Bullying prevention requires people to have a high level of self-esteem. But did you know that outside influences can have a significant effect on your level of self-esteem? These outside influences include other people as well as the media–or what you listen to, read and watch.
The outside influences you let into your life can either build up your self-esteem or tear it down. It is important for you to pay attention to the messages you receive from other people and the media. You should strive to limit negative influences in your life as much as possible. In this post we will cover the following topics related to outside influences on self-esteem:
- Surround Yourself with Supportive People
- Ask for Support
- Avoid Destructive or Negative People
- Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
- Limit Negative Media Influence
Surround Yourself with Supportive People
The people with whom you surround yourself have a significant effect on your self-esteem. You decide with whom you spend the most time. You get to choose if you spend your time with people who build you up or who tear you down. Even if you develop good habits, like being kinder toward other people and working to take care of yourself, it will be hard to keep up your self-esteem if you hang around people who do not encourage you. If the most important people in your life drag you down, developing a high level of self-esteem will be very difficult.
It is important for you to remember that you have a right to high self-esteem and that you have a responsibility to protect it. If you encounter people who seek only to drag you down, choose to spend less time with them. You should also avoid those who are nervous perfectionists, unkind, or discourage you from reaching your goals. Instead spend time forming positive relationships with those who build you up and encourage you. Spending time with positive people will help you to be a better person and allow you to maintain or increase your level of self-esteem.
Ask for Support
Often times, those who struggle with low self-esteem do not get the necessary guidance or support they need to overcome their negative thoughts and behavior patterns. They may be fearful of trying something new or afraid to admit to another person that they suffer from low self-esteem. This fear causes people with low self-esteem to stay trapped in the cycle of negative self-learning and to remain stuck in their low level of self-esteem.
Instead of being afraid to ask for help, let people in your support system know that you are struggling with your self-esteem. Often other people will have no idea that you are struggling unless you are able to admit it and ask for help. Once you are able to ask for help, others will be more than willing to support and guide you toward a higher level of self-esteem. Remember, however, that support from others begins with knowing your own self and being able to ask for the help you need.
Avoid Destructive or Negative People
Remember that you are in control of the outside influences in your life, so make any changes necessary in the negative outside input you are around. Choose to spend less time with people who are nervous perfectionists, unkind or unsupportive of your dreams or goals. Rather than spending time with those who tear you down, decide to spend more time with positive, uplifting people who have kinder standards and ways of thinking about things. This will help you realize your value and increase your level of self-esteem.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Know that nothing good comes from comparing yourself to others, especially if it is a habit of yours. Comparing yourself to others is a destructive habit that only tears down you and your self-esteem. Why? Because when you compare yourself to others, you can never win. Think about it: there is always someone who is “better” than you, has more than you or has accomplished more than you have. When you compare yourself and your accomplishments to other people and what they have done, you constantly rob yourself of appreciating all that you are.
It is possible to replace this destructive habit in your life. Instead of comparing yourself to others, you can compare yourself to your own self. By comparing your present self to your past self, you can see how far you have come. This will help you understand your potential to improve and will give you the encouragement you need to keep going. This will also help you motivate yourself, and raise your self-esteem at the same time.
Limit Negative Media Influence
In addition to the people in your life, pay attention to what you read, listen to and watch. Many TV channels or magazines only seek to glorify celebrities, while telling the readers or viewers that they should be losing weight, making more money, buying certain products, etc. This kind of media influence can make people feel badly about themselves or feel as though they are not good enough. This kind of influence only damages self-esteem and tears people down.
Spend less time on the internet, reading magazines or watching TV shows if you feel like it makes you unsure of yourself. Instead, spend the time you used to spend on the media by building yourself up. Find different media sources like books, blogs, websites, or podcasts that affirm you and help you to grow and to feel good about yourself.
We hope you enjoyed our post on how outside influences impact self-esteem. Stay tuned for the next post in this series where we’ll look at how to be your own support person. If you would like to learn more about our Bullying Prevention Program, click the free trial link below.