Positive Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem
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When you look at a glass of water, do you refer to it as “half-full” or “half-empty”? Believe it or not, the way you see that glass of water may be indicative of your level of self-esteem. According to the soap brand, Dove (2015), only 4% of women, worldwide, believe that they are beautiful. Moreover, approximately 95% of children and adults, worldwide, experience a low self-esteem at some point in their lives (The Attitude Specialist, 2015). Self-esteem is imperative for happiness. In other words, if you have a low self-esteem, you most likely are dissatisfied with some aspect of your life. Maybe you were abused during childhood, or maybe you experienced an unhealthy relationship with someone of the opposite sex, regardless of the actual cause, the experience affected you, and will probably continue to affect you until you seek help from a mental health professional (i.e. psychologist, counselor, therapist, clinical social worker, or psychiatrist).
The good news is that you can change your self-esteem from low to high with the helpful suggestions listed below. Truth-be-told, the best way to boost your self-esteem is to maintain a positive attitude and develop self-love. It is imperative that you utilize positive self-talk. What is positive self-talk? Well, according to Dictionary.com (2015), self-talk is the mental act of talking to yourself (aloud or silently). Specifically, positive self-talk is the practice of changing what you tell yourself, so that it is more positive in nature. Most of all, it is important that you love yourself as is, and refrain from “bashing” yourself when you make a mistake. If you are wondering how to boost your self-esteem, you have come to the right place. This article will help improve your self-esteem, so that you can obtain the happiness and satisfaction you deserve.
How To Boost Your Self-Esteem
Change Your Attitude
How can I boost my self-esteem? Well, the first thing you will need to do is change your attitude. Change my attitude?! Yes, in order to feel better about yourself, you will probably need to adopt a healthier, more positive attitude – towards yourself and others. In other words, accept yourself as is, and refrain from trying to be someone or something you are not. People with high levels of self-esteem typically love themselves. In other words, they accept their “quirks,” flaws, and imperfections. They find beauty in the unique traits that make them who they are. So, the next time you feel your self-esteem slipping, look in the mirror, smile, and tell yourself, “I love you just the way you are.” Repeat this phrase every day – several times a day, if need be, until you feel that love.
Moreover, smile. Yes, smile more often. Smile even when it hurts. People love to be around other people, who are positive. You may not believe this, but a simple smile can change your mood, as well as someone else’s. When someone smiles at you, it warms your heart, improves your mood, and boosts your self-esteem – all in the matter of seconds. Lastly, instead of complaining about what is wrong in your life, or what you do not like about yourself and/or others, concentrate on the positive. For instance, if your first thought is to criticize yourself because you have gained a few pounds, stop yourself, and focus on your positive attributes (i.e. physical features (appearance), body shape, intelligence, hobbies or sports you excel at, things you do well, etc.). What makes you special and unique? What activities make you happy? What do friends and family always point out as one of your “best” traits? Concentrate on the answers to these questions, and your self-esteem will blossom.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
What is another way I can boost my self-esteem? Well, you can surround yourself with positive people. Supportive and loving friends and family have the uncanny way of making you feel smart, pretty, talented, etc. Basically, they are really good at making you feel good about yourself. Friends and relatives are essential not only because they love you, but also because they can help you resolve the issues that are bringing down your self-esteem. These individuals only have your “best” interest at heart, which is why they typically offer the “best” advice – even though you may not want to hear it. It is, however, important to choose your confidants carefully. Everyone is not your friend, and every relative cannot be trusted, so be careful when sharing your thoughts and feelings with other people. Some people may appear positive at first, but gradually morph into negativity. In other words, these individual may lower your self-esteem, instead of raising it.
Become More Self-Aware
Are you self-aware? If not, it may be time for you to “get in touch” with your inner self. In other words, one of the most effective ways to boost your self-esteem is to get to know yourself better. What are your beliefs, opinions, values, needs, wants, pet peeves, habits (good and bad), and preferences? Who do you want to be as a person? What areas of your personality are strong and which ones are weak? What is your level of satisfaction? The more self-aware you are, the higher your self-esteem will rise.
Pay It Forward
You can boost your self-esteem by paying it forward. What is paying it forward? Well, it is simply being kind to others. It also includes doing nice things for others (without the expectation of repayment or future favors (i.e. paying for someone’s meal, helping a person in distress, complimenting a person’s attire, appearance, and/or accomplishments)). How will paying it forward help boost my self-esteem? Well, it will make you feel good about yourself. One of the “best” feelings in the world is to know that you helped someone in need and/or made someone’s day a little brighter. When you pay it forward, you are not only helping others, you are building your self-confidence and self-esteem.
Stop Trying to be “Perfect”
Yes, one of the quickest ways to boost your self-esteem is to stop trying to be “perfect.” Why? Well, because you are not “perfect.” You are human, and humans make mistakes. Truthfully, you will never be “perfect,” in fact; your only option is to be the “best” you that you can be. Don’t berate yourself because you failed an activity or test, or did not make the top grades or obtain the “perfect” job and/or spouse. As long as you commit yourself to being the “best” person you can be, you will maintain a healthy self-esteem. It is also important that you refrain from comparing yourself to others. Why? Well, because even though the grass looks “greener” on the other side, most of the time it is not. In other words, someone’s life may appear “perfect,” but you don’t know what happens behind closed doors. The person you idolize may actually be unhappy. He or she may even desire your life! Perfectionism is an illusion in most cases, and once you accept this fact, your self-esteem will skyrocket!
Focus on Your Positive Attributes
Lastly, focus on your positive attributes, rather than you imperfections, mistakes and/or flaws. As mentioned before, no one is “perfect” and everyone makes mistakes. That is normal. However, you have a lot of positive attributes, you just have to recognize and accept them. For instance, you may not be the skinniest person, but you are a terrific friend, who is supportive, loving, and dependable. Or, you may not have a Ph.D., but you do have a heavy dose of common sense and “street smarts” that can get you out of any dicey situation. To break it down – you are a worthy person with unique and special qualities that make you beautiful. You deserve love, respect, and support.
If someone tells you that you are unworthy, useless and/or helpless - do not listen to him or her because he or she is lying. Embrace your “quirks” and use them to your advantage. Turn every negative into a positive, and do not, under any circumstances, devalue your worth. Your life matters – you matter. So, the next time you question your self-esteem, remind yourself that you are not alone; there are people who care, even if you haven’t met them yet. Sometimes all it takes to boost self-esteem is to know that someone out there (i.e. friends, family, a “higher power, mental health professionals, advocates, strangers, church members, etc.) truly cares about you. Stop bashing yourself, and give yourself the hug and encouragement you so desperately need. Most of all forgive yourself when you “mess up” because those mistakes do not define you as a person.
If you are suffering from low self-esteem, join a community support group or develop your own support group (consisting of the people you love and trust). Turn to those individuals when you start to question your self-worth. Ask them for help when you cannot find solutions to your problems. Also, ask your confidants, if they have experienced low self-esteem. If so, ask them how they boosted their self-esteem and self-confidence. In other words, share your thoughts and feelings with people who support you. Moreover, if you find yourself slipping into depression, take a leisurely walk around the neighborhood, read a humorous book, watch your favorite television show, exercise, indulge in your favorite sweet treat, call a friend or family member, start a new hobby, or simply relax in a bubble bath, sauna, or pool. But don’t forget to reach out to your support group when you need them. Ignoring your issues and feelings will not boost your self-esteem, the key is staying positive and remembering that things will get better – you are competent and capable.
- Dr. R. Y. Langham
Dove. (2015). Surprising self-esteem statistics. Retrieved from http://www.dove.us/Social-Mission/Self-Esteem-Statistics.aspx
Gross, S. J. (2015). How to raise your self-esteem. Psych Central. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/how-to-raise-your-self-esteem/000737
Psychology Today. (2015). Self-esteem. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/self-esteem
The Attitude Specialist. (2015). Self-esteem statistics. Retrieved from http://attitudespecialist.co.nz/articles/make-difference.html