A person’s self-esteem plays a major role in not only how they see themselves, but also their perception of where and how they fit into the world.
A person with low self-esteem may be plagued by constant doubts of not being good enough, smart enough, good looking enough, or capable.
The truth is that every single person in this world has strengths and flaws, unique qualities and quirks that make them the person that they are. Not everyone is going to like them and that’s okay. Everyone does not have to.
On the other hand, it is important that we like ourselves. Building and improving our self-esteem is an important piece of that larger puzzle.
So, what are some small ways we can build our self-esteem?
1. Practice Good Personal Hygiene
It’s amazing what kind of impact a shower, grooming, and decent clothes can make on a person’s mental well-being.
Self-care often suffers when a person doesn’t feel good about themselves. That trickles down and fuels depression, which continues to feed one’s negative feelings of self-worth.
Maintaining grooming and hygiene standards, no matter how much you may not want to, can help improve one’s perception of themselves over time.
2. Work On Eliminating Negative Self-talk
The quality of a person’s present thoughts about themselves influences their overall perspective on who they are.
Negative self-talk needs to be challenged, pushed out, and limited as much as possible.
That means that when we realize we are thinking negative things about ourselves, we must actively challenge it and counter it with whatever positives we can see in ourselves.
It may be helpful to enlist the aid of a friend to help generate a list of positive features about yourself. Start each day by reading through the list or use it throughout the day when you need to counter negative self-talk.
3. Set And Accomplish Reasonable Goals
Goal setting helps to drive a person toward greater things. Every large, daunting goal is comprised of many much smaller, easier to attain goals.
Maintaining a journal for goal setting, planning, and pursuit can provide a boost to self-esteem because we can manually keep track of what we accomplish, and how far we have come on our journey.
A journal can help us prove our value and worth to our own doubtful mind. Though the mind will definitely try, it’s hard to argue with clear evidence you hold in your hand.
4. Practice Self-care And Stress Management
Self-care goes beyond grooming and hygiene standards. It also includes relaxation and stress management.
Life brings pains and anxieties into our lives. To manage and maintain, we need to engage in stress relieving activities and enjoy quiet time to ourselves. We need to balance the hustle and bustle of life with some recreation and relaxation.
A person who lives a busy life may even need to go so far as to specifically schedule self-care into their hectic schedule.
5. Work To Find Positives In Mistakes
Not every situation is good. It can be all too easy to make a mistake and completely blow something up that we were really excited or happy for.
Everyone makes mistakes, but the person with low self-esteem is likely to be needlessly harsh on themselves for their mistake.
Finding positives in our mistakes, looking at mistakes as learning experiences, and continuing to work on our goals regardless of those mistakes can help build self-worth.
The truth is that only a lucky few people attain any level of success without making serious mistakes along the way.
Mistakes and failures need to be looked at as valuable learning experiences instead of the end of a project. You simply learn what doesn’t work and can try something else.
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6. Take Control Of Your Choices In Life
The act of not making a choice is still making a choice. It’s making the choice to let things go however they are going to go instead of trying to exert some control and will over a situation, leaving oneself to fate.
It’s saying, “It is what it is” before shrugging your shoulders and turning a blind eye to the power you have to change the outcome.
People with low self-esteem often feel like they have little choice in their life and how they feel. The remedy for that is to grab as many choices as you can and follow them through to the end.
Yes, sometimes there are situations where there doesn’t appear to be a choice. That does happen. But the less you leave up to fate, the more in control of your life you’ll feel, the more confident you’ll feel.
7. Start A Regular Exercise Program
Regular exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy mind and body. It can make you feel powerful physically, which helps to boost one’s confidence and mental strength.
An exercise program doesn’t need to be super complicated to provide meaningful benefits. Even a 30 minute walk, three times a week can significantly help combat depression and improve one’s sense of self-worth.
8. Eat A Balanced, Regular Diet
Low self-esteem can be tied to depression and one’s moods. Mood is a product of many facets of a person’s existence, including diet.
People with low self-esteem who do not feel they deserve to care about themselves or be cared about may seek comfort in junk food that does not provide much meaningful benefit.
Maintaining a balanced, regular diet can help with depression, stress, and improve one’s perception of themselves. It’s an easier positive to latch onto in taking care of your body by feeding it good fuel.
9. Accomplish Tasks That You May Be Putting Off
Accomplishing tasks is different from goal setting. We all have many small details and duties that we need to handle over the course of our day. Far too often, those little things fall by the wayside because we’re either busy or simply do not care.
Don’t put them off!
Start crossing things off of your “To Do” list so that you don’t have them hanging over your head.
Try out the simple Five Minute Rule! If a chore or duty will take less than five minutes to accomplish, don’t put it off. Just do it right then and get it over with.
Not having these details and duties hanging over our heads can reduce stress and bolster self-esteem as we see ourselves getting things accomplished regularly.
10. Maintain A Healthy, Regular Sleep Schedule
Sleep is the cornerstone of mental well-being. The brain produces many important mood-balancing chemicals in the deepest cycles of sleep. Lack of sleep can result in depression or aggravation of other mental illnesses or quirks.
The better we sleep, the more efficiently our mind can function. Furthermore, if we are tired all day, it is much easier to get frustrated with a situation or ourselves.
A good night’s sleep is an important part of overall health and well-being. It can improve one’s attitude and lighten the overall load of stress and worry that a person carries in their life, which does translate to one’s perception of the self.
A person who feels that their negative self-esteem, self-talk, and perception is too strong to fix themselves may need to enlist the help of a counselor.
There is still a common stigma that counselors are only for “crazy people.” The truth is that many types of people speak to counselors to help find a better way to fix things that go on in their mind.
It is not about being “crazy” or even mentally ill. Sometimes we just need the assistance of a person who is trained in helping us fix specific problems.
Seeking help from a certified mental health professional if you are struggling is a responsible, brave thing to do. The brain is a complicated thing!