8 Ways to Improve Self-Esteem
One of the biggest issues I see with clients, and where so many other problems arise from, is the issue of low self-esteem.
Are you feeling badly about yourself in any way right now? Take out a piece of paper and pen/pencil and journal for at least 10 minutes. Write whatever comes to mind.
Why do I feel so badly about myself? Do I feel like I was bullied? Is this coming from loneliness? Do I feel like there was abuse or neglect? Is something bigger going on? What from my past may be affecting how I feel now?
I would also recommend 5 minutes of meditation before and/or after your journaling to help bring feelings to the surface.
Now that you have taken some time to think about your own self esteem, here are some tips to improve it.
- Be mindful of how we speak to ourselves. Do you use a lot of negative self-talk? Are the automatic words that come to mind when you speak about yourself or in your mind negative? Try flipping the switch. Instead of saying “I am too stupid to….” try instead “Looks like I need to do some more research on…” Instead of “Wow, that person is so much more attractive than I am.” Try “I am so thankful for my body and its ability to move around.” Work on your own empowering phrases and practice saying them out loud when the negative ones come up. It will become more natural to “hear” the positive ones as you practice.
- Forgive yourself. Whether the mistake is real or imagined it’s important to forgive, learn and move on. We waste a lot of time feelings shameful over completely human mistakes. If we aren’t making mistakes we aren’t pushing ourselves enough! If we live in shame there is a better chance we will keep making the same mistakes over and over.
- Stop comparing! We were all put on this earth for our own purpose. We are not meant to be just like anyone else, that would be boring anyway! Stay focused on you and your growth! Journaling can really help to remind you how far you have come.
- Follow your passion! Do more of what makes you feel good and stay away from the things that make you feel bad. It’s too often that we force ourselves to do things we don’t like out of habit or culture but this takes us away from our purpose.
- Celebrate! Yes, it’s important to celebrate the big raise you got but it’s also just important to celebrate your ability to walk away from a conversation you were not comfortable with, when normally you would have stayed! It’s too often we don’t give ourselves credit for the good we do every day and then it becomes easier to focus on where we are lacking. If you made a real list of all of the good you did in one day, the little mistake wouldn’t take the forefront and would be easier to learn from.
- Surround yourself with people who are supportive. As human beings we are pack animals. Life will bring us ups and downs, it’s important not to have people that bring us more of the downs. My grandfather used to say “Show me your 5 closest friends and I will tell you who you are.” Negative people can bring you down, while positive people can help inspire even when you may not be feeling it on your own. Have a good team!
- Be assertive! Don’t be afraid to say what you mean and mean what you say. No one else is going to be able to do that for you, because they aren’t you. It is also much easier to respect people who are direct and honest. We don’t always have to agree on everything, and that’s OK!
- Stay away from Energy Suckers. You know who I am talking about, those people that when you leave spending time with them you feel more tired than when you met up with them. Instead spend as much time with you can with people who energize you! I love leaving a conversation feeling inspired and energized and do my best to stay away from those that leave me drained. Nobody has time for that!