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How To Be Confident - Especially during Perimenopause and Post Menopause

christine maragkakis simply be specialist Feb 16, 2024

Everyone goes on about self-esteem but what is it?

Essentially, self-esteem is the confidence that we have in our own abilities.

There are three types of self-esteem.

1.Overly high, which is when people think so highly of themselves that they tend to be arrogance and act as if they are superior. They may also be self-indulgent and feel entitled and have a tendency to overlook their own flaws while openly criticising others.

2.Low self-esteem. This tends to cause people to feel inferior and believe that other people are better than them or that they’re not worthy. They might be afraid of failure and focus on what they see as their weaknesses rather than the strengths that they have and may find it difficult to accept compliments, And

3. Healthy self-esteem. Which is the more balanced option that we want to strive for. People with balanced self-esteem tend to have a fairly accurate view of themselves. They are able to identify and accept their strengths and weaknesses and have realistic expectations of themselves and others.

When you have healthy self-esteem, you are more likely to feel secure and confident and be less likely to look for other people’s approval. You will be confident in who you are and have a good understanding of what you're capable of. This will make you feel more comfortable in expressing yourself and your individuality. You will be able to maintain positive relationships and have a more positive outlook on life. Feeling like this, improves your, problem solving and decision-making skills. You’re also more likely to see obstacles as opportunities for learning rather than a dead end.

Because of these core abilities, people with healthy self-esteem are less likely to suffer from anxiety or depression, eating disorders and addiction.

Low self-esteem tends to be the most damaging to your wellbeing as it can negatively impact on all areas of life including school and the workplace, relationships, decision making and health.

So, how do you know if you have low self-esteem? Firstly, you need to be mindful of our thoughts and behaviours so that you can begin to work out which ones aren't working for you.

People with low self-esteem tend to think in black and white, it's either all good or all bad, there’s never really any middle ground and this can make life feel very stressful and out of their control.

They tend to over generalise, so, for example, if they have a negative experience, then they might assume that all their experiences will go wrong.

They tend to turn a positive into a negative as they have learned to look for what can go wrong and subconsciously try to head off failure by either sabotaging something themselves or not even trying in case they fail.

People with low self-esteem also tend to accept responsibility for everything that goes wrong whether they had anything to do with it or not. This can cause them to have feelings of never being good enough.

All these negative traits and beliefs are what they then identify with, and they end up with very negative feelings about themselves which can impact every area of their life.
Feelings are often mistaken for facts, so if they are feeling lazy or ugly, they will identify with that feeling and adopt a belief that they are lazy or ugly. But actually, emotions are signposts to the thoughts that aren’t working for us and thoughts can be changed.

So, if this is all sounding a little familiar, how can you improve your self esteem?

Being mindful is a great place to start. Once you know how you’re thinking and how your thoughts are shaping your life, you can start to challenge and change the ones that are undermining your security and confidence.

You can start to look for shades of gray in your thinking.

You can begin to train yourself to look for something positive no matter how small in the situation and start to reframe the way you respond to your thoughts. Respond is key here. Until you become aware of how you’re thinking you are in a cycle or being triggered and reacting. Being mindful helps you to move to a cycle of observing and responding.

Once you have begun the work on identifying, challenging and changing your thoughts and this won't be an overnight miracle. You have to work through or unlearn the behaviours that are hurting you. This can take time, but don't lose hope. Anything that has been learned can be unlearned and small consistent tweaks are far more successful that huge sweeping changes.

You can then begin to stretch yourself a little and look for ways that you can begin to take risks by stepping ever so slowly out of your comfort zone. The risks don't have to be huge. Start small with maybe trying something new to eat or sitting in a different place and as you grow in confidence, take more risk. Each time you try something new, you gain confidence and that will build your resilience.

Resilience is the knowledge that you will survive life. It doesn't have to be pretty, and you may be hanging on by a thread at times but underneath it all you have faith that you will handle it.

I'm not saying that you should take up skydiving but maybe say yes next time you're invited out or try a new activity. Risk assess it first and if you're not actually going to die, ask yourself what is the worst thing that can happen if it doesn't go to plan. Often things not going to plan have the best outcomes.

Stop comparing yourself with other people. You have your unique skills, and you can't possibly know what someone else feels like or what they have had to go through to have whatever it is that you think is better than what you have. They may be miserable and desperate but really good at hiding the truth.

Start to set effective boundaries. You don't have to do what everyone wants you to do, and you don't have to put up with the way you are treated but standing up for yourself can feel overwhelming. Drawing a hard line in the sand or having a confrontation is very difficult to manage and can cause more stress than it's worth.

Instead have a set of responses in your mind that you can use to create some space for you to think or get yourself out of a situation. Things like, can I check my diary and get back to you or I know I can't do that day but thanks for asking, it was very kind of you.

You could start looking at the people at situations in your life and let the ones that don't support you slowly fade away. Be busy when they ask you out or make less effort to contact them. Walk a different way to work so you don't bump into them or change your routines so that you don't find yourself having to do the things that aren’t working out for you.

There's no hard and fast rule, do what you're comfortable with and try making little deals with yourself to keep yourself motivated and strong. Things like, If I do this, I can soak in the bath tonight or If I do that, I can but myself a new mascara. Reward yourself for putting yourself out there.

Get some therapy Work with a Life and Mindset Therapist like me on changing y how you think, how you view the past and how you are going to be in your future. You’ll be amazed at how much your confidence, resilience and self-esteem improve by making small changes to the things that cause your anxiety, fear and low self-worth.

Be kind to yourself. We are all a glorious messy work in progress and finding a way to be comfortable with that fact while you work on the things that you want to change, can make the whole process so much easier.

So each day try something from this list of suggestions and slowly reclaim the confident and amazing person that you are under all that conditioning and start to take control back of your life one small, consistent step at a time.

If you would like to discuss this further, please get in touch or work with me, please contact me via
my website.
   https://www.simplybe.org.uk/  -   [email protected] 

Take care. 

Chris. 

For more guidance on reducing stress, anxiety and overwhelm in your mind and life during perimenopause and post menopause from Chris Maragkakis-  click the image below: 

 

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