7 Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem
Self-esteem refers to how you view your worth. Whether you are aware or unaware of it, your evaluation or perception of yourself in terms of your capabilities, potentials, and emotional and physical features affects your lifestyle, academic or work performance, relationships, and other life concerns.
Because of this, self-esteem plays a crucial role in helping you develop and maintain relationships, find success in school or work, and stay mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy.
Since a healthy dose of self-esteem can do wonders for various aspects of your life, you need to know when and how to give it a boost, especially at times when you know it has taken a hit.
Leading providers of professional clinical supervision services share some helpful tips below on how to improve your feelings of self-worth:
1. Practice positive affirmation
Everyone hears discouraging and unkind words from time to time. The popularity of social media has also made it easier for people to post whatever they want to say about others, even if these remarks are hurtful and harsh.
If your self-confidence has taken a dip because you heard or read something upsetting, avoid letting these words take root in your mind. Instead of remembering them, forget about them. You will have an easier time doing this by coming up with and repeating positive affirmations.
Create a list of things you like about yourself, what you are good at doing, and your accomplishments. The simple act of writing down and reading about your positive attributes will boost your mood immediately.
Additionally, the more positive qualities you write down and remember, the more you will boost your trust and confidence in yourself. You will then feel empowered and more self-assured, ready to take on the activities and challenges at hand.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others
There is nothing wrong with following the status of your friends, colleagues, and the people you know on social media. However, if you start envying and comparing yourself to them, you may need to take a break from these sites.
Comparing your skills and accomplishments to others won’t do anything good for you. You will always feel that they are still a step above you and that you will have your work cut out for you when you try to catch up with them.
Because of this, you will have something else that will occupy your mind. And this will lead to feelings of discontent and low self-esteem.
Although it can be hard to avoid comparing yourself to others altogether, try to do so. Additionally, don’t act on this to minimize feelings of competitiveness that will also ultimately affect your sense of self-worth.
3. Do something nice to others
When you are feeling really low, you will be focused on your weaknesses, both real and imagined. If you continue concentrating on these limitations, you will never get out of your funk.
You can avoid focusing on the causes of your low self-esteem and feel better when you turn your attention toward another person.
Help a co-worker who seems to be swamped with work and has to submit a report before the day ends. If a friend looks burnt out due to juggling housework and taking care of toddlers, offer to babysit the kids so that she can go out for a few hours of pampering. You can also volunteer at a soup kitchen or animal shelter.
By doing something good for someone else or the environment, your focus shifts. You will stop fixating on your negative thoughts, and you will start thinking more positive things about yourself.
4. Get more exercise
Various studies show that regularly working out and engaging in physical activities can increase self-esteem. They can improve mental health as well.
Exercising empowers your mental, emotional, and physical faculties. While working out, you focus only on the task at hand and forget your worries. As a result, you will have a clearer mind, and you will be better prepared for any ensuing tasks.
Additionally, whenever you complete your workout, you will feel a certain sense of accomplishment. And this will immediately give your confidence a boost.
When you maintain a healthy weight and stay in good shape, you will improve your perception of yourself as well. This will go a long way in helping you be more confident and avoid feelings of discontent.
5. Look your best
Your physical appearance usually reflects how you feel inside. For instance, if you’re feeling down, you will feel lazy or lack the motivation to put on makeup and choose a great outfit.
Consequently, your outward appearance can affect your emotions and thoughts as well. As such, if you feel your self-esteem is low, pamper yourself and experience its positive effects.
Go to a salon and get a haircut. If you want to do something simpler, take more time to put on your makeup and style your hair. Another option would be to wear that new dress or pair of shoes that you’ve been saving for a special occasion to help you feel better about yourself.
Don’t think of these activities as being vain or superficial; consider them as ways of practicing self-care. Keep in mind that looking great will boost your confidence and improve your mood, so don’t hesitate to try doing them.
6. Try a change of scenery
Going to a place you have never been to will help you break out of a low self-esteem cycle.
Trying a new restaurant, taking a walk to a park you have never been to, or going on a holiday to a city you have never visited are great examples of doing something you like to give your self-esteem a boost.
Going somewhere you’ve never been to can quickly rejuvenate your mind and disrupt any negative thought patterns you may have.
Additionally, a change of scenery can give you a fresh perspective and the motivation you need to start making positive changes.
7. Do something out of the ordinary
Lastly, aside from experiencing a change of scenery, lift your self-confidence by doing something you have always wanted but never got the chance to do.
This can be something as simple as pursuing a hobby such as gardening or photography or engaging in something more exciting such as an extreme sport. You can also take up a short course that will help you grow personally and professionally.
By trying something new, you will get out of your low self-esteem cycle as well. You will have something else to focus on instead of your negative thoughts.
Moreover, you will achieve a sense of accomplishment when set out to do the things you want to do. This will increase your self-esteem more than anything else.
Although these tips may seem easy enough to follow, certain challenges can still come up that may prevent you from seeing them through.
However, every little step counts when you want to boost your self-esteem, so if you can only start with something simple, do so. You will still feel an increase in your self-worth by taking these small strides.
Dr. Gemma Gladstone is an endorsed clinical psychologist and certified schema therapist, supervisor and trainer. Along with Justine Corry, she is co-director of the Good Mood Clinic in Sydney and has 24 years of experience within mental health.