There are occasions when your self-esteem has taken a tumble, and you just feel rotten. The causes for a decline in your self-belief can be varied: relationship worries, work stress, housing issues, and even ‘just because.’ No matter what the source of your ill feeling, the steps to feeling better are the same: here are 5 steps to take to make you feel great again.

Identify the source

If you have identified that one person or a group of people are responsible for making you feel awful, you need to review your relationship with them. People are either radiators or drains: they either warm you up and make you feel wonderful, or they drain your energy and make you feel terrible. If possible, avoid the drain people like the plague; however, sometimes it is impossible to navigate around them, and so you must develop strategies to help you cope with such negativity.

Use your manners – others

You are unable to change other people’s behaviour and attitudes, but what you can do is change how you react to them. Sometimes we meet people that we just don’t like and vice versa, and it’s like a chemical reaction; however, the joy of having great manners is that you can interact with these people in a controlled manner so that your mutual dislike is not apparent to anyone else observing the interaction. Manners are the best strategy for dealing with personality types that you find challenging, and they provide you with a social shield for any situation.

Use your manners – self

You wouldn’t dream of talking to a friend in the same way that you talk to yourself. Your self-talk is the loudest voice there is, and so you need to think about how you frame situations and respond to them. Are your thoughts positive, negative or neutral? Do you speak rationally using reason and facts, or irrationally and highly charged and emotive? If you wouldn’t say your thoughts to someone else, resist saying them to yourself! Fake it until you make it!

Adjust your expectations

During times of low self-esteem, your perception of what you are capable of is off kilter. You need to remember that, while on an ordinary day, you may have the powers of a superhero, when you are feeling like you are on the ground, you will not be able to feel quite so valiant. Adjust your expectations and goals so that they are achievable. You may not be able to face a 30-day Bikram Yoga challenge, but you will be more than capable of a bingo wings challenge. Print the challenge from the Gala Bingo site and recruit your friends; they’ll either love you for thinking of them, or hate you for thinking that they have bingo wings.

Be kind to yourself

It is easy to fall into the trap of being negative towards yourself. You receive a compliment about a project you have completed at work, and how do you reply? If you say something along the lines that it was an easy project, you are undervaluing your efforts. You need to learn to accept compliments as a positive thing, and not turn them into an opportunity to self-depreciate. Do not reject your achievements; you need to celebrate them. Your reply to your project complement should be ‘thank you, yes, I worked hard and was pleased with the result.’