We all struggle with low confidence, and we don’t always feel good about ourselves. But when the opinion we have of ourselves is affecting our daily lives, we are experiencing low self-esteem and we need to address it to be able to deal with the ups and downs of life and the challenges that might come our way. But what can we do to improve our self-esteem? Read on to find out more.
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is the perception you have of yourself. If you ask the question, do I like who I am and the answer is no, you may be suffering from low self-esteem, and if you say yes, you might have high self-esteem. But it isn’t a simple model because our opinion of ourselves fluctuates and changes with time and includes many factors including mood, environment, and circumstance. We may value some parts of ourselves both physically and emotionally but struggle to accept other parts of ourselves.
How do you know if you have low self-esteem?
It’s normal to feel low from time to time but if you are experiencing negative feelings about yourself more regularly, you may need some help and guidance from a professional. Low self-esteem can have harmful effects on your mental health, and increase levels of anxiety, make you sensitive to criticism, and may potentially cause you to withdraw from social situations or activities that you enjoy.
How to improve your self-esteem
So how do you start on the journey towards having better self-esteem and feeling more positive about yourself? Well, you should start with writing down all the things you like about yourself, so when you start to talk yourself down, you will have a reminder of all the things you do like about yourself. Put it somewhere visual such as a sticky note on your mirror, so you see it every morning. Also, you need to learn to accept praise and compliments. Instead of dismissing them, believe in yourself and say thank you and in time you will start to gain the confidence in yourself to see yourself how others see you.
Next, you should pay close attention to all areas of your health and wellbeing. Make sure you have a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Then you should set some goals for yourself, simple, short-term, and attainable goals to boost your self-confidence. Another thing to remember is that you are unique, don’t compare yourself to anyone else, especially not on social media, and only focus on the things about yourself you can change. Finally, look for support from those around you, loved ones, family and friends, and a counselor if you feel you need to seek professional help.
The power of self-care
Don’t underestimate the power of kindness, not just towards others but for yourself. Give yourself time each day to be with yourself and do something that makes you smile. Listen to your body and rest when you need to. If you find yourself struggling mentally, walk away from stressful situations and give yourself space to work through them. Self-care can be saying no to a social event or choosing to spend time with your family or friends instead of working overtime. Self-care doesn’t always have to be bubble baths and candles, true self-care is knowing your needs and attending to them. When you actively practice self-care, you will become more confident in creating the life you want, and this will have a positive impact on your self-esteem.
Acceptance and love
The biggest part of improving your self-esteem is to accept yourself and love yourself exactly how you are. We always grow and learn in life and if there is something about you that you want to change because it will positively affect your life, then take the necessary steps to do so. But you need to have self-compassion and monitor the conversations you have with yourself. Challenge your negative thoughts and speak positively with love towards yourself like you would to the people you love the most.