You can boost your self-esteem and we will help you. This blog post shows you how in 10 simple steps.
Recognise yourself as a human being
Many people have self-esteem issues because they think that self-esteem is about self-worth. We all have self-worth, because we are humans and we deserve to live – but self-esteem itself is about recognising ourselves as beings separate from our worth. It’s essentially the level of respect you give yourself for what you do or don’t do. Self-efficacy – feeling capable of reaching goals – also plays a role in self-esteem.
Treat yourself like someone else would treat you
If your friend was depressed about something, what would you say? Would you be supportive? Encourage them to take action? Or tell them how stupid it is to feel that way? Be self-compassionate with yourself as you would be to a friend.
Stop self-defeating self-talk
Don’t criticise or belittle yourself – you’re too important! Instead, give positive reinforcement for good behaviour and achievements… even if they’re small ones. Also, learn how self-talk affects self-esteem – telling yourself things like “I’m no good” only makes it worse.
Catch negative self-beliefs before they become self-fulfilling prophecies
If you constantly tell yourself that you’ll never be popular or attractive enough, guess what? You probably won’t.
“Use positive affirmations to replace those harmful thoughts – this works well for self-esteem as it’s self-affirming!” suggests life coach Jeanine Sciacca.
Think about how much better you respond to advice when it’s framed in a helpful, kind way instead of in an angry attack.
Use positive self-talk
This tip practises what we learnt in the previous point – change those negative thoughts into positive ones! Good feelings about yourself don’t just come from compliments from other people – put a bit of effort into thinking positively about yourself too.
Remember how rare you are
Do you know what had to happen for you to get here? Your entire family lineage had to survive and procreate, your egg had to ovulate at the exact right time. There have only been humans around for about 300,000 years and it is predicted humans could become extinct in about 7,800,000 years. Sure that sounds like a long time but think about the fact that you just happened to be born in that time period and that means you get to experience this earth, this thing called life.
That is incredible! You are an incredibly rare occurrence and you are experiencing a super rare experience. Make the most of it!
Get social support from people who treat you well
If you have self-esteem issues, seek out supportive people who will build you up rather than tear you down. Although self-help books are great for self-esteem building, it’s also important to have self-affirming personal relationships too. Fake them till you make them!
Participate in activities that give your life meaning
Self-esteem is about feeling worthwhile. If your self-esteem is low when you’re unemployed, volunteer or spend time around people doing things that interest you… or just help the old lady next door with her groceries!
“Diversifying interests helps self esteem because it reminds us of what we do have control over in our lives” says the leisure experts from Aus Leisure, “Joining a class, whether it be virtual or in person, is a fantastic way to give yourself something to be proud of, something to look forward to and somewhere to make connections with like-minded people”.
Embrace your flaws and imperfections
Nobody’s perfect – self-esteem issues often come from self-criticism about our flaws. Instead, try self-appreciation. Think about how incredible your body and mind is. Write a list of everything you CAN do. Make it general and specific. I am so grateful I have the ability to be kind, I am so grateful I have a strong, beating heart, I am so grateful I am good at art etc.
Practice self-compassion each day
Self love is just as important as self esteem – remind yourself that there’s nothing wrong with you every day with an affirmation or some self-talk of self-compassion.
“Treat yourself like you would your best friend if they were self esteeming themselves – self compassion is powerful for self-esteem!” notes The College of Holistic Arts.