Self-esteem is widely measured by seeing what people think, and believe about themselves.
What kind of person do you think you are? What do you consider your abilities, strengths, and qualities to be?
Do you have positive or negative thoughts when you think about your future?
If you have healthy self-esteem you’ll see a lot of positives about yourself, and have a lot to look forward to in the future. Even when you experience difficult times, you will see the best in situations and deal with it well.
If you suffer from low self-esteem it’s quite the opposite. You have a negative outlook on life, and yourself in particular. You focus on your weaknesses and can’t see the positive parts. You will also blame yourself for any failures you’ve experienced, and think you’re not good enough.
It’s not 100% conclusive if some people have naturally low self-esteem, or if it’s developed over time due to different events.
There are some events that can contribute to low self-esteem, here are some of the more common reasons:
- Difficult childhood experiences
- Difficult life events
- Damaging relationships
- Excessive stress
- Circles of negative thinking
- Mental health problems
- Sudden trauma
- Social isolation
Having low self-esteem is a mental health issue, although not recognized by some medical professionals as one directly. Having low self-esteem and having negative thoughts over time can lead to other mental health issues, like depression and anxiety.
It can become difficult to socialize, carry out routine tasks, your work will suffer, and your life will change. You’ll find yourself falling into a pattern of negative actions and thoughts, and find it difficult to pull yourself out.
If you feel like you are in a spiral, or have low self-esteem there are a number of things you can do to counter these emotions and thoughts.
Here are 10 ways to improve self-esteem:
Have a Plan for Your Day
Decide what you’re going to do with your day before you get out of bed. Either have it planned from the night before, or make a conscious decision in the morning. Set yourself a goal to do something positive in the day, maybe help some who needs it.
Remind yourself throughout the day what it is you intend to do until it’s been completed. There is a good sense of satisfaction having a positive goal during the day, and it will help with your self-esteem and confidence.
Be True with Yourself
It’s important to have principles, morals, and to be true to ourselves. Meaning you don’t give in and do what someone else wants, even though it doesn’t feel right. Listening to advice is great, and acting accordingly. But be sure to be true to yourself.
If you want to develop as a person and progress, you can only do so by following these principles. Having self-respect helps shape us as individuals, and has an impact on how others view and treat us.
Stimulate Yourself Mentally
Our minds need attention. Often we need to relax our minds, and there are a number of ways to do this. But we also need to stimulate our minds and give us some new things to think about and provoke free-thoughts.
Try reading some uplifting books, listening to some fun music you enjoy, or attend conferences you find interesting. Focus on being creative and happy, do things that you enjoy. Avoid negative people, the daily news, and any other influences that bring you down.
Make Positive Changes to Your Diet
Although we are all busy and fall into the trap of eating fast food and making quick meals, there are other options. Eating fresh foods, rich in nutrients instead of processed foods will make a huge difference to how you feel.
Cut back on the fizzy drinks too and get a couple of glasses of water in a day. When you take care of your body you feel a lot better both physically, and mentally. You’ll have more energy and motivation too.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
You are unique, that’s what makes you, you. Your views, ideas, mannerisms, they are all unique to you and are what people like about you. Being yourself, and accepting yourself for all the good and bad points is an important part of having good self-esteem.
Other people and their lives are not always as perfect as they may seem from the outside. Everyone has their own problems and struggles to deal with, so don’t assume you’d be happier being in their situation.
Surround Yourself with Uplifting Décor
It may not be apparent to you, but your surroundings have an impact on shaping your personality and how you feel. Take a look around your home, do you have positive colors, nice pictures, and a clutter-free space?
Its personal choice what uplifts people. Maybe open windows for fresh air, posters and pictures that remind you of good times, or lots of plants will help. That’s for you to decide, but take a look and see what you can do.
Celebrate Your Achievements and Successes
If you have passed some exams, have qualifications, or achieved a promotion at work, celebrate it. You have put in the hard work and achieved some success, it wasn’t luck. You deserve to enjoy it.
Try and savor and capture the moment. Remember what it feels like, how you’re feeling, these are all positive emotions that you created – by being you.
Treat Yourself to Something Nice
You need to look after you, you deserve it. What is a nice treat that you can incorporate into your week, and maybe something even more special once a month? Maybe you like spa sessions, long baths, certain food, or a spot of shopping.
The key here is to embrace whatever it is and enjoy it. Don’t feel guilty, regardless how indulgent you’re being. Remember, you do deserve it, and there is nothing wrong with treating yourself.
Treat Someone Else to Something Nice
Do you have a friend or family member who seem a bit down, or would just enjoy being treated to something? Then just spontaneously do something nice, you will see how it feel nice for both you and the other person.
You can also do this for a complete stranger. Maybe volunteer for a local charity, make a notation, or help someone at work that you know are going through some difficulties. These are all great self-esteem builders.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
There is a well-known quote by Jim Rohn that states, ‘‘you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”. When you think about it, it’s true in most cases. If you are surrounded negative people, they will only drag you down.
So surround yourself with positive people, and you will feel more positive. You will have a self-esteem life and have a more positive outlook. Before long you will be in a circle of positive affirmation, and only good things will keep happening.
In order to increase your self-esteem, you need to take action to change the negative beliefs and affirmations you have.
This can feel like an impossible task at first, but it’s not. There are lots of ways to improve self-esteem, and those above a just a few of them.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.