5 Tips for Boosting Self-Esteem
What’s your current relationship status with yourself? If the answer is "It’s Complicated," you may benefit from working on your self-esteem.
It’s not your fault if you have low self-esteem. There are many external factors  that can contribute to the development of this problem. Your childhood, your personal and professional life all have an impact on the way you feel about yourself.
But that doesn’t mean that you have to accept your low self-esteem as an immutable fact.
Your first task is to admit that this is something you need to work on. Intentional self-improvement is one of the most important things you can do, and your self-image is the perfect place to start.
So how do you approach working on your self-esteem?
- Focus on the Positives and Be Methodical About It
Do you find it difficult to say something positive about yourself? Or do you think that you’re good at one thing but hopeless at everything else?
Acknowledging the positives is a crucial step toward improving your self-esteem. So take a good long look at yourself and write down the results.
Why is it better to write down your positive traits and accomplishments? Sometimes, it can be very difficult to break out of a negative mindset. Your memories can get skewed by your feelings of disappointment and hopelessness.
A list will offer objective counterarguments to your negative feelings. You can keep adding to it regularly. Soon, you will develop the habit of thinking about new positives you can add to your list.
But don’t just stop at writing down general traits or achievements. Getting very specific is the key to making a list that will help. When you do something difficult for you or make any positive change in the world, write it down as soon as possible.
- Be Careful About Generalizations
Low self-esteem can distort your view of reality. For example, you may receive a single negative piece of feedback and suddenly feel like everything you’ve ever done is worthless. One negative encounter can make you feel like all your social interactions are doomed to fail.
[See: How To Fight Shyness]
If this kind of thinking sounds familiar, it’s time to give yourself a reality check. Once again, writing your thoughts down is a good approach. Some of your negative generalizations will seem ridiculous when you put them on paper.
You can enlist your friends to help you stick to the facts. Sometimes, an outside point of view can help you get a clearer view of your situation.
It’s also a good idea to stay away from statements like “I’m an unreliable person” or “I’m very bad at people” even in the context of joking around. Thinking about yourself in those terms can damage both your self-esteem and your image among friends and colleagues.
- Fake It ‘til You Make It?
This approach has upsides and downsides, so be careful with it.
Pretending your problems don’t exist isn’t good for your mental health. It can lead to the development of dormant low self-esteem . In other words, your self-image cannot improve if you keep pretending that everything’s fine when it really isn’t.
On the other hand, adding a few confidence tricks to your arsenal can do wonders for your social and professional success. You can practice your body language at home in order to avoid appearing shy and uncertain. There are a few ways you can learn to speak more confidently even if you feel self-conscious about it at first.
Will achieving success help your self-esteem? That depends on various other circumstances. But in many cases, it can help you break out of the cycle of failing only because you expect yourself to fail.
- Take Note of the People Around You
Your social life can have a huge impact on the way you feel about yourself. So take a moment to think about the people whose opinions matter to you.
Are your friends and family members supportive of your desire to work on yourself? Do they help affirm your positive qualities? When you succeed at something, do the people closest to you celebrate your victory?
Nurturing positive relationships is one of the most important parts of developing a good sense of self. It’s much easier to like yourself when you’re surrounded by people you respect who respect you in return.
However, pessimistic and jealous people can do a lot of damage to your self-esteem. Having someone confirm your negative generalizations will set your progress back considerably. Sometimes, the best you can do is quietly cut these influences out of your life.
Furthermore, it can be helpful to keep in mind that it’s impossible to please everyone at the same time. In many cases, people judge you for petty reasons you have no control over. Some societal disapproval may even affirm you’re doing things right and following your own path.
- Allow Yourself to Fail Sometimes
This can be the hardest part of building up your confidence. The fear of messing up may be holding you back from trying new things and meeting new people. If you fail at something that’s important to you, it may feel impossible to gather the motivation to try again.
But once again, you have to train yourself to think realistically about what’s going on. What are the negative outcomes you will have to deal with if you fail? Do they really outweigh the potential positives?
Like everything else, learning to fail takes time and practice. After you stumble a few times, you will start feeling less scared of stumbling again. Working past these obstacles will help you build up your self-confidence for sure.
A Final Word
Becoming self-confident isn’t an immediate and complete transformation. After all, you are neither a frog nor a prince. You’re just a person who needs some time to figure things out.
There may still be days when you wake up feeling dissatisfied with yourself. But it’s worth starting your transformation right now. So be patient, keep to your plan and never lose sight of the big picture.
You know exactly what your goal is: to learn your true worth and to put aside all the distorted ideas you’ve developed about yourself over the years. After you have improved your self-image, your life is sure to change for the better.
See more: 5 Confidence Hacks
We also created the world's first sugar-free nootropic caffeine gum that utilizes the effects of caffeine and L-theanine, made to help you optimize your mind — anywhere, anytime. Find out more here.