The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is body image.
According to YouGov, 20% of adults surveyed felt shame over how they look.
34% felt down or low about their appearance, while 19% felt disgusted. Even more concerning is that one in 8 adults felt suicidal because of their body image.
Self-esteem plays a huge role in how resilient people are.
Having high self-esteem allows you to feel content and “comfortable in your own skin”. It prevents you from tending to blame other people or events if something goes wrong.
Instead, you will believe that you have the power to change things yourself.
Self-esteem always comes from a source. According to Dr. Jennifer Crocker, there are seven domains from which we gain self-esteem.
Body image is of course one of them, but one source isn’t enough. If that is devalued, you may be left with no self-esteem at all.
To build a positive view of yourself, it’s important to see things with perspective and look for the successes you have achieved in life. To do this, you will need:
Self-awareness. A realistic view of how other people perceive you, rather than only relying on your own opinion.
Self-motivation. Resilient people don’t rely on others to motivate them. When they start a project, they generally work until it has been done.
Self-affirmation. It’s not enough to achieve success – you must give yourself the credit for it too! Reflect on how you met your goals, and use it as a learning exercise for challenges you may face in future.
While feedback from others is important, it’s more important to be able to evaluate yourself. It’s easy to get into the habit of relying on external affirmation, however that may one day be negative, or even stop altogether.
To learn more about how to gain self-awareness and a sense of optimism that will build self-esteem, we’d advise taking our Developing Resilience eLearning course.