8 Simple Steps to Building Self-esteem

Sep 10, 2017 | Motivation

Author: Shooby Kandel. Follow him on Medium

From time to time you may feel bad or sorry for yourself and your situation. This is often a tell-tale sign of low self-esteem. This can be caused by someone close to you treating you poorly or negative self-talk. For many people, low self- esteem can lead to greater psychological problems such as anxiety and depression. This can harm the quality of your life and prevents you from being able to fulfil your basic needs.

In this article, we will discuss some methods that can help you in building your self-esteem. These will allow you to feel positive about yourself so that you can do anything in life with confidence.

Causes of Low Self Esteem

Now that you are on the quest to enhance your level of self-confidence with the help of an honest self-introspection. The next step will involve the practice of some exercises to boost your self-esteem and help you become more confident. Before looking at the steps, we should elaborate some of the most common causes of low self-esteem. If you are able to identify a cause which applies to you then it would be much easier for you to address the situation.

For many of us, it starts from our childhood. Childhood experiences and interactions can play a major role in lowering the self-esteem of an individual. Traumatic childhood can be a large contributor to the low self-esteem of a person. The good news is, this can be repaired progressively. If you are determined and willing, you can raise the level of your confidence and also become an inspiration to others such as your children, family and friends. It is important that you take the first step and lead the way for others who may also be struggling.

1Change your perspective

You should start the process of confidence building by identifying your talents. Try to make a mental or physical list with the help of family members or close ones if you aren’t sure. All of us are good (above average) at something and it is important that you find out what it is. Once you identify it/them, you can start feeling better about yourself. If the list of things you are good at looks rather small, consider exploring and trying out new things. You should take pride in your talents and always try to improve them. You should never think of yourself as the victim of circumstances. This is a sign of inferiority complex, which is the completely wrong mindset to have. You should understand, most things that have happened in your life and your present situation is all a collective result of the choices you have made. You alone are responsible for yourself so don’t blame anybody. You should find an activity that you enjoy such as art, writing, commerce, dance etc. and do it with your heart and mind.

Adding recreational activities and more interests in your life will not only help you grow your self-esteem but also enhance the chances of making new friends and meeting like minded people. This will require you to step out of your comfort zone more often until it becomes the norm and you begin to enjoy it!

2Identify the root cause of your trouble

You should try to identify the exact situations where your self-esteem started to falter and think about how you’d like to have acted and felt. Some of the common triggers could include a presentation in your workspace or school, a family crisis, troubles with loved ones or a change in life circumstances like death of a loved one or losing your job. You should put aside all the negative thoughts, which are responsible for lowering your self-esteem. Instead, try to find ways to motivate yourself in achieving your goals.

3Stay away from negative thoughts and create a positive mindset

You should always try to keep track of your own thought process and replace all negative thoughts with positive ones. A simple method for stopping negative thoughts is to mentally yell out STOP! As soon as you start thinking negative, replace them with something positive. You should avoid wallowing in self-pity and getting too much sympathy from others. It will only make you feel inferior and do nothing to improve the situation. If you constantly belittle yourself then the people around you would follow the same. If you are brimming with confidence and happiness, then those around you can’t help but think and feel positive about you. In a common example; girls who disrespect themselves and their bodies receive very little respect from others. You should never be scared or reluctant to show others your talents and strengths. The compliments and feedback of others will help improve your self-esteem and motivation. The next time you have a negative feeling about yourself, freeze your thought and counter it with at least 2 positive thoughts and feelings.

Moreover, while talking to people, always make sure to have a positive mindset. As saying negative things about yourself or others only shows that you are troubled. People tend to dislike you more if you are always negative.

At last, take some time and think about all the things that are responsible for bringing your self-esteem down. For example;

  • If you have friends who always make you feel jealous and bad then it is the time that you cut them out of your life. It may be difficult in the beginning but once you start noticing the difference and are more confident you will be able to make better life choices.
  • If your career is not going in the direction you want it to, try to plan ahead. Think about suitable alternatives and have a backup as well as a detailed plan to steer you back on course. Having a plan or solution to problems will give you ease of mind. This will significantly boost your confidence knowing that you have a plan and that you are relatively safe.

4Set a Goal

Setting a goal and achieving it can play a key role in boosting your self-esteem. To begin with, set an objective, which is simple and achievable. This will allow you to focus on your goal and self-improvement. As you work your way closer to the goal, you will increase your self-esteem and confidence in yourself and abilities.

Even doing simple things such as paying your bills, cleaning your room or doing your laundry could help you feel accomplished. It gives you the sense of motivation during the process of achieving your objectives. It is important to set small achievable goals whilst keeping the end in mind. This will allow you to stick to the end goal by splitting it into smaller daily or weekly tasks. It can seem overwhelming at times but every small changes/decision made day after day will have a compounding effect on moving you closer to your goal.

To stay true to your commitments, give yourself a small reward like your favourite ice cream, a movie night or a nice pair of shoes. It is important that after rewarding yourself you do not treat this as a rest stop and slack off but keep on moving forward. The joy and self-esteem boost that comes from setting and achieving goals is hard to match and it is a very important tool in increasing confidence.

5Love yourself

You should give extra attention to the needs of your body, mind and heart. Take care of these three things and you will feel more happy and confident. For instance, if you’re feeling stressed and cramped then go out for a walk or do something relaxing. If you’re feeling lonely then go and socialise with people. If you’re hungry, eat. I’m sure you get the picture. If you feel the need for something, don’t sit there sulking because you don’t have it. Go out and get it. Don’t listen to anyone (even yourself) who may tell you that you can’t. Once you start looking after yourself and your own needs you will automatically start feeling better about yourself and more confident about the decisions you make.

Make it your goal to eat healthy food and perform daily exercises. Along with a few extra personal tasks such as moisturising your skin or styling your hair. When you look better and notice positive changes about yourself you will also feel and act better. Sometimes people are so busy or full of negative thoughts and self-doubt that they barely spend time on things that they’re passionate about or enjoy.

Try making a list of activities that you enjoy doing and set a goal to do at least one activity on that list every day. Make sure you spend time with people you love and inspire confidence within you. Avoid those who treat you poorly and drain your self-esteem. Wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself. If you are looking your best you will most likely be feeling similar. Remember this strong confident feeling and try to act the same way at all times.

6Identify the issues that are bothering you and talk about them to your loved ones

Try to get to the root of your problems and deal with them before it controls you. Talking to a friend or a family member about the problems will help you feel relaxed even if that friend doesn’t offer you a definite solution. Having a friend who can encourage you will help you in handling your insecurities. Building self-esteem is way harder if one has to be his/her own cheerleader every time. Although sharing your personal and confidential matter can be nerve wrecking. Hearing their opinion on the matter as well as encouraging words will make you feel much better

7Stop being over critical and take pride in who you are

Being over critical can paralyse your activities and prevent you from achieving your targets. You will never derive any satisfaction if you believe everything must be done to absolute perfection. Instead, you should focus on taking pride in a job completed no matter the level of perfection since every step forward (no matter how small) counts as some form of an achievement. Always try to be happy with what you have achieved rather than being obsessed with what you haven’t. Be patient and content with what you have and realise, with the right goals and mindset, you will achieve what you want to achieve. There are times when the primary cause of insecurity and low self-esteem is the feeling of not having enough of something. Be it money, love or luck. One should try to be thankful for what they already have rather than cribbing for what they don’t have.

Appreciating and acknowledging what you already have will help you fight the thought of being deprived and unsatisfied. Make a list of all the factors that are going for you, be it your best friend, your good looks or your health. This would definitely help you find a more positive mind frame. Although never being satisfied or having a constant hunger for success is a very good mindset and will keep you motivated. The main thing to take away from this is to also be content with your current situation and not bash yourself over the lack of success.

8Live for the day and stop being afraid of the unknown

Most of us suffering from a low self-esteem think that we would perform poorly in an unpredictable situation. You should make it clear to yourself that you will stop doubting your abilities. At the same time, try to do something new and completely different to things you would usually do. For example, setting up a new business or moving to a new city will make you feel like the master of your own destiny. Additionally, it will make you realize that you can succeed even in an unpredictable situation.

Lastly, you should never dwell on the past and spend time worrying about it. Why worry about something that can’t be changed? Instead, focus on the moment you are in and the good things that are around you as well as the bright future ahead of you.


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