We all have days when we feel a little down about ourselves. You know, those days when you’re consumed with all of the things you don’t have, or those days when everything seems to go wrong. These are the days when our self-esteem and morale could use a little pick-me-up!
Ideally, everyone could have good self-esteem, but how do we define good self-esteem? According to psychologist John M. Grohol, it means appreciating yourself for who you are – faults and all! People with good self-esteem have a healthy and positive opinion of themselves. Maintaining healthy self-esteem is important for so many reasons, but most importantly, the way you treat and view yourself directly influences the way other people treat you.
Here are six easy ways to boost your self-esteem:
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
It’s never productive to unfairly compare yourself to friends, associates or anyone else. The reality is, you are awesomely authentic when it comes to your life, your looks, your job, your family, etc. There’s only one YOU walking the planet, and it’s time to celebrate your amazing attributes instead of focusing on how your life isn’t as great as someone else’s.
It’s important to embrace who you are and to learn to be comfortable in your own skin. Live unapologetically about who you are, including your style, cultural habits, values and quirks. Try not to seek approval or confirmation on your decisions from other people. Stand firm and trust yourself.
Thoughts of insecurity have a way of creeping up on all of us at one time or another. But, like a water hose, you have to turn those thoughts off before they consume you. When you feel insecure, explore the source of those thoughts and cut them off.
Truth is, there will always be people who are faster, richer and smarter than us, and, likewise, there will always be people we trump, too. However, stay focused on yourself, your performance and your efforts – not your neighbor’s!
Drop Negative Self-Talk
Although unhealthy thoughts can come from the people around you, they typically come from negative self-talk. We spend excessive amounts of time ripping ourselves to shreds for one reason or another. In our minds, we’re never pretty enough, thin enough, popular enough, etc.
We also have a tendency to be our own Debbie Downer too often and to jump to negative conclusions about the things going on in our lives. Does this thought sound familiar? “I’ll never get that job. I’m sure there were a ton of better candidates.”
It’s important to become aware of self-putdowns and substitute that chatter with nurturing thoughts and comments. Challenge negative thoughts and use mental filtering to distinguish the useful and valid thoughts from the negative ones. This is a tactic where you consciously quiet the negative thoughts and amplify the positive ones. Negativity is a big energy drainer! So steer clear of the destructive thoughts and conversations, and shift toward subjects that will boost your self-esteem and energy.
Move Past Mistakes
Practice self-acceptance if forgiving your own mistakes is a challenging area for you. No one’s perfect, and everyone makes mistakes! Most mistakes aren’t permanent, so forgive yourself and don’t get hung up on bad decisions for too long. Accept the past and move on!
Focusing on achievements or strengths is another great way to improve your self-esteem. Everyone has something to celebrate or something they’re proud of from their past. Whether it’s awards you’ve won, your positive impact on someone’s life, your education or volunteer work you’ve done, these things can be great reminders to improve your mood.
Do Things that Make You Happy
Remember, people CHOOSE to be happy. Therefore, you must choose to do the things that bring you the most joy. Perhaps going to movies, exercising, cooking, meditating or listening to jazz are the things you need to make you feel good. Find those activities and build them into your weekly schedule so they can serve as a continuous energy boost!
Some people find their happiness spending time in nature or with animals. This can be the perfect chance to go biking, hiking, jogging or visit the beach or the zoo! Also, planting your own garden or working in your yard might be a new way to feel recharged.
In addition, surrounding yourself with people who make you happy is very valuable. Your circle of friends and family members can be your source of encouragement, smiles and support to fend off depression. There’s no way you can maintain an optimistic outlook on your life if your inner circle weighs you down with negativity and criticism.
Be Your Own Cheerleader
If you don’t have many people around to lift you up when it’s most needed, be your own cheerleader by encouraging yourself! When you wake up in the mornings, create a routine to motivate yourself and prepare for the challenges of the upcoming day. This can be as simple as giving yourself a pep talk or taking time to smile more throughout the day.
Remember to be good to yourself and take care of your body. This includes getting adequate sleep, maintaining good personal hygiene, eating healthy and staying connected with others. You can also be your own cheerleader by not over-committing to activities or tasks. Over-commitment can lead to stress and frustration because you can’t always accomplish everything in the anticipated timeframe.
Don’t wait for other people to boost your spirits. Find motivational music, motivational speakers, programs and television shows to watch that are enjoyable and inspiring.
It’s also important to set positive goals that spur progression in your life. This gives you something to work toward and provides a sense of accomplishment when you complete the goals. Above all, new goals will help you to be optimistic about your future.
Practicing gratitude is an easy step people often neglect when it comes to boosting their self-esteem. You can practice gratitude by being appreciative for what you have and for the things that are going right. Whether you’re grateful for having wonderful parents, an awesome job, a cozy apartment or just being happy to be alive, these are the things you can think about and celebrate daily.
Practicing gratitude is easier if you start a gratitude journal. It’ll serve as a reminder of all of the positive things going on in your life when you’re feeling blue. As your journal entries grow, you’ll see that there are MANY reasons to feel better about yourself!
If you know other easy ways to boost your self-esteem, share them below.