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20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem--page 8
by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.

Step 8. Hold your head up.

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This step is a simple to describe step but can be difficult for some people with low self-esteem. Many people with low self-esteem try to be unobtrusive so as not to be noticed by others (and thereby, criticized). One way they do this is by not looking at others, tending to keep their head down and even trying to take up as little space as possible such as by hunching their shoulders and staying out of other people's paths.

However, these behaviors don't make you invisible. Instead, such behaviors are more like a neon sign. People can still see you but what they will see is someone who is unapproachable, who lacks confidence and who is not friendly. In addition, some people are predators who take advantage of those with low self-esteem. When such people see these non-verbal signs they know they can manipulate you. So the unfortunate consequence of this non-verbal behavior is to keep the good people away and to allow the bad people to know they can take advantage of you.

Instead, even if you don't feel good about yourself, you can still project the image that you desire much as an actor does in a movie. This step is the first step in changing your non-verbal message about yourself. Simply hold your head up and notice what is around you. Don't try to be invisible because that doesn't work. Instead, lift your chin up and put your shoulders back as you walk through the world.

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