‘Improve your self-esteem to grow in life’ I heard this many times. Self-esteem is nothing but the feeling, how you feel about yourself, or your opinion about yourself. As I said it is a type of feeling that means it is unstable all the time, continuously shifting on a daily basis.
Somedays you have high self-esteem and you feel better about yourself and you feel like you can achieve anything. Somedays you have low self-esteem and you don’t feel good about yourself due to random negative thoughts.
The point here is that everyone has times when they feel a little low and times when they feel better. This cycle of feeling good and feeling bad is going on continuously on a daily basis. That means you can’t continuously feel better about yourself throughout your life.
But at least you can learn to improve your self-esteem every time when you feel low. Because to achieve holistic growth and success in life you need high self-esteem many times. You need that strong belief in yourself and you need that good feeling about yourself to grow in life.
In this article, I am going to discuss how to improve self-esteem in detail and how to overcome this problem using some practical tips. So that the next time when you feel low you can use those practical tips to start feeling better and confident. Let’s start…
Table of Contents
What is Self-esteem?
Self-esteem is the way how you feel about yourself. It is nothing but your own thinking about yourself. If you think positively and feel good about yourself that means your self-esteem is high. And that makes you more resilient as well as hopeful about life.
On the other side, if you think negatively and feel bad about yourself then that means your self-esteem is low, which has a bad impact on your life. I think this is the simplest way you can understand the meaning of self-esteem. But the real challenge is self-esteem is not stable, it is fluctuating constantly.
Sometimes you feel good and sometimes you feel bad about yourself that is the real problem. The moment your self-esteem goes down you lose confidence in yourself, you think that you are not good enough, and it becomes difficult for you to perform well in every area of your life.
Self-esteem affects everything, it affects your thought process, your behavior, also your happiness and enjoyment in life. It affects your personal as well as professional life in a very negative way.
Low self-esteem increases self-doubt and fear within you, because of which it becomes difficult for you to take action toward your goals, you prefer to stop trying new things in life, and you constantly avoid challenging and difficult situations.
You avoid social interaction and stop making connections with people, you prefer to be alone and this leads to social anxiety and depression. That’s how low self-esteem affects your mental health and in the long term physical health as well.
That’s why it is important for you to understand how to improve your self-esteem from time to time and how you can maintain it consistently. Before that let’s have a look at what causes low self-esteem.
What causes low Self-esteem?
There are many factors that cause low self-esteem it can be your surrounding environment where you live, the type of people (friends/family) you are surrounded with, the type of people you are comparing your lifestyle with, the type of people who you consider your role modal, etc.
It starts from childhood days when your parents, teachers, friends, and relatives send you a positive or negative message about yourself. Sometimes in anger, they criticize you with harsh words which makes you feel bad about yourself, and these small criticisms in childhood lead to a drop in self-esteem.
Because you know the natural tendency of the human mind, it keeps all the negative things with you (forget the majority of positive things) and you start thinking about those negative thoughts continuously in your mind and it becomes bigger and bigger over a period of time.
Criticism and disapproval from others are one of the biggest causes of low self-esteem, as this directly increases the feeling of “I am not good enough”. People start doubting their abilities and they feel unworthy and bad about themselves.
On the other hand, things like trauma, worst life events, health issues, financial issues, and relationship issues can also have a negative effect on self-esteem. Sometimes life hits you so hard that it completely changes your attitude and personality from positive to negative and this negatively affects self-esteem.
Understanding the exact causes of low self-esteem in your case can help you understand this problem in more depth so that you can create a plan and take action to improve your self-esteem because self-esteem plays a very important role in your success.
Now let me share some of the practical ways which I have used many times to improve my self-esteem. You can try any of the techniques and see what results you get. (Check out – Does porn addiction affects your self-esteem?)
7 ways to improve self-esteem
Low self-esteem can be improved with the help of some practical techniques and in the long term, you can get benefit from these different techniques. The biggest challenge here is you always don’t have the motivation to improve your self-esteem when you are in that low self-esteem zone.
Because when you are in a low self-esteem zone, you already lost control of your thoughts and your mind continuously talks negatively about you. In order to break this negative thinking cycle you have to push yourself to follow these techniques patiently which I am going to discuss now.
See building high self-esteem is not an easy task but achieving a high level of self-esteem can make a lot of difference in your life. That’s why you should always focus on following these techniques patiently and you will see the best results of it in the long term.
1. Identify the situation that affects self-esteem –
Think about a recent situation where you couldn’t get the expected outcome, you faced criticism or negative feedback. It can be anything like criticism at the workplace or at home, failure to achieve the desired results in business or at the job, uncertain life events, etc.
Identify this negative situation in your case. That situation is the starting point of negative thoughts about yourself, which you are continuously repeating in your mind. So 1st identify that situation by sitting in a quiet place.
Notice the negative thoughts that are going on in your head after such an incident. You might find yourself thinking ‘I am not good enough, I am not talented’. So after negative feedback or criticism from others, these are the two most common negative thoughts that come to your mind.
Write down those thoughts on paper and look for the evidence. Eg – for thought ‘I am not talented’ ask yourself what’s the proof. There is a high chance you think like that because of that recent incident that happens to you (somebody criticizes you at the workplace).
Otherwise, there is no evidence that says you are not talented. That’s why you should always look back for the evidence for such negative thoughts and remind yourself continuously that it is just negative thoughts generated due to a negative situation and it is not true in reality.
2. Identify and write down the things you admire about yourself –
When you feel low and demotivated in life, recalling the positive things about yourself and writing them down on paper can be a mood changer for you. If 1st technique does not work for you then you can use this technique where you need to think about all the positive things about yourself.
There are plenty of things people surrounding you say, good about yourself or that you are good at certain skills, sports so reminding these things in a low time can help you boost self-esteem.
Initially, it is challenging to think positively about yourself and you may feel awkward. But acknowledging positive things about yourself can help you change the way you talk to yourself. It can completely turn your negative self-talk into positive self-talk.
Positive self-talk can improve your self-esteem by 10 times. Let’s say the negative thought ‘I am not talented’ is going in your mind so you can create positive alternative thoughts for it ‘ If I learn required skills I can become talented’. Replace the negative thought with this positive one and every time remind yourself.
Don’t just right down the positive affirmation you found in the book or internet. Select affirmations that are relevant to you and connect with your negative thoughts properly.
Initially, you may feel it is difficult to do but with consistent practice, you feel more positive and your self-esteem also gets increases. You should also practice gratitude and always be thankful for what life has given to you. (Check out – How to become mentally strong?)
3. Build positive relationships and let go of negative people-
From the last point, you know how to remove negative thoughts but have you ever thought of removing negative people from your life? because the people you are surrounded with have a high level of impact on your mood and the level of your self-esteem.
There are certain people in your life when you are with them you feel better about yourself, and you enjoy their company but there are some people in your life who constantly remind you about your weakness, always criticize you and judge you, fill your mind with self-doubt and lowers the level of your self-esteem.
That’s why it is very important to spend most of your time with people who make you feel better about yourself and you should build a good relationship with them ( it could be friends, family members, mentors, etc.) because these people always support you when you feel down.
Avoid all those people who drain your energy and make you feel bad about yourself. If avoiding them is not possible then try to spend as less as time with them because these people always affect your self-esteem negatively.
4. Stop comparing yourself with others-
Comparing yourself with others is an insult to who you are. When you compare others’ lifestyles with you it lowers the level of your self-esteem because you yourself fill self-doubt in your mind that you are not good enough, you are not talented, you don’t have money, etc.
The truth is everybody on this planet is different, their thought process is different, their lifestyle is different, their achievements and struggle in life are different, their weakness and strengths are different, etc.
So on this planet, there is always somebody who is smarter than you, who is earning more money than you, whose lifestyle is way better than yours, whose strengths are your weakness but that doesn’t mean you are not good enough, your lifestyle and earning potential is complete crap.
It is just the difference between your life journey and the person with whom you are comparing yourself. Instead of comparing you can learn from their experiences and struggles because that will help you grow in your life and also level up your self-esteem.
Remember that your competition is not with others’ progress, your competition is always with yourself, and also appreciate your differences compared to others. This will level up your self-esteem and makes it easy for you to take action towards your goal in life.
5. Step outside of your comfort zone –
When you put yourself in your comfort zone, you feel safe and protected but with time your self-esteem goes down, and because of this you avoid new challenges and new learning opportunities.
That’s why pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is very important to improve your self-esteem. Pushing out of your comfort zone does not mean you should push yourself in any uncomfortable situation, just you should build the habit of continuously learning new things and accepting new challenges.
It is simple like getting yourself engage in small new things on a daily basis like start learning a new skill, start networking with one person every day, becoming a part of a new project at your workplace, going to the gym, learning a new language, read new books, etc.
Trying small and difficult new things every day can make you feel good about yourself because you are taking action constantly to improve yourself in that particular thing and that is how you are pushing yourself out of your comfort zone which will automatically improve the level of self-esteem.
6. Practice self-compassion –
Practicing self-compassion means finding compassion in your pain or any worst situation you face in life. Sometimes the worst situation in life affects so badly to you that you lose complete confidence in yourself, (It can be like your business got failed, or you lose a national-level competition).
After such worst situations, your inner critic starts blaming you for the failure and you take such situations personally which causes your self-esteem to go down completely.
Here practicing self-compassion can help you accept your failure positively without blaming yourself for that and it also stops the inner critic inside you and gives you the time to recover from that failure.
It will help you understand how to be kind to yourself in a tough time, how to appreciate yourself, and celebrate yourself without being judged. Practicing self-compassion will improve your self-esteem and gives you a new level of confidence. (Check out – How to practice self-compassion?)
7. Work on your physical and mental health –
The most important aspect to improve self-esteem is to work on your physical and mental health. Make sure that you should at least do 30 to 45 min exercise every day, in which you can do yoga, gym, walking, running, stretching, etc.
Any type of exercise that you like to do on a daily basis. Along with that try to follow a good healthy routine, eat a healthy diet, and get enough sleep, all these things will make you physically fit and active.
Similar to that, also take care of mental health like do at least 5 min of meditation every day, reading some good books and consuming quality content on the internet, spending time with friends and family, travel to new places, all these things will help make mentally fit and healthy.
Taking care of your mind and body is very important to maintain a high level of self-esteem. So at whatever age you are right now, 1st thing you should do is to do exercise on a daily basis and you will see a huge difference in your life because of this simple habit.
In order to improve your self-esteem you must switch your focus from others to yourself. Give more time to yourself and build yourself through the right skills, and the right mindset. Follow the habit of continuously learning new things and accepting new challenges.
Must use those 7 ways consistently to improve your level of self-esteem because as I told you that self-esteem is unstable it keeps on going up and down continuously depending upon the situations in your life. So you should follow those 7 ways on a daily basis.
In this article, I discussed self-esteem in detail and also shared how you can improve it with the help of simple techniques. If you found this article useful then please share it in your network and subscribe to get more such articles every week.