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I was bullied and I never told anybody about it.

Yep. I kept it to myself as if it was a best kept secret. It was as if I had to deal with it alone because that’s just the kind of kid I was.

Those experiences with being bullied influenced my self esteem more than I ever knew.

Mostly in ways which were negative and detrimental. Like not being able to look in the mirror, or deleting pictures I’d taken.

If you want to know what influences self esteem, here are 7 legitimate answers from my own experiences. And from some facts I’ve gathered to give you the best answer.

Kids playing in the sunlight

  1. What was your upbringing like?

Oprah Winfrey was raised in a broken home where her own Uncle molested her. As well as her family’s friends and even cousins. Not only that, she was raped at the young age of 9 years old.

So it’s no secret that Oprah Winfrey had a poor amount of self esteem growing up. Using the word poor to describe it is an understatement.

How Oprah was raised affected her entire life and crushed her self esteem from too young of an age.

Rapper – Bizzy Bone, who’s part of the legendary group – Bone Thugz was kidnapped as a child. Then molested. And that went on for another 2 years before he was found by police and FBI. You can imagine what that would have done to his self esteem as a child, as it would to any of us.

How were you raised?

How you were raised and brought up has a massive impact on how much self esteem you have today. Especially if you haven’t worked on your self esteem for years up until this point.

How you feel about yourself, your beauty, your skills and your importance in the world is a result of your upbringing.

Luckily though that can be changed as long as you’re willing to make an effort. And better yet, as long as you’re willing to believe that change IS possible.

Related: Positive Self Esteem Questions To Start Asking

Man sitting in a church thinking

  1. What have you decided to believe?

Whatever you decide to believe about yourself will eventually become true.

And that’s true especially when naysayers, family members, friends, or society puts you down. Over and over again.

Let’s take Oprah Winfrey for example. Can you imagine what kinds of things she believed about herself, all because of what some family members did to her? That further ruined her childhood and how she felt about herself. It’s said she still deals with anxiety today, even after so many years have passed.

That should tell you just how powerful your beliefs are.

I actually believed I was ugly and pathetic in High School. I’d hate to admit that but I really did. And guess where all those terrible beliefs came from? That’s right, what others told me and I decided to buy into what they sold me.

Choose your beliefs wisely.

Child looking concerned

  1. How do you respond to bullying?

NoBullying says 39% of children have never told anyone they’re being bullied. And 21% of teens experience bullying on YouTube.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that bullying, and how you deal with it influences your self esteem on a massive scale.

Though I was bullied physically and verbally back in school, I always made it a point to stand my ground and stand up for myself. My self esteem was poor, but had it not been for that I would’ve had bigger self esteem issues and maybe would have dealt with it in a way that’s detrimental and damaging.

Bullying influences your self esteem and there’s no shortage of bullies on this planet.

So no matter the cost, always stand up for yourself and your self esteem will end up thanking you for it in future.

Woman standing with many hands pointing at her

  1. It hurts to be criticized

“No matter what you do, good or bad, people will always have something to say.” – Unknown

You could have been any type of person, from anywhere in the world, and you’d still be judged and criticized for how you are, what you do or what you look like. Whether you like it or not.

How you deal with criticism will determine how low or sky high your self esteem is.

Whenever I deal or experience criticism, I laugh it off and get back to whatever I was doing. Which is a nice way of saying – I don’t care about what people think of me.

That’s their choice, and my self esteem loves it. It’s the reason I have any in the first place.

You might deal with criticism differently, but keep in mind that how you deal with it will crush or enhance your self esteem. And that will determine how wonderful or wonderfully terrible you feel about yourself.

Man walking along the street lonely at night

  1. Failure is frustrating. And so are mistakes.

How do you deal with setbacks and obstacles when they smack you in the face unexpectedly?

Sad to say, but some people fall into depression or even self harm.

As for me – In my first business I was killing it. I out-did retailers who had been doing the same thing for years, even as the “new” guy. And yet, one fatal mistake cost me my business.

I had to shut it down and I lost all my money in the process. Then my reputation got flushed down the toilet. It was as if I was a baby again.

I had to start from scratch with nothing other than my bruised pride, confidence, determination and ambition. That being said I picked myself up and got back to business. And did what I had to do.

Now my self esteem and confidence is taller than mount Fuji and the tallest building in Dubai combined.

How you deal with your failures and mistakes makes the world of a difference (or not) to your self esteem. And is one of the biggest influences when it comes to how you feel about yourself.

Adult playing with bubbles in the park

  1. What are you telling yourself everyday?

Affirmations are for real. We do it every single day.

The other day I told myself – “What have I been doing? Feels like I’ve been wasting time”.

Of course it’s normal to get frustrated when things don’t go right. Especially when it’s way out of your control.

But the problem starts when you start affirming things like this too often. To the point where it becomes a dangerous habit.

Especially if you get infected by negativity, and say things like:

  1. I’m so worthless. I hate myself.
  2. Why is this happening to me?
  3. I’m so pathetic.
  4. I’ll never amount to anything so what’s the point.
  5. I’m ugly.
  6. There’s nothing special about me.

You’re with yourself everyday. Wherever you look, you’re there looking right back. So be careful of the things you say to yourself.

Head of an eagle

  1. Eagles don’t hang around with pigeons

Have you ever seen an Eagle hanging around with a bunch of dirty pigeons? Neither have I. And that’s the point.

Who (and what) you surround yourself with will support or tear down your self esteem.

Confident people don’t hang around with insecure people who always put themselves down. If they did, then they’d end up just like them. I know that’s harsh, but it’s just the hard truth.

Choose your surroundings and who you associate with wisely. Because trust me, it will influence your self esteem. And that influence will ruin you or give you a helping hand as you go about living your life.

The 7 things that influence your self esteem:

  1. How you were raised
  2. What you decide to believe
  3. How you deal with bullies
  4. How you deal with criticism
  5. The way you deal with failure and mistakes
  6. The things you say to yourself everyday
  7. The people you surround yourself with

There’s tons of things that has a negative influence on your self esteem. And tons of good things that improve your self esteem. But generally, it’s these 7 things that have the biggest influence on how you feel about yourself.

 

Theo J EllisAbout Theo J Ellis
I'm driven to make a difference for the better, and make an impact. I do this by sharing my experiences/insights with self confidence and personal development on my blog - Just Be Real.

Outside of writing I love Anime, Hip Hop Music, and lots of oriental food.

The blog was originally published on Just Be Real: https://justbereal.co.uk/what-influences-self-esteem/

Website: Justbereal.co.uk
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