The dictionary tells us that “self-esteem” refers to having confidence in and respect for ourselves. It’s about how much we value who we are and what we can do (which are actually two different things). If we have healthy self-esteem, we’re more likely to be happy and to strive to achieve our goals, and when times are tough, we are better equipped to keep going and make the best of a difficult situation.
Sound like something you’d like to have? Here’s how:
Do what you love
When we enjoy and are good at what we do, we feel confident and good about ourselves. Consider what you love to do and whether you can make that into a career. At the very least, make time to spend on hobbies you love, starting with something that’s easy and then challenging yourself to build your skill (which also builds your confidence further when you get it right).
Spend time with people who love and appreciate you
It’s very difficult to feel good about yourself when you’re surrounded by people who constantly criticise and bring you down. Rather start building a circle of positive friends who appreciate your good qualities and support your efforts to improve yourself and your life.
Speak nicely to yourself
You know that little voice in your head that tells you you’re not good enough or you’ll never have a successful career/relationship, etc? Well, it’s time to silence that voice. Whenever you notice a negative thought, imagine it’s written on a whiteboard. Then simply wipe it away and replace it with a positive one. Remind yourself regularly of your good qualities and the things you do well.
Ask for help
If you’re struggling to make these changes on your own, it’s perfectly ok to ask for help. Recruit supportive family and friends to regularly remind you how amazing you are and to point out when you’re speaking or thinking negatively, so you can change it to something more positive. You may even want to find a good counsellor or therapist to support you through the process.
Boosting your self-esteem takes time – and perseverance – but you will find that it is well worth the effort. Stop comparing yourself to others and remember that you are unique. True self-esteem isn’t based on what others think of you, but on what you think of yourself, and that’s something you always have the power to change.