A low self esteem is one of the leading causes of depression. Working to boost your self esteem can increase your chances for success and happiness on both a personal and professional level. While many people realize that they need to boost their feeling of self worth, it is not always easy to accomplish. However, there are several ways that you can increase your self esteem. Here are seven ways to boost your self esteem.
Play To Your Strengths
First it is important to determine who you are. What nouns can you use to describe yourself (wife, mother, friend, teacher, etc.)? Also make a list of your strengths, capabilities, and skills. Many times our feeling of self worth are wrapped up in our negative perceptions of ourselves, especially in terms of areas where we feel a lack such as our physical appearance, education, finances, job, etc. However it is important to remember that our weight, our skin, our career, etc. are not who we are. Who we are is inside us and too often we hide the beauty of our generous souls, creative natures, and joyful zest behind walls we have built to protect ourselves. This can cut us off from others but even more dangerous it can cut us off from ourselves.
Identify what is unique and special about yourself and regularly reaffirm that you are in fact skilled and knowledgeable in those areas. Find at least one area of your life that is a source of pride and joy in your life. Make sure to give yourself permission to explore that area and experience it as much as possible.
Lay Down Your Burdens
So often we dwell on our weaknesses and worries until they loom larger than life and begin to dominate our thoughts and emotions. Spend a few minutes every day writing down your worries and negative thoughts then close the book and push the negativity to the back of your mind. Concerns that loom so large in your imagination lose their power on paper. Amazingly, after writing them down the anxieties begin to fade.
Be True To Yourself
Too often we experience failure because we let others choose our goals for us whether it is society, our parents, partners, friends, or teachers. Don't set goals based on the expectations of others but rather on what you want to do, what you enjoy doing, and what you dream about doing. Following someone else's dreams rather than our own is setting ourselves up for failure which then leads to lower self esteem. Of course then we are even less likely to pursue our own goals which then leads to a cycle of failure and low self esteem.
Become A Positive Person
Think and speak positively. If you hear a compliment or positive statement about someone you know pass that compliment on to them. An Arabian proverb puts it neatly: Blessed is he who speaks a kindness; thrice blessed he who repeats it. Concentrate on speaking positively of others as well as yourself. The more you concentrate your energy on positive reinforcement for yourself as well as for others the easier it will become to be a positive person with a strong self esteem.
This also means becoming a more friendly person to those people who are a regular part of your life as well as strangers you simply pass at the store or on the street. Smile, nod, comment on the weather or life, and focus on giving others a reason to smile as well. Give yourself and others positive rewards for being and doing well.
Learn something new. Start a new hobby, learn a new skill, take a class, read challenging books, or engage in a new physical challenge or activity. Don’t be afraid of mistakes or failure. Simply stepping outside your comfortable rut is a success and every new skill and every piece of new knowledge gained is a success. Perhaps the final project is not as successful as you hoped but don't overlook the other gains you made from the experience. Risk-taking builds confidence and gives you the courage to experience still more new things. Each new experience can help you learn and grow as a person as well as give you the opportunity for more success. Maybe that quilt didn't turn out as beautiful as you hoped but you did make new friends in the class or found a great way to relieve stress. And perhaps you learned enough from the experience so your next quilt will be beautiful. Always remember trying and failing still puts you ahead of the person who didn't try at all.
Discount the Negative
Too often our negative perceptions of ourselves, whether it is our physical appearance, our financial status, or professional life, is determined by outside influences. It is important to remember that rarely do these negative projections come from an unbiased source so we should give them little credence. For example, if the messenger is popular culture or media, remember their goal is to make you feel bad about yourself so you will buy what they are selling. Similarly, many people (even people who love you) often build themselves up at the expense of others. It can help you improve your self esteem simply by keeping better company. Positive feeds positive and negative breeds negative. If you choose to be around positive people you in turn will become more positive. Don’t accept messages that damage your own self-esteem. It is much easier to improve or change your behavior when you believe you are lovable and capable.
Take Small Steps
A small success can bring a big feeling of competence. Small steps lead to more steps. Pat your self on the back every time you make a small success. Every step counts. Take one step at a time in a positive direction, this is the practice of self-esteem.
Using these seven strategies can help you boost your self esteem and help you lead a happier and more successful life.