8 TIPS FOR BETTER SELF-ESTEEM
- Oct 29, 2021
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How to Boost Your Self-Esteem and Confidence
Do you often undervalue who you are and what you can achieve?
Does your opinion about yourself change based on what others may think of you?
Are you extremely critical of yourself to the point that it causes you anxiety?
If you answered YES to one or more of these questions, your self-esteem may need some work!
Don’t get us wrong. We all have times when we feel low or doubt ourselves. We don’t need to feel capable and positive every single day of our lives! But consistently low self-esteem can have a detrimental effect on our health, motivation and relationships.
In this post, we share 8 tips for better self-esteem. Read to the end to get your hands on our free self-esteem exercises and affirmations!
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is how we value ourselves – our opinions about who we are and what we can achieve. Think of it as your internal dialogue that either talks you up or knocks you down.
What are the benefits of good self-esteem?
Healthy self-esteem (i.e., feeling generally positive and realistic about ourselves, our worth and our life) has a positive impact on physical and mental health by boosting our resilience and helping us better cope with life’s ups and downs.
Scientific studies have shown that higher self-esteem makes social rejection or failure less painful. It is easier for individuals with higher self-esteem to bounce back from setbacks. Higher self-esteem also makes people less vulnerable to stress and anxiety by modulating the circulation of cortisol, our stress hormone.
People with poorer self-esteem tend to think critically of themselves and find it harder to bounce back from challenges. This may lead them to avoid difficult situations, which could further increase their anxiety and hurt their self-esteem even more…a vicious circle!
Here are 8 ways to improve your self-esteem so you can feel healthier and happier.
1. Build self-awareness
Did you know that self-awareness and confidence go hand in hand? The first step is to pay attention to your thoughts and feelings. Identify what triggers your negative perceptions about yourself – what conditions or situations deflate your self-esteem? Knowing yourself and your triggers will help you navigate your thoughts and reactions to stressful situations.
2. Challenge your negative beliefs
We psychologists say this a lot! But what exactly does it mean? First, notice your thoughts about yourself. Pay close attention to the opinions and attitudes you have about your worth and abilities. Some may be rational, based on facts or reason. Others may be irrational, based on false ideas or fears.
Once you identify your negative beliefs, ask yourself if they are true. Look for evidence that contradicts these negative statements. Some find it helpful to write down these statements and their counterevidence. Making a list may help you look back and remember that your limiting beliefs are actually unfounded.
Finally, replace your irrational beliefs with more constructive thoughts that will serve you better.
3. Identify your strengths
Having an empowering internal dialogue is a huge part of improving your self-esteem. Remind yourself that there is plenty of good about you! Make a list of your strengths or nice things people have said about you. Accept compliments from others without doubting them or putting yourself down in response. Use affirmations that help uplift and motivate you. Download our self-esteem exercise at the end of this post for some esteem-boosting affirmations!
4. Let go of toxic relationships and situations
People with low self-esteem often find it hard to stand up for themselves. But it’s important to learn to say no and to draw healthy boundaries. Develop your assertiveness about what (and who) you choose to accept in your life. Build relationships with the people who make you feel well, and avoid relationships that drag you down.
5. Stop comparing yourself to others
Social media certainly doesn’t help self-esteem! Remember that comparison is the thief of joy. Other people should never be your standard when it comes to what you think about yourself and your life.
6. Give yourself a break
Self-esteem isn’t a fixed construct; it fluctuates over time and across situations. So be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself! Your mistakes or failures don’t reflect who you are as a person; they are simply events that depend on many other factors.
We all have times when we feel down and find it harder to believe in our value. Take a break when you’re feeling shaken. Encourage yourself for making some progress. Celebrate your triumphs, as tiny as they may seem.
Avoid criticizing yourself, especially putting yourself down to others, as this can only reinforce false negative views. Avoid undervaluing and bullying yourself. Would you ever say that to a friend? If the answer is no, don’t say it to yourself!
7. Invest in your physical and mental health
Self-esteem and health fuel one another. The more you take care of yourself and your needs, the better (and more confident) you will feel. Remember the resilience we talked about earlier? Simple changes can make a huge difference in your resilience and overall outlook.
Get as much daylight as possible. Make time to exercise. Drink lots of water. Eat small meals with lots of fruits and vegetables. Limit your time on social media and screens. Get enough sleep to wake up rested. Do what you enjoy. Treat yourself to some you-time every day.
8. Practice and be persistent
Self-esteem is tricky. It’s okay if you don’t get better at it overnight. Remember, if you’re struggling to create changes on your own, reach out to a therapist. A mental health professional can help you identify the factors that affect your self-esteem so you can feel better and live your best life.
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Download our free self-esteem handout with exercises and affirmations!
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Like this post? You may also like our blog about a simple 10-minute yoga routine to calm anxiety or our blog about anxiety: how to not let it rule your life.