5 Ways to Improve Your Self-Esteem

Self-esteem plays a key factor in our day-to-day life. It is the driving force behind what we believe we can do and achieve with our lives.

We all have our good and bad days, but hopefully in this post you can learn how to overcome those days where you don’t feel as great. 

What is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem is the opinion you have of yourself. It is how you value yourself, how you view yourself and what you believe you are capable of doing.

With a healthy self-esteem, you have a more positive attitude and better outlook on life in general.

Good self-esteem equips you to deal with negative situations better, it gives you more resilience in difficult scenarios.

Those with good self-esteem possess a stronger ability to deal with life’s ups and downs. 

However, low self-esteem means you tend to have a more negative outlook on life and yourself.

You look to avoid the things that challenge you and struggle to face decisions and confrontations.

When you have low self-esteem it can be a self-fulfilling cycle. The more you push yourself to experience tough situations the worse you may end up feeling about yourself. 

What Causes Low Self-Esteem and How Can it Affect You?

Those who have low self-esteem often first experience it at childhood.

We all receive positive and negative messages about ourselves from the people we grow up with such as family, friends, teachers etc.

What people think of us usually plays a key part in the opinions we form of ourselves.

Unfortunately, we have a tendency to hold onto negative messages more than positive ones, which causes us to suffer with low self-esteem as we focus on the things that we shouldn’t.

This could be due to us trying to live up to other people’s expectations or we set ourselves impossibly high standards. 

Factors such as stress, life changing events or serious illnesses can all have a negative impact on our self-esteem too.  

Low self-esteem can have a very negative affect on our lives. When we feel low, we feel the need to isolate ourselves, avoiding social interactions.

We stop trying new things and avoid anything that could pose a potential challenge to us.

This causes us to naively think we are safe by avoiding everything, but this can have long term repercussions by fuelling underlying fears and doubts, teaching us to avoid everything that life throws at us, instead of facing it head on.

This stops us having the ability to grow and learn as individuals, starving us from achieving any sort of success, along with that feeling that comes with a great accomplishment.

Not addressing low self-esteem can further lead to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, leading you to potentially adopt unhelpful coping mechanisms such as smoking and drinking. 

How to Overcome Low Self-Esteem

There are ways we can help ourselves to cope better with the negative outlook we have about ourselves. Here are 5 popular methods that people use to help improve their self-esteem.

Identify and Challenge Your Negative Beliefs with Positive Affirmations

The first step is to identify the negative thoughts you have about yourself.

Many negative thoughts can cross your mind when experiencing low self-esteem, common thoughts include ‘I am not good enough’ or ‘I am not capable of’.

Once you identify these thoughts that cross your mind, you can start to challenge them.

Come up with evidence that proves these claims wrong, so the next time they come to your mind, you can shut them down as you have already proved to yourself that these are false. 

You should also start to use positive affirmations to respond to negative thoughts. Start off with smaller affirmations then build them up as your self-esteem grows.

If you have low self-esteem it may take more time to build up, hence why you should start with smaller affirmations and then build up as your confidence increases.

For example, those with a lower self-esteem saying ‘I am going to be a great success’ can actually make you feel worse as it feels unrealistic and unattainable when you have such little belief in yourself.

Start with smaller things like ‘I will keep going’ and then build up to the bigger more ambitious ones as your self-esteem grows. 

It is a great idea to write down the things you are good at too. We are all good at something and have things we are passionate about.

When we identify that which we are good at, we can help improve our self-esteem. By seeing what we are good at, we show the positives about ourselves.

This could be a beneficial tool to bring out whenever we are feeling low, to boost our morale to remind ourselves what we are good at when we are in a negative state of mind. 

Build Positive Relationships

Relationships are very important for how you view yourself. A famous saying goes: “you are only as good as the company you keep”.

You want to make sure that you spend time with people that make you feel good and vice versa, so that you are boosting each other to become your best selves.

If you feel bad or think you are being dragged down by the company you keep, they are not the right people to spend your time with and won’t help if you have low self-esteem.

Build positive relationships that give you confidence and belief in yourself as this will help you to boost your own self-esteem.

Be Kind to Yourself

You must be kind to yourself and allow yourself time to have breaks. There are many different situations that people could face, which can cause changes in self-esteem.

For example, people may feel comfortable with friends or work colleagues, which results in high self-esteem, but around strangers they are not so comfortable, so they have low self-esteem.

Other people may feel highly confident in work but not so good in general social environments.

You must know you are only human and that we all have bad days, so don’t be too hard on yourself on these days as it is only natural.

Allow yourself time to rest and relax when you are not feeling too great, by giving yourself that extra breathing space to clear your mind, you can return in a much better, energised state. 

A good method to adopt is rewarding yourself more frequently for your accomplishments.

Whenever you find some success, or even just overcome a very tough day, reward yourself with something, big or small, it helps you to acknowledge what you have done and can help to improve your self-esteem. 

Become More Assertive 

People who suffer with low self-esteem are usually not very assertive and don’t stand up for themselves as they should.

They say yes to others just to make them happy, instead of focusing on themselves and what makes them truly happy.

By doing this, you can increase the stress that you feel or the workload you have, which can make things harder to manage overall.

When you are assertive and clear, people will understand you and your views much better, you can start to earn other’s respect which in return will improve your self-esteem.

Improve Your Physical Health

Make sure to focus on your physical health.

Those who experience low self-esteem have a more negative thought process where they neglect their physical wellbeing, making themselves believe that they don’t deserve to look well. 

Regular exercise is proven to have great benefits both physically and mentally. By consistently exercising, you will improve your overall condition, which will help you to feel much more positive about yourself.

When you are in good physical shape, with a good, consistent training regime, it will have a positive impact on your mental health, which can boost your self-esteem. 

Take On Challenges

Those who lack self-confidence tend to avoid any sort of challenges or difficult scenarios.

Challenging situations are important as when we overcome them, we show ourselves that we can do it.

By achieving success after getting through a tough situation, we challenge the negative beliefs or doubts we have within ourselves by accomplishing the goal we set. 

There is no better feeling then overcoming adversity to reach success, it boosts your self-esteem as you see yourself get through a tough situation to reach your desired outcome. 

MILITAR MINDSET free resource download

Hopefully this post has provided you with a better understanding and more clarity on what your self-esteem is, why it is important and how you can boost your self-esteem. 

We all need self-esteem when we are striving towards our goals, self-belief is a key factor when chasing your aspirations, without it, your dreams are not attainable. 

If you have any questions about this post, the MILITAR MINDSET, or general enquires, feel free to contact us.

Stay positive and never stop believing in yourself! 

Post by Militar Team

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