Low self-esteem can impact every part of your life, making you feel tense, anxious, and sad much of the time. The good news is, there are things you can do to break out of this cycle to feel happy and more confident with who you are. Don’t spend another day feeling inadequate or inferior – practice the activities listed here to manage your life the way you want. To make it easier, the steps are separated out into areas to work on today, in the next 2-3 months, and 6+ months on.
More of a no-nonsense type of individual? Try this webinar on Achieving 10/10 Self-Esteem for Life.
Right now, today…STEP 1.
Accomplish a task you’ve been putting off. People with mild cases of insomnia due to anxiety are encouraged to get up and make a list of tasks they need to accomplish. This helps them take control of their anxiety – by taking the anticipation of unpleasant work off their minds, they can have a more peaceful sleep. Just like those individuals, making a list and attacking it can make you feel more in control of your life. If there’s something you’ve been putting off, from writing an unpleasant memo to your boss or something larger like changing career paths, just getting started on it for fifteen minutes today will help. This will help you regain some control in your present and future life and you should feel immediate satisfaction.
Recognize your accomplishments. Be confident in your achievements and understand the value you it brings. For instance, if you started out only being able to read 5 pages a day, then found yourself reading 10 pages a day while improving your concentration, this is an accomplishment. You don’t have to be reading a novel a day or running marathons to feel accomplished – take pride in the fact that you are improving yourself slightly each and every day. If you feel like you need some training on recognizing yourself and being confident, transform self-doubt into confidence with this guide.
Set goals and work to achieve them. An excellent way to raise self-esteem is seeing tangible achievement. Have a clear set of goals that you actively work on daily or weekly with some kind of accountability system (some people use the buddy system, some like to be self-motivated with special treats –such as a favorite show – after spending time working on that goal). Being able to see and measure your progress will highlight the fact that you’re competent and inspired.
Only keep and have relationships with others who support you, respect you, and live positive lives of their own. First off, think of the people closest to you, the ones you see every day. Do you feel good after speaking with them or spending time in their company? Or do you feel yourself not measuring up and feeling insecure and belittled? You should only spend time with people who have a positive outlook on life, making it more likely that you will engage in the same outlook. Hang around those family and friends that have healthy and fun lifestyles. Of course, you can’t avoid Auntie Debbie Downer at that holiday dinner, but you can at least choose the positive people you surround yourself with the rest of the time.
Exercise. Not only for your appearance, but for those wonderful chemicals called endorphins. You will feel wonderful and that feeling will snowball into you feeling wonderful for days and months.
Compliment yourself. Everywhere. Positive affirmations in visible areas will do a lot to lighten your mood and confidence. Some people stick post-it notes in their home and offices with such affirmations as “you look terrific today!” or “your beautiful eyes make every outfit look great” or “Grandma said that YOU’RE her favorite!” Whatever works for you. And you WILL find something that does!
Tomorrow or within the next 2-3 months…STEP 2.
Try something new. Or even several new things! Just the act of something new can make you feel more adventurous and fun, especially if it’s something you’ve always wanted to try but never had the reason or courage too. Paddle-boarding in the marina? Join a class! Hiking in the rain? Go alone or take a friend with you. At the same time, let a friend drag you to a new activity they are interested in. Friends love to share, and being able to share that experience with someone will make you feel great.
Stop comparing yourself to others. This is a tough one, as we live in a competitive society, but it’s important for your sanity and growth. Humans are naturally driven to compare themselves to the best features of others. That guy is so much stronger, Cousin Jake is a better football player, that girl is so much curvier. However, how convenient is it that we also forget to compare to their greatest flaws as well? The truth is, there is always going to be someone who is better than you in some way and worse than you in another way, so this is a worthless exercise. The solution is to quit focusing on your perceived deficiencies compared to others and pay more attention to your own talents, skills, hobbies, and progress in your own goals.
Stop the critical thinking right as it starts! As soon as you start to notice bad and critical thoughts coming, nip it in the bud by asking yourself why you have to think that. Instead, focus on your ability to bring yourself out of that negative hole and observe how it makes you feel differently.
Give yourself about 6 months to complete…STEP 3.
Forgive those who aided and abetted in your low self-esteem. To overcome Family of Origin Issues such as growing up in a less-than-nurturing family such as abandonment issues, codependency, PTSD, dysfunctional relationships, low self-esteem, chronic depression, etc, try this course on Thawing the Inner-Family of Self.
Practice gratitude. A simple ‘thank you’ does wonders. Focus on what you have and the things that you’re grateful for, because you have plenty. You will feel much better focusing on the good things in your life rather than misperceived flaws and misfortunes. Move on.
If you need more guidance, learn to love yourself with Loving Awakenings.
You are what you say and think you are…so be the best and most confident person you can be to live an enriched, fulfilling life! Your low self-esteem was brought on by years of neglect, abuse, or criticism from both internal and external factors, so give yourself time – even with consistent practice with these activities, it will take awhile. Be patient and focus… you will gradually unbind those chains to appreciate yourself as much as everyone else does.