How to boost self-esteem?
A good question. Self-esteem is an individual’s thoughts and sense of worth. Sometimes it can be difficult to judge ourselves fairly, being either too easy or, more often, too harsh.
The best way to boost self-esteem is positive affirmations, with a life that proves them accurate. In other words, you tell yourself that you are active, and then you go out and do something active out of the house. You tell yourself that you are popular, and then you spend time with friends. But you need both sides, actually living a life full of valuable things and then acknowledging them for a second, before they happen and afterward as well if you like.
I had self-esteem issues as a kid, like many, and I wouldn’t say they’re entirely gone even now. But life would be boring otherwise. 😉
In the end, how you feel day today is going to depend on that balance: do you live your life, versus just staying alive, and are you aware of this fact? The more enthusiastically you can answer both halves of this question with yes, the higher your self-esteem likely is.
Now then, let’s get a bit more specific and offer some tips.
#1 Process negative thoughts:
Negative thoughts are not related to your self-esteem, not exclusively at least. Everybody deals with negativity all the time, it’s just that we all have trained reactions. When most people get a negative thought, they either try to ignore or try to fight it/contradict it with a positive thought. None of these works. All it does is add more emotional weight behind the initial negative thought.
You cannot block off or defeat your own thoughts. You cannot out-logic your neo-cortex or out-emotion your own limbic system. You can only let these things pass, without resistance, and then choose how to respond rationally. If I get angry about something, I let myself be as angry but then focus on it as if it were another person, as soon as possible, so that it’s just gone a second later.
Now, keep in mind, processing does not mean embracing. All you have to do is calmly observe how the thought works in your head. If I’m angry, for instance, I will not yell or punch something. My emotion or thought should not be apparent to anyone who isn’t paying close attention to me. Eventually, after giving this negative thing my full attention, I’ll just get bored and send it away, and this thing that was weighing down on me all day floats out of reach like a balloon.
Exercise and eat well. Go outside during multiple parts of the day, where the sun is in different positions in the sky. Ideally, you would see the sunrise every morning with your own eyes, outside. But you get the idea, healthy as you can be. Nobody needs help in finding health and fitness advice.
#3 Play more than work:
Relax your mind by doing something that gives you enjoyment. We were not meant to work stressful jobs the majority of our waking hours every day. It will take effort, sometimes in little ways like enjoying the moment, but sometimes in re-designing your life to what you always wanted it to be. But to do that, you’ve gotta ask yourself “How do I live an easier, happier life, from where I am right now?”
#4 Set short-term and long-term goals:
Setting goals and tracking progress on a day-to-day basis can help you boost self-esteem. You will experience a sense of accomplishment if you see the little achievements you make every day.
To make things easier, set goals for completion, not results. As in, get 10 new blog posts done in the month, not get 1000 new views to your site next week. You can’t control results, not completely, but you can always control effort.
#5 Be a Good Samaritan:
Helping others, especially those who most need it at the moment, can give you a good feeling. Don’t expect anything in return, reciprocity is not the point. Eventually, you become someone people actively approach for advice or help; which will absolutely boost your self-worth.
#6 Change your perspective:
Sometimes, looking at things from different angles is helpful. In other words, instead of being a pessimist, try to be an optimist. And optimism is often about playing the long game. You are always learning, always have a chance at getting better, even if you mess up. Especially, in fact. Mistakes and setbacks leave powerful clues about how to succeed every time after that.
#7 Try being creative:
Creative activities can be good for confidence-boosting. Cooking, painting, writing, building a car, whatever you want. Make it something you can regularly come back to with more and more progress.
#8 Read inspirational stuff:
Self-explanatory. I like to be learning something new, but related to my main goals, every week.
#9 Value yourself:
You must accept yourself as you are before you can commit to any notable, permanent change. Don’t undervalue yourself. Remember, nobody is perfect. If you’re unhappy about some aspect of yourself, such as your weight, that is no different from the feeling a thin, popular millionaire playboy deals with when their parents don’t love them, or they get sued by someone they thought was their friend.
Everyone’s life has conflict and challenges. You can choose to be different from 99 percent of people and consider yourself above any of your problems or shortcomings. You’re stronger than all of them. If you decide that and believe it, you’ll achieve whatever you want.
#10 Don’t overburden yourself:
Expectations can quickly grow from optimistic to self-abusive. Remember, you don’t have to always meet the expectations of others OR of yourself. Give it your best, but don’t pressure yourself to hit every single goal you set. There is a gentle balance in life between being open to opportunity and respectful of your time. Make sure not to fall too far in either direction. When you start to feel a bit stronger, and your life is becoming sunnier, that’s when you should be careful about working too hard. We don’t want you burning out and crashing back down. The change needs to be comfortable, in order to be permanent.
Low self-esteem is kind of like having a bad back. Even if it won’t kill them, lots of people, unfortunately, have it. Low self-esteem can also lead to other problems, such as trust issues, reclusiveness, and a shallow, unfulfilled social circle.
I appreciate the effort you take to improve your state of mind. If you can change your mind, you can change your life.
Feel free to reply if you have any more specific questions about this stuff.