How Much Do you Like Yourself? Self-Esteem & How to Improve Yours

By Dominica

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Last Updated: September 1, 2021

It’s not always easy to feel good about yourself.

Most of us can relate to struggling with self-esteem issues every now and then.

However, the way you feel about yourself is something you can learn to change for the better.

 

What is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem is simply the way you feel about yourself. It can be positive or negative or maybe even a little bit of both. It’s more important than most people realize, as having high self-esteem may cause you to get further in life and feel better about yourself all the way around. 

 You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. – Buddha

Having low self-esteem means that you struggle with some things about yourself.

Do any of these thoughts sound familiar to you?

  • "I'm not good enough"
  • "I'm not thin enough"
  • "I wish I was smart enough for that"
  • "Why am I such a failure?"

If they do, then it's likely you struggle with low self-esteem.

This can hinder you in various areas of your life.

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. – Thomas Jefferson

Not having a high image of yourself can cause you to feel sad, depressed, lonely, insecure, fearful, and more. If you have experienced trauma throughout your life, you may be more prone to having low self-esteem.

Having low self-esteem may also affect others around you, especially if you are a parent. Your low self-worth may rub off on your children.

I can speak for myself in saying that my mother’s low self-esteem had me questioning mine while growing up. I was shy and unsure of myself, and had to learn how to overcome these things later in life.

 

5 Steps to Increasing Your Self-Esteem

If you are struggling with low self-esteem, be assured that there are activities aimed at improving the way you feel about yourself.  Plenty of people have gone from low to high self-esteem by utilizing self-esteem building activities such as the following:

 

1. Make A List Of Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are statements that are positive, such as, “I am smart, beautiful, and can do whatever I put my mind to.”  Take some time to write your own or pull up affirmations online.

You can sign up for free Daily Affirmations and Motivations right here or just visit our Affirmations page. (We post free, inspiring content daily!)

Once you’ve made a list of these affirmations, put them in a spot where you can see them every day and recite them out loud.  As you repeatedly affirm yourself, your brain will become re-wired, so-to-speak.  You’ll begin to realize that maybe you are more than you’ve been thinking all these years.

The more you affirm yourself, the more confident you will become and your self-esteem will rise.

 

2. Make Direct Eye Contact With the People You're Speaking to

Many people with low self-esteem don’t look people in the eyes due to insecurity.

Much of my life was spent avoiding eye contact with others. I wasn’t afraid of them, just that they would look in my eyes and see how little I thought of myself. How could they not see my flaws, insecurities, and more?

I had to train myself to make eye contact little by little as I worked on improving my self-esteem.

Do your best to look directly in the eyes of those that you converse with.  It may be difficult at first but the more you do it, the easier it will become. Start small and then work your way up. It’s alright if you can’t make consistent eye contact. Even just a little bit can help you boost your self-esteem and feel more confident.

 

3. Read As Much Self-Help Literature As You Can

There are so many resources available to help you in increasing your self-esteem. You can read books, listen to audio tapes, and even watch videos that will motivate and inspire you in many ways. 

Some of the top recommended reads by PositivePsychology.com include these 3 books that talk about having low self esteem:

  1. You Can Heal Your Life – Louise Hay
  2. The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living – Dalai Lama
  3. Matrix Energetics: The Science and Art of Transformation – Richard Bartlett

A quick search on YouTube for “increasing self-esteem” will give you access to hundreds of videos that may be helpful, including this Ted Talk: Meet Yourself: A User's Guide to Building Self-Esteem with Life Coach, Niko Everett. 

Go ahead and take some time daily to watch several videos that give you tips, techniques, and exercises that can help you increase your self-esteem.

You'd be surprised how putting in just a little bit of energy every day into yourself can yield significant changes for the better in your life.

The videos or people that you jive with, create a YouTube playlist, and make the effort to listen or watch it consistently. Take the techniques and practices and apply them to your everyday life. Give yourself permission to not get it perfect, as boosting your self-esteem takes time, effort, and practice.

Remember that is progress you're after; not perfection.

 

4. Help Others

Consider helping others in one way, shape, or form.

By helping others, you will tend to feel better about yourself. Look around in your community for places to volunteer. Or you may volunteer your time online to a particular group or community.

Since we're still in the days of COVID, you may not want to get out in the community as much just yet.

Do some searches for social media groups that are looking for help or online communities. There are plenty of online zoom video gatherings all over the world, from religious gatherings to eco-friendly initiatives to self-help groups, and more.

As you get around other people or become active in your community, you may find your self-worth and level of joy increasing.

 

5. See A Counselor Or Life Coach

If you are seriously struggling with low self-esteem and you’ve tried just about everything you can think of, perhaps it’s time for you to see a counselor of life coach.

It can be helpful to share your story with someone who can hold a safe space for you.

Sometimes low self-esteem may indicate that you're struggling with high levels of anxiety or an anxiety disorder. A professional counselor can help you discern where your low self-esteem is coming from.

And, they'll be able to walk you through a process of dealing with the root causes and learning to boost yourself esteem in practical ways.

In addition, sometimes you can gain more insight by listening to another person’s advice and suggested self-esteem building activities rather than just trying to do it all on your own.

 

Love Yourself Big!

You can certainly boost your self-esteem and walk around feeling confident about yourself with some insight and practice. No matter what your past has been like, you can take actions to change what your future will look like. 

Hopefully, these tips will point you in that direction. We wish you luck! 

Photo by Kid Circus on Unsplash

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