10 simple tips to raise your self-esteem.
Self-esteem was a buzzword when I was growing up. Though I don’t remember it being taught in my school, I do recall seeing the phrase a lot in teen magazines, dramas, and sitcoms during the 1980’s and 1990’s. Over the years, I learned that self-esteem can go up or down, depending on what affected it. Although it’s not an accurate predictor of how your life will turn out, low self-esteem can affect how you think, your mood, and your behavior. Thankfully, you can learn how to raise your self-esteem with just a few, simple tips.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SELF-ESTEEM?
First, let’s talk about what self-esteem is. Self-esteem is how positively you perceive your qualities and traits. This includes your physical appearance, abilities, achievements, values, beliefs, and how you think others view you. Basically, the higher your self-esteem is, the more highly you think and feel about yourself. Low self-esteem, on the other hand, is associated with low feelings of self-worth and depression.
There are many external and internal factors that contribute to self-esteem. This includes acceptance of yourself, feeling accepted within a group, genetic inheritance, emotions, self-approval, socioeconomic status, and many other virtues and traits.
According to Nathaniel Branden, self-esteem is more than just confidence in yourself. It motivates and inspires you. You are more likely to trust in yourself and persevere during challenging times. It allows us not only to feel better, but to live better. A healthy self-esteem is directly related with happiness in all facets of our life.
Although we want to feel good all the time, most people experience episodes of high, low, and even inflated self-esteem. This is fine. However, if you're experiencing low self-esteem for too long, you may become stuck and sink down even further. A healthy self-esteem will help you build resilience and confidence, especially during those times when you are feeling low.
WHY IS SELF-ESTEEM IMPORTANT?
Studies have revealed that self-esteem determines how likely a person will initiate action, take on challenges, and persevere during tasks. It is strongly correlated with confidence, one’s own ability to accomplish things, taking action, and being accepted by others.
A person with good self-esteem is more likely to trust in her abilities and step out of her comfort zone. She is also more satisfied with her accomplishments and less likely to be overly critical of herself and others.
On the other hand, a person having low self-esteem is not just suffering an episode of low self-worth. She is more likely to be unhappy with her life, feel less accepted by a group, experience constant rejection, and is more likely to seek validation outside of herself.
WHAT CAUSES LOW SELF-ESTEEM?
Our perceptions and beliefs can affect our self-esteem. I remember when someone would ever pay me a compliment, instead of taking it graciously, I would deflect it and criticize myself in silence. I didn’t believe I was worthy of praise. It was a belief that was self-conditioned into my psyche through my negative experiences and wrong perceptions.
We can form limiting beliefs from early childhood. For example, Jack believed that he had low self-worth because his father always criticized and belittled him. In order to please his father, he had to be perfect in every way. As long as he continued to believe this, all the accolades in the world could not compensate for his lack of self-esteem.
Self-esteem can also originate from a traumatic experience. For instance, when Shelly was 7, her parents divorced and she had to divide her time between her mom and dad. This huge disruption in Shelly’s life was traumatic and she grew up believing that she could never fully trust, or become close to, anyone. As a result, she developed low self-esteem and anxiety.
These are just a couple of examples of the multitude of factors that can affect self-esteem. The good news is, you can start to raise your self-esteem with some simple but effective tips. Seek the help of a trained professional if you are feeling too low and stressed.
HOW TO RAISE YOUR SELF-ESTEEM
Your self-esteem is not permanent. It can teeter from high to low from one moment to the next. You don't want it to dip into the low side for too long, however. Here are 10 simple ways to raise your self-esteem every day.
1. Drop your limiting beliefs.
A limiting belief is something that you think is true but can actually hurt your self-esteem. For example, believing you are not talented enough is a limiting belief. In order to let go of a limiting belief, you first have to identify what it is that’s holding you back. When you’ve done this, then you can let go of it and replace the old belief with a new and empowering belief. This will feel a little strange at first, but with practice, you will be able to release your limiting belief.
2. Say some powerful affirmations.
Positive affirmations can help to rewire your brain to raise your self-esteem. Self-affirmations can help to increase overall well-being and feelings of self-worth. When you say an affirmation, do it in the present tense. For example, say to yourself, “I am powerful.” Create some affirmations for anything you need to work on. You can jot them down on a piece of paper and then say them to yourself every day.
3. Practice self-care.
Caring for yourself a little each day can make a huge difference. It doesn’t have to take too long or cost anything either. It can be as simple as sitting in a quiet place for 10 minutes to rest and calm your mind or enjoying a good cup of coffee without interruption. Taking care of yourself every day will make you feel uplifted. After a while, you will nourish you mind, body, and spirit, along with your self-esteem.
4. Love yourself and practice self-compassion.
I know that this is easier said than done, especially if you put yourself down constantly and compare yourself to others. You are more likely to accept yourself and raise your self-esteem when you love yourself and practice self-compassion. A simple way to start is to stop being critical or judgemental of yourself. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.
5. Practice gratitude.
Studies have shown that practicing gratitude each day can help improve your self-esteem. When you are grateful, you appreciate what you have and recognize what is most important to you. So practice saying or writing one thing you are grateful for each day. You’ll notice that even the smallest things will give you great joy and happiness.
6. Embark on a journey of self-discovery and discover your purpose in life.
Don’t be afraid to ask yourself who you are, what you want out of life, why you want it, how it will transform your life, and how you plan to move forward. This may take some time, but it is a worthwhile pursuit. People who know themselves and their purpose in life are more likely to be happy. Feeling uplifted will also help to raise your self-esteem.
7. Celebrate your wins, no matter how small they are.
Be your own cheerleader. As cheesy as that sounds, it is important to lift yourself up each day because there are so many things that can bring your self-esteem down. You don't have to limit yourself to celebrating big accomplishments. You can praise yourself when you get up out of bed even if you didn't feel like it, when you finish washing your dishes, brushing your child’s teeth this morning, or walking around your block.
8. Do a random act of kindness.
Focusing on something other than yourself can bring you tremendous joy, especially when it involves being kind to someone else. It doesn’t have to be something grand or huge either. Simply smiling at a stranger, saying hello, writing a positive note, or posting an inspirational quote on social media, can make you feel happeir. When you're feeling uplifted, your self-esteem can float higher, too.
9. Do one joyful thing each day and surround yourself with joyful people.
Adding a little bit of joy into your daily life, even if it is fleeting, can help raise your self-esteem. One of the favorite ways to spark joy in my life is surrounding myself with nature. You don’t need to drive out to the woods or buy something special to feel joyful. It can be anything that makes you feel good inside, like a doodle of a beautiful flower, your son’s handprint from his school art project, or even a hug. It’s also important to surround yourself with joyful people. These are people that you love to hang around with, lift you up, make you laugh, and bring out the best in you.
10. Start a new hobby or learn something new.
Give yourself a goal and create small habits each day to reach it. The ability to initiate tasks is strongly correlated with high self-esteem. When you start something new, remember to go forward in baby steps. If you try to push yourself too quickly, you may find that it has the opposite effect. Then you become discouraged. Breaking up a large task into lots of smaller ones is a better and more realistic approach.
Remember that we vacillate between high and low self-esteem all the time. You don't want to feel stuck in a state of low self-worth for too long, however. If you are constantly feeling down, seek the help of a professional. Having high self-esteem might seem like it's out of your reach, but you can help build it up with just a few simple tips every day. Over time, you will not only raise your self-esteem, you will build confidence, take more initiative, and become more resilient.
How do you raise your self-esteem each day? Please let me know the comments.