Self-esteem is not a thing that’s either high or low that we carry around with us. Nor is it a thing we wear to protect ourselves from pain. Self-esteem is not a thing at all: it’s an action. It’s something we do. We esteem ourselves. What high self-esteem means is that you treat yourself as someone you hold in high esteem; i.e., you act as if you like yourself.
Self esteem is the sum of your thoughts and feelings about who you are. Treating yourself well and having respect for yourself is important to well-being. Here’s what you can do to build self esteem :
- Self Talk – Would you lovingly encourage another the way you speak to yourself in your head? If not, consider changing your style to more supportive self talk.
- Reflect & Celebrate – Make it a daily habit to replay happy times, celebrate big and small achievements and reflect on all that is going well in your life.
- Set Goals & Follow Through – Don’t hold back on your goals if they matter to you. Self esteem skyrockets when you complete what you say you’re going to do and give yourself your best.
- Be Prepared – Develop a process for dealing with unhelpful feelings and thoughts. Know what helps you. e.g. writing it out, exercise, talking it out, speaking back to the inner critic, changing the “station”.
- Be Mindful – Become aware of your habitual thoughts and feelings about yourself. They are not facts. You can question and replace perfectionism and other limiting beliefs.
- Find Your Flow – Flow is a place to re-energise and re-inspire yourself, to immerse yourself in pleasure and ease doing something that challenges and engages you, giving you pleasure. Know what takes you there and dive into flow regularly. To find it follow your life’s joys; the things you love to do; explore your talents.
- Focus on Experiences – Prioritise experiences, learning, ideas and intelligence over appearances. They offer deeper and more lasting pleasure.
- Keep Good Company – There’s a saying : Before your diagnose yourself as having depression or low-self esteem, check you’re not just surrounded by assholes. Although it’s a joke, there’s actually something quite psychologically sound in that. Choose to be around people who aren’t afraid to give compliments, be kind, be generous, love and be loved.
- Act With Consistency – Want to start exercising/meditating/eating better? Decide. Do it. Don’t just think about it. Just Do It. Keep choosing to do it. Consistency is a massive part of success.
- Go All In – Succeed or fail, it grows self esteem and self respect to use your abilities and courage rather than hold back or hide from challenges.
- Learn To Be Alone – Relationships are important but so is alone time. Learn to use and value alone time. Find your flow and follow the joy of your interests and passions.
- Help Somebody – A great thing to do if you’re feeling low or down on yourself is to help somebody else. Don’t overthink you. Get out and give it yourself.
Whether it’s exercise, time to read, new friends, a medical checkup or a silent decision to stop criticizing yourself for how you feel, you will raise your self-esteem as soon as you take action to do something for yourself. If you can take only one step, make it a step to get help. You deserve it.