A condition of low self esteem is like a corrosive acid that eats away at our self image until we are paralyzed to act affectively and achieve success or self confidence of any kind. We find ourselves caught in a downward spiral of negative thoughts and perceptions that feed on themselves and can destroy any chance of happiness or a productive life. But once caught in this spiral is there any way we can turn things around and begin to set ourselves on a more positive and constructive course? Yes there is! We can begin to pay attention to how we engage in our own self defeating behaviors and redesign the processes in order to turn loose a wave of positive energy that will eventually wash away the negative mindset and replace it with a positive one.
Where we first acquire our initial negative self image is usually during our early years from peers, family or other authority figures but it isn't necessary to dwell on this for the purposes of correcting the situation other than to know about the process of conditioning by which we allow such programming to become deeply established until we ourselves become the source of the negative influences. For example; negative ideas about ourselves we got from our parents, will be perpetuated by us long after we leave the sphere of influence of our family and as long as we remain unaware of these processes.
The strategy here is to first make a firm commitment based on a genuine desire to change some behavior, in this case negative behavior. We can begin by taking some practical measures such as doing things to care for ourselves. These can range from personal care and grooming to paying attention to your own needs such as the need for companionship, solitude, eating healthy foods, exercise, doing things you like, get some things done that you may have been putting off, learn some new things etc.
This may seem like a strange approach, but low self esteem is an insidious influence that tends to shut down all activities and when we begin to engage in practical positive activities we begin to turn things around. This also begins to revitalize and reestablish our enthusiasm for living life which soon begins to feed on itself and grow strong, just as the low self esteem feeds on itself and grows strong. The processes are the same, we are just changing the content and goals.
Replacing any and all negative thoughts and views about ourselves is a matter of first identifying the negative thought patterns that are working just beyond our consciousness to keep our negative self image in place. Thoughts such as 'I'm stupid', 'I can't do anything right' when we make a mistake. Or when we fail at something, assuming our low self esteem lets us try something in the first place, we feel like it is the end of everything and that all is lost. Flagging such negative thoughts is difficult at first but gets easier with practice and is essential if we are to replace them with positive counter thoughts and ideas.
You need to develop the self discipline of self awareness, you need to listen to your self talk which will lead you to the negative thoughts that need replacing, examine those thoughts when you identify them and verify if they are true and accurate, develop positive thoughts to counter the existing negative thoughts. This of course is the process of revealing the problem behaviors so that we can begin to take control of the influences that affect our lives in whatever way, so that we can exercise the power of choice.
Take advantage of the tools of self change. From meditation to yoga, self talk to self hypnosis, creative visualization to affirmations. Use these tools to engage in an aggressive strategy for positive change. From creating affirmative lists of your qualities, skills, talents and gifts, to reinforcing a positive self image by acknowledging yourself and your successes and achievements, to using creative visualization to build a new vision / image of yourself, change is possible. Develop positive affirmations and visit them daily.
If you started off with a genuine desire and commitment and you bring determination, perseverance, will, faith and patience to the task, all of which are the characteristics of the success mindset, you can't possibly fail. Along this journey you will encounter obstacles and resistances because the old established regime won't give up easily. But if you adopt an attitude of take no prisoners and accept no defeat, you will succeed.