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How You Might Be Causing Your Own Low Self Esteem

Without even knowing.

07/09/2017 7:18 AM AEST | Updated 07/09/2017 7:27 AM AEST
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Self esteem is an interesting mindset. While you might assume that positive self thought should be the default, very often it's not.

Many people struggle with low self esteem, even if they have a good job or supportive friends and family, and that's because small daily factors can chip away at a sense of self worth without you even noticing.

The good news is that those can be changed. Life strategist Miranda Murray has identified five common habits that often contribute to low self esteem.

Murray became a life strategist and fertility coach after going through 10 unsuccessful rounds of IVF. From there she completed Cert IV in Life Coaching and decided to create a career to help women with life's challenges.

Having a false sense of inflated ego

This isn't about ego in the typical sense.

"By this I'm not insinuating that you typically go through life thinking you are better than everyone else," Murray told HuffPost Australia.

"What I mean is that sometimes, we can get caught up in the head-game of thinking that other people's actions or behaviours are related to something we have done and in turn our self esteem takes a knock."

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Try not to worry too much about other people's actions -- it very likely has nothing to do with you.

"In these situations, we need to step back for a moment, breathe, set our ego to the side and consider that not everything is about us. Sometimes, other people react as a direct reflection on what is occurring in their own world and we just happen to be in the firing line."

"It actually doesn't have anything to do with us, our actions or the current situation. Maintaining a bit of perspective in these circumstances can go a long way to preventing your self esteem from taking a tumble," Murray said.

Social media and device addiction

This one is becoming more prevalent and even when we know these pictures are edited and curated, it still affects us.

"Instead of filling our brains with 'perfect' looking women living their 'perfect' lives, fill your newsfeed with positive images and inspiration," Murray said.

"Find the things that bring you joy to look at, whether that's beautiful travel destinations, messaging from your favourite personal development speakers and coaches, music downloads that make your heart sing, a gorgeous florist or simply some funny cat videos that make you chuckle."

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Follow accounts that will inspire or make you laugh instead of accounts which make you feel bad about yourself or your life.

"Stop torturing yourself with the vision of someone else's happiness and create your own that aligns with your values and makes you feel good. If the temptation to scroll is too strong and you find yourself deflated and down on yourself, cut down the time you spend on social media and focus your attention on something else that brings you joy."

Hanging out with the wrong people

They say you're the sum of the people you spend the most time with.

"Associating with negative people can really bring you down and if that's the case it might be time for an upgrade in the friendship department," Murray said.

"Whether that means getting new friends or investing in the ones you have, there is no doubt to the power of uniting with like-minded individuals who can lift you up and remind you that you are not alone. The benefits of surrounding yourself with people who care far outweigh the fear of letting people in."

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Who you surround yourself with has a huge impact on your outlook on life.

"Building a support network before you need them is also a great technique to remember, so you have a team of 'buddies' in your 'mental first aid kit' should you ever need it. Be brave, be vulnerable and be strong. And you just never know who else may be going through something themselves that starting a conversation could help. As one, we are courageous but as a collective, we are invincible," Murray said.

Letting the pain of the past define the present

"This can apply to anything that may have occurred in your past that was less than favourable. Harsh lessons you learnt, poor behaviour you were exposed to from others, hasty decisions you made, broken relationships, missed or lost opportunities," Murray said.

"It's important to remember that all of those variables are all exactly that, in the past. They are not the sum of who you are now. Holding on tight to them will stifle your growth and perspective and keep you trapped in an old 'story' of how your life was instead of allowing you to remain positive and full of energy to change the story and move forward."

Murray uses the analogy of a car's windscreen and rear view mirror to illustrate which direction you need to be going.

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You're not going backward in life so stop focusing your energy on the past.

"What if you were to consider your life like a car. There is a reason that the windshield is so big to create clarity and open vision and why the rear view mirror is so small, to allow you to glance back when needed but to always remain focused on what is in front of you."

Having unrealistic expectations

This one is easy to do. To try to overcome it you need to shift from seeking perfection to seeking happiness.

"When we fill our heads, hearts and minds with the need to be perfect, we instantly create an unrealistic expectation that sets us up to fail and in turn feel bad about ourselves or unworthy of love, respect, recognition."

"What is perfection anyway? Who defines this and how can we measure it? What are the real drivers behind trying to achieve it and are they yours or someone else's? Do they really matter to us? Give up the need to be perfect!" Murray said.

"Instead strive to be unique, authentic, even naturally flawed as you set yourself goals and go about your life. Embrace curiosity, action, empathy and create momentum with your actions. This will keep you aligned to who you are and in turn boost your self esteem. Regain some of the boldness of being a child that often gets lost on our transformation into adulthood and launch into life with gusto and enthusiasm giving things a go just for fun."

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