactively, start to build a self of self worth. But this is backwards thinking. For example, if you want a new job and apply for so many you start to lose count, at some point the haunting and crippling thoughts starts. The ones that make you mull over your intelligence, worth, importance and competency. That’s because you’ve placed your worth on a bet or a conditional situation.

It’s not because you didn’t try or pounded the pavement until your feet were bloody, it’s because you see yourself as worthy only if you succeed at something. The problem is that you never truly felt worth before you submitted the first resume. Finding that “perfect” job, or partner or thing won’t fix anything. Instead it will highlight the problems even more because “things” and people come with conditions as well that you’ll feel the need to keep attaching your self worth to. This is pointless, draining and a waste of time.

If you don’t believe that you are good enough, you’ll always feel that way no matter how you live your life. You act like what you believe. When you look in the mirror, if you see someone who is lazy,fat, skinny, pathetic, [fill in the blank with self loathing], you are setting yourself up to fail. You will then, subconsciously start to attract negative things in your life to reaffirm what you think about yourself. It’s a catch 22 because the self-fulling affirmations will be so strong that when you look in the mirror and the faces of those around you, everyone and everything will be saying what you’ve convinced yourself of all along–you’re not worthy.

The great thing about all of this is that you can start to turn things around right now. Just like you can attract negative energy into your life, you can attract positive energy into your life. Your mind is a powerful tool and can be used to change your outlook on your life and those around you.

More personal stories, feminism, politics, culture and #blackgirlmagic curated just for you.