Life knocks you down a peg or two now and again. You aren’t helping yourself by dwelling on it, so here are eight solid methods to get rid of that deflated ego!
1. Talk about it.
Talking about your problems is undoubtedly the easiest and fastest way to start feeling better. Most people simply won’t do this because the issue tends to be embarrassing, but that is a foolish and naïve approach to adopt.
Talking about it with someone you trust with confidential information gives you a fresh perspective, provided that the person responds with sympathy and feedback. They may have thought about things that you just never thought of beforehand.
Ask for the other person’s thoughts! You’ll probably find that the listener has experienced a similar situation or knows someone who has. That person will also give you some advice to deal with the problem, or at the very least some level-headed advice that often escapes us while we are eyeball-deep in stress. Perspective often comes with distance from an issue.
2. Write down your thoughts.
Getting your problems off your chest turns the problem eating away at you from an object of internal anxiety to an identifiable and measureable thing that you can overcome. This works especially well if you really just aren’t comfortable speaking with another person about your ego directly. Your present self, written on paper, and your future self can be your confidential listener.
Most problems that reduce our self-esteem stem from the embarrassment of failure. Write down your fears and frustrations in the most immediately rewarding way. Be mean and scathing, or try for a gushy romantic approach if it feels good.
Remember that the point is to write down how you feel first and foremost. Get your thoughts out of your head today so that they don’t keep you awake at night.
3. Distract yourself.
Do something unrelated to whatever smashed your ego to a pulp. This simple idea works in most aspects of your day-to-day lifestyle, too.
Watch a movie to witness a complete story arc with a resolution; pick up a new book to take your imagination on a journey away from your work place or relationship; alternatively, go on a day trip to an historic site or even a theme park. Make a vacation out of it. You’re trying to make yourself feel better, after all!
4. Try exercising.
You probably won’t feel like exercising. Deflated egos don’t show confidence or a ‘go get ‘em’ attitude, but exercise always helps.
Activity releases endorphins into your blood stream, which makes you feel better on a chemical level. You’ll also find that you’re just too tired to stay angry, anxious, or mopey after steady exercise in the short term. In contrast, you’ll find that you have more energy to do things for a longer period of time throughout the day.
Use exercise sessions to double-up on free time as well. Go for a walk or a jog during the spring, summer, or fall (Canadian spring is the exception). Exercise in nearby parks or nature reserves to give yourself some time and space to reflect on the issue if it’s been long enough since you first started to feel down on your luck.
Read a book or watch television if you can exercise on a stationary cycle in the privacy of your home. Use exercise time to do other things that will take your mind off of the problem.
5. Exceed at something else that you do well.
Nobody’s good at everything, yet everybody is good at something. You might have botched a sale, forgot an anniversary, got too angry at a co-worker, couldn’t afford the nice entrée at a social dinner, or made a fool of yourself some other way. Revisit the things that make you feel comfortable and accomplished to remind yourself of your value.
Make no mistake: you do have value. You are somebody’s parent, child, sibling, significant other, friend, co-worker, or listener. We all have room for improvement, but never forget what drives and defines you as an individual.
6. Help out someone else.
Everybody needs help now and again. It may be due to your so-called deflated ego, but be sure that there are others nearby who could use a hand with something. Help out a co-worker finish a project; help your child with a school assignment or ride to work; help out a neighbour with a yard-related favour; or put a smile on your parents’ faces by taking them out for lunch.
Small gestures make you feel better too: hold a door open for someone at the grocery store and just smile at people as they walk by. Most people will smile back automatically.
7. Go on a date.
This strategy works fantastically because it doesn’t even matter how well or badly the date goes! You might start feeling awesome and inspired upon meeting someone, or you will be completely repulsed by a disgusting cretin.
Bad dates make for great conversation material. You either find someone who sees your worth or you get an ego boost from evaluating the other person and finding him or her… wanting. It also spices up the monotony of day-to-day life. Get out there and make some awesome stories!
There are also plenty of ways to go on a random date. You can ask a friend to get the best potential match, or you can enlist the help of a dating app. Stay away from traditional dating sites! They contain tens of thousands of individuals who are more judgemental than you; dealing with such jerks does nothing for your ego. Get the Tinder app to match yourself only with the people who want to see you too, and start chatting in minutes.
8. Repeat a mantra.
Repeat a mantra in front of the mirror every morning and evening in private. Yes, it’s the opposite of ‘cool,’ and yes, it works. The human brain internalizes repetitious information. That simple rule has steered the course of Human history, so don’t feel like a cheat by putting it to use on your own mind. There are a million mantras to use for any given situation. “I am getting better every day in every way” is a good example.
There you are! Talk about it and write about it to get it off your chest. Distract yourself and enjoy the pretty scenery while exercising or delve into a new story! Help people out and go on a date to make your day more interesting. Remind yourself how you matter to the people in your life and how you bring value to others, and you’ll make short work of that deflated ego.