how to improve self-esteem ? Tips for Feeling Better About Yourself

how to improve self-esteem

“Self-esteem is to the mind, what food is to the body.”

– A. Maslow

I don’t know about you, but there are times when I feel like I’m not doing a good job, or when I think I should have done more, or when incidents happen and I don’t feel unable to handle them.

These moments don’t happen all the time – thankfully – though they do happen from time to time, and in those moments I feel like I’m not worth anything, I’m doing a pitiful job and I come to just hate it.

Of course we all have ups and downs. This is completely normal. Nevertheless, these negative moments must not tarnish our self-esteem and that is why I am going to share with you some tips for feeling better about yourself.

The difference between self-esteem and self-confidence?

Very often people confuse the two. However, there is a very important difference between these two concepts. Self-esteem is the overall value you place on yourself: “What am I worth? What do I deserve?” no matter what you are doing, where you are, who you are with. This inner value is like a tag attached to you that constantly follows you.

It changes very little over time or our actions (for better or worse), however it is possible to make it evolve in another way and we will see how in this article.

Self-confidence is linked to our skills, what we master or not. Self-confidence is always compartmentalized to a particular area. For example, if you have a very good level in drawing, you can be confident in your abilities as an artist. That said, you can be shy and therefore you are not very confident in the area of social relations.

So we can be confident in one area, and not in another. To become more confident, we need to work on our skills and then see the results of our efforts, either because others point it out to us or when we perceive that our abilities are growing.

In summary, self-esteem is linked to our intrinsic value (qualities or faults perceived in us, beliefs about ourselves, etc.), while self-confidence is linked to our extrinsic value (skills or behaviors in such a field, feedback from others …).

What is self-esteem?

In more detail, Self-esteem is an internal state that is rooted in self-understanding, self-love and self-acceptance.

As we have seen, self-esteem does not change over time. Simply because it is only measured by ourselves, no matter what others may say or do.

As a result, regardless of external circumstances, it does not alter easily or rapidly. However, if we give too much importance to our mistakes or difficulties, this Self-esteem can wear down and deteriorate because we then believe that we are “defective”.

Having high self-esteem means that you accept what is good for you. That you feel deep inside, that you deserve happiness, health, wealth, success and love, no matter what difficulties you are currently going through, no matter what disappointments you have experienced or the opinion of others.

You accept who you are, with your flaws, weaknesses and limitations. You recognize your true value: yours as an individual here and now in this moment.

Building your Self-esteem is like building a house, without a solid foundation everything you build will be unstable and risk collapsing with the slightest gust of wind. This is why these few steps will be useful for you to strengthen your Self-esteem and regain your personal power.

Step 1: Understand yourself

The first step is to know yourself on a deeper level.

Imagine for a moment that everything you have disappeared overnight. I really mean everything, i.e. your possessions, career, money, relationships, family, accomplishments, and anything physical and tangible.

Ask yourself:

  • How would I feel if everything I had was taken away suddenly, and I was left with nothing but myself?
  • What would I still have for me that would be of value?

It’s an interesting scenario, yet very few people take the time to imagine it. It’s interesting because what you feel about yourself, when everything has been taken away from you, is your Self-esteem.

If you have high self-esteem, then no matter what is taken away from you, it will not change your perception of yourself. Moreover, it will not damage your self-confidence because you do not measure your worth by external circumstances. Conversely, your value comes from within.

This is why it is very important to take the time to think about this last question for a moment, and to answer honestly:

  • What would I have left of value if everything I have was taken away from me?

And the more you dig into the question, the more you will discover in yourself what really has value. And all these things you discover will be essential to building your self-esteem.

Now let’s keep digging in by asking yourself more questions so you can see yourself as you really are, without the masks you’ve built for yourself. Ask yourself:

  • What excites me the most, satisfies me and fills me with joy in this world?
  • What are the most important moments in my life that have defined who I am today?
  • How do others talk about me?
  • How do others see me?
  • What place do I occupy in the world?
  • Who am I ? Who am I not?

Who you are and how you see yourself are key to understanding your value. How others perceive you and talk about you is important, of course, but what is important in these questions is mainly how you feel about yourself, in response to what others can see. or say about you. It is also a way to measure your self-esteem.

With that, let’s take the time to assess your weaknesses and difficulties. It is necessary to draw the most objective picture of yourself. Ask yourself:

  • What area am I having the most difficulty in?
  • What area do I need to improve the most?
  • What fears are holding me back from moving forward in my life?
  • What emotions am I having trouble dealing with?
  • What mistakes do I usually make?
  • In what area do I tend to give up easily?

We all have weaknesses and areas in which we do not excel. It’s normal, we are not perfect beings. Nevertheless, by taking a closer look at these, you can already see how you could improve.

Self-esteem is built over time and effort, understanding how you function is the first step in this process.

Now let’s be honest and take a look at your strengths, your skills. Ask yourself:

  • What talents/skills do I have today?
  • What area am I really good at?

Your strengths certainly help you build your self-confidence, they help you keep moving forward with confidence. However, do not forget that your true strengths are to be evaluated only vis-à-vis yourself.

If you expect others to tell you whether or not you’re good at something, that’s not real strength. And letting others decide for you will never get you where you want to go.

In the future, those people who flattered you may change their minds, so all of a sudden your skills disappear overnight if you relied on those people to assess your talents. True strength comes from you alone, from your personal power, what you really believe about yourself.

Step 2: Accept yourself

Now you have a fairly accurate picture of your level of Self-esteem. You also understand how you perceive yourself in the world around you.

If you go back in your personal history you surely have rather good memories, neutrals and things of which you are not proud. However, to strengthen your Self-esteem, it must be real and authentic. Your image of yourself should not be a fantasy or an idealization of yourself. You have to accept your inner nature, and that includes all of your facets, good and bad.

Yes, you have flaws, you have made mistakes, and you fail miserably from time to time. But, you did everything you could in this situation and this context, besides all these experiences have made you who you are today. Yourself, your inner being. It’s all about who you are.

Take the time to ask yourself this question and write down everything that comes to mind:

  • What do I blame myself for today?

Now forgive yourself for everything you have done in the past and accept yourself unconditionally without judgment or apology. Read this sentence below aloud and take the time to understand it, to integrate it into you.

“I accept my good and my bad sides. I completely accept every part of my being, whether it’s my flaws, my fears, my bad behaviors, and anything I’m not proud of. That’s who I am, and I’m at peace with that.”

You’ve opened the curtain between who you thought you were and who you are: you have strengths and flaws. Accept yourself as you are and stop allowing others or society to define you. Only in this way will you be able to fully liberate yourself from all the balls that have been weighing you down for years.

Step 3: Love yourself

Now that you’ve accepted yourself, it’s time to recognize your true worth. For this, it is important to love yourself. That is to treat you with kindness, tolerance, generosity and compassion.

Yes, you, like everyone else, have flaws, limits, and vulnerabilities. That’s what it’s like to be human, and everyone has to cope with their own problems. Don’t get too connected to anything; instead, let it go and embrace who you are.

To feel this compassion it is necessary to love yourself, for this you need to accept yourself and this is only possible by understanding yourself. As you see, we have just gone through the logical steps that lead us to this current point.

Loving yourself is not innate, for that you have to get into the habit of talking to yourself in a positive and pleasant way:

  • I feel appreciated and special when…
  • I love myself completely and fully despite…
  • I am a capable person when…

You may reflect on your strengths and unearth a great gem that was buried right beneath your nose by talking about yourself in a healthy and positive way. You are no longer reliant on the approval or recognition of others. And this is one of the most important actions you must do to maintain your self-esteem.

Sometimes thinking about something negative sends you into a vicious circle, which will then lead you to immerse yourself in negative actions. It could be smoking or drinking every time bad news comes, or eating unhealthy food, hanging out with toxic people, or just watching dramas on TV to drown your sorrows.

Focus on what makes you happy to break this vicious circle, just start with something slightly positive that will only take a few minutes, maybe play your favorite game, just enough to feel better, or send a message to a friend or watch a YouTube video from your favorite artist. With this alone you will avoid the trap of doubting yourself and your abilities at the slightest failure.

Step 4: Be responsible for yourself

You now know that you can trust yourself and your ability to make decisions that will get you where you want to go.

You are not in competition with others, you are alone in this adventure which is your life. You can only compare yourself to yourself, and the important thing is to give the best of yourself.

Don’t raise the bar too high however; it’s fine to make errors, even if you think you’re the only one. The main thing is to assess your performance and strive to improve and raise your chances of success the following time.

It’s also worth taking a closer look at some of the triggers that derail your day and send you into a negative spiral. This can be, for example, when you meet people who are themselves very negative, who tell you about their misfortune and literally empty themselves with a long monologue with you, or when you meet people who are insensitive or just rude.

In this case, cutting ties with these people and staying away from them as much as possible is necessary for your long-term well-being and happiness. Similarly avoid magazines, commercials or celebrities that promote a certain sense of perfection: their own. Who make you believe that you have to look like them to be considered beautiful, perfect and accomplished as a person.

You should know that marketing doesn’t care much about your personality or who you are, on the contrary, the more weaknesses or doubts you have, the more likely you will be to buy their products to feel better about yourself. A vicious trap that makes you believe that you are missing something deep inside, and thus always makes you dependent and frustrated on a daily basis.

What you must remember

To conclude, when events and people no longer have a hold on you, you finally take back the reins of your life. You become responsible for everything that happens within you and the actions that flow from you. Your successes and failures are yours, as are your accomplishments and your problems.

You make your own decisions, there are no more excuses, judgments or blame to distribute. Only you are the cause of the changes that occur in your life, and it is what allows you to realize your dreams in reality.

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