Self-esteem has nothing to do with how popular you are or a number of materialistic items you own. In America especially, we confuse our self-worth with things such as having a nice car. If we don't obtain these materialistic items then our self-esteem diminishes. Self Esteem, according to the dictionary is a "realistic respect for or favorable impression of yourself". In other words, self-esteem is how you view and appreciate yourself for who you are. This means that you have to acknowledge your strengths, weaknesses, flaws, and positive attributes in order to get to this point. People with high self-esteem feel good about themselves while acknowledging the fact that they are not perfect. Luckily, there are many ways that you can improve your self-esteem.
1. Figure Out The Problem
Find out exactly what you are insecure about because you can't overcome an issue if you don't identify the problem. Once you figure out the issue decide whether or not it can be fixed, if the answer is yes, then fix it! For example, if you are not at a healthy weight, start exercising and eating healthy in order to obtain your ideal weight goal. If your issue is something that is unfixable such as aging, then you need to accept the fact that this is one thing that you cannot control and MOVE ON.
2. Have Realistic Expectations and Goals
Nothing can crush your self-esteem more than having unrealistic expectations. So instead of setting goals such as, getting a Masters degree in 1 month, create goals that are more attainable. Make the goal something that means a great deal to you and will give you a sense of achievement by accomplishing it. A good goal to set would be losing 10 pounds in 5 months. Make sure that you keep a record of your victories so you can refer back to them whenever you need a confidence boost.
3. Get Rid of The Idea of Perfection
Perfection is not possible because it is IMPOSSIBLE to have perfect hair, the perfect body, the perfect house, the perfect boyfriend, the perfect life, or the perfect ANYTHING. So remove those thoughts from your mind... point blank period! If you always strive to be perfect you will usually let yourself down and decrease your self-esteem and confidence levels.
4. Understand Yourself
Along with knowing your strengths and weaknesses you need to explore new relationships, ideas, opportunities, and ways of life. By exposing yourself to all life has to offer, you can learn a lot of things about yourself. Low self-esteem can come from feeling worthless and feeling like you have nothing to contribute to the world. In reality, you just might not have discovered all of your strengths/your calling yet. So don't live life being afraid to try new things. Learn to take risks as long as it doesn't negatively affect your well-being.
5. Jam to Music
Music can be a person's cure to any tragedy, hard time, or heartbreak. When your favorite song comes on the radio it can instantly bring a smile to your face. Similarly, you can use music to put yourself in a good mood. Make a playlist of upbeat, inspirational, fun music to listen to when you feel down in order to instantly lift your mood. For example, a song that surprisingly puts a smile on my face every time I listen to it is "Kiss You" by One Direction. While I'm listening to the song I feel like I am in another world.
6. Stop Comparing
"Kathy makes more money through her job than I do", "Why can't Jared be my boyfriend instead of Becca's ?", "Why can't I have Lisa's hair texture?". You will feel so much better about yourself if the only person you are competing against is yourself. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition such as running in a track meet, but if you are constantly trying to be better then Jenny at EVERYTHING... you need to STOP!
If you are continuously worried about what everyone else is doing you will never be happy because there will always be someone who is technically better at something than you are. However, just because someone is stronger in a certain area where you don't feel as strong doesn't mean you are inferior to them in any way. Your self-esteem will be crushed with these kinds of unfair comparisons. In reality, the things that you envy about other people may not be as good as they appear. For example, Jared may pretend to be nice in public but behind closed doors, he is an abusive boyfriend to Becca.
7. Stop and Think
You need to be conscious of your thoughts. Don't allow negativity to slip into your mind. Negative thoughts destroy your self-esteem because your thoughts become words and your words turn into your actions. Instead of feeding into these negative ways try writing down some positive quotes, or things you like about yourself on a piece of paper and tape it on your bathroom mirror. Every morning read what you wrote to yourself 4 times in a row and repeat this process every day. If you keep saying this to yourself you will eventually start to believe it and your confidence will improve. Interrupt a negative thought with positive words: For example, if you are thinking"I am so ugly" then cast those thoughts out of your mind by saying, "I am beautiful" aloud.
Below is 1 of my favorite inspirational commercials.
8. Move Your Feet
You don't have to retire from your job and become a professional body builder but a little exercise won't hurt. Exercising will make you feel better about yourself and improve your mental and physical health. You will feel accomplished every time you complete a workout routine and you will be happy you did it. Exercise is also the perfect stress reliever and can improve a gloomy mood. Take a jog around the neighborhood, ride a bike, complete a workout DVD, take a dance class, play dodge ball with your kids, or go to the gym. Your workout options are endless!
9. Find a Hobby
If you find activities to do that you enjoy it will improve the way you think about yourself. It doesn't even have to be something you are "good" at, it can merely be things you "enjoy". For instance, if you enjoy cooking, sign yourself up for culinary school. If you enjoy singing, take singing lessons. If you enjoy running, join a track team. If you like to do community service join an organization that does so.
10. Update Your Wardrobe
Although self-esteem is something that comes from inside, there is nothing wrong with feeling good about the way you look on the outside. Without putting yourself in debt, treat yourself to a new outfit or a makeover so you can go out and feel good about your appearance. This technique is a wonderful, fun way to boost your confidence. Once you feel good about yourself you will attract others attention and they will feel a positive energy that you give off. Once this occurs they will reciprocate the same positive energy back to you thus, putting you in a good mood and making you feel better about yourself.
11. Compliment Others
By taking the time to make others smile and feel good about themselves, you will automatically feel good too. Take the time to mention how nice Dion's new hair cut is or how proud you are that Marcus made it to his dream college. By sending off positive energy to others they will respond with the same positive vibes which will put you in a good mood.
12. Smile Please
When you are having conversations and making eye contact with someone, smile. When you are by yourself think of something positive and smile. This will improve your confidence because others will compliment you on your pretty smile, how positive your mood is, and how confident you look. You will send off positive and energetic vibes that others won't be able to ignore. In the end, all the positive energy that you receive back from admirers will make you feel good about yourself.
Now the days when you are in a terrible mood and feel like nothing is going right, force a smile on your face because it is the simplest way to improve your mood. Try smiling or even fake laughing for 10 seconds straight. When I use this technique my mood improves drastically because I think of how silly I feel laughing about ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
13. Seek God's Guidance
This is one of my favorite techniques to use because it has been one of my biggest self-esteem boosters throughout my life. Although not everyone is Christian, I feel like having a faith in some type of higher power is healthy for everyone because it prevents them from having feelings of worthlessness and emptiness inside. Having faith in a higher power improves your confidence because you will depend on less approval from people and realize the only opinions that matter are yours and God's.
At times when you feel worthless, you need to remind yourself that God thinks you are amazing and he made you in his image. Remind yourself that God doesn't make mistakes, he loves you and created you for a reason. Look up inspirational bible verses to read throughout the day. For example, 1 Samuel 16:7, Ephesians 2:10, Ephesians 1:4, Colossians 3:2, and Hebrews 4:16. These kinds of scriptures remind you that there is always someone out there that loves you and thinks you are great. At times when you are fed up with the world and people, your faith, and the bible are amazing places to turn to in order to heal and gain back your confidence. However, instead of ONLY turning to your faith when you need a confidence boost, try praying, and using the bible on a daily basis in order to keep your self-esteem at a constant high.
This process won't be easy, but it is attainable. It takes loads of time