Knowing oneself and enhancing our self-esteem Knowing oneself and enhancing our self-esteem

It is common to face moments in life that invite us to use our internal resources to get ahead.

Advisors Zamira Montoya Camargo, psychologist ascribed to Coomeva Prepaid Medicine
Elizabeth Ruiz Zuluaga, psychologist

In this modern world where there is so much talk of being happy it is ever more necessary to undertake a journey inside to discover in ourselves the tools to nurture our self-esteem and to urge us onward to a fuller life.

“What happens,” explains Psychologist and Master of Arts in Psychology and Mental Heath Elizabeth Ruiz Zuluaga, “is that we are so outwardly focused that in order to strengthen our self-esteem one must undertake a conscious process of thinking about ourselves. So then we go inward and we don’t like what we find there and so we tend to avoid it. We put on this mask and heed what society tells us, instead: “You must be happy and this happiness we measure in terms of money, trips, luxuries and beauty.”

As we look further outward, self-esteem is affected when people, for example, do not comply with physical standards and ideals, or economic ones or ideals of success implanted in the collective imaginary. Continuous comparison gives origin to emotions that may unleash anxiety, depression and even nutritional disorders. A very low self-esteem leads to doubting our own capacities even in the most ordinary every-day situation. Everything becomes an ordeal. But there are strategies that will help one reach a more harmonic relation with our own self and with others.

If we strengthen with emotional tools to face situations we will be able to take them on and work them in a positive way even learning from them.

How can we face the every-day challenges?

If we see difficulties as opportunities to improve and grow, here are some recommendations to get ahead in problems that affect our self-esteem as proposed by Psychologist Zamira Montoya Camargo.

  • It is important to try to “distance ourselves from the problem” to better understand in a more objective way this problem. Describe the situation as it is, without adjectives or judging.
  • Identify the thoughts that came about with respect to the problem. Ask yourself is there is real evidence or whether it is a “thought of mine, an interpretation of mine.”
  • Be assertive, express yourself, clear your doubts and do not act under suppositions. Think: if the situation happened to someone else, what other variables would there be, what strategies would you ask them to analyze.
  • Understanding life does not work in black and white. There is a great assortment of angles. Avoid victimizing yourself and do not take a standpoint where one sees that it is the world that attacks us.


  1. Accept yourself

This is none other than getting to know oneself and be conscious of the strengths and weaknesses. Understanding that one is not perfect and that one can start processes that help overcome the thing that is still limiting us. Each one is responsible for one’s own process.

  1. Construct a life project

When you don’t know what you want you feel despair. Understanding where you are going brings security. If we know ourselves well, we can establish realistic objectives, desired ones that allow one to know to what level one can push oneself.

  1. The three pillars

The three pillars are self-respect, self-concept, and self-confidence. No miracle will work on the outside while the process does not evolve on the inside. It is vital to treat yourself well with love and care of body and mind. One must change one’s thoughts and tune in with the positive.

  1. Tolerance to frustration

One of the great problems today is that families are raising their children with low tolerance to frustration. One key word to use is “No”. When you always get a “Yes” and then the “No” comes, they are confronted and they fall apart.

  1. Don’t take everything so personal

“That is why,” the psychologist reiterates, “people must learn to be tolerant and to get frustrated. One must understand not everything one says will be accepted by others without controversy and not everything the other person manifests is directed at me.

  1. Face your fears

Be conscious that you have fears and difficulties. When you detect your fears  and accept them you can generate strategies, look for expert help if need be and do not hide. The thing is to identify what you are afraid of: of making a mistake or of being judged?

  1. Support networks

 The option of consulting with professionals to undertake processes of self-knowledge, acceptance and pardon will always exist. It is also important to know that there are support networks such as family and friends to face adverse situations.