Boosting your self-esteem is an essential ingredient in dealing with a mental health diagnosis, overcoming an addiction, or simply having the life you want to lead. If you’re on a journey to improve your self-esteem, you’ll find that everything in life improves along the way.
But this journey requires patience, both with yourself and with others. It might surprise you that some of your closest companions may not react positively to your change in self-esteem if they’ve always viewed you as having low self-worth.
Along the way, you might begin to question if you are really worthy of having self-esteem. This is natural. Know that you made a choice to improve your life, and that you will reap the benefits of that choice.
Here are some simple ways to get you started on the road to a better version of you:
1. Remember compliments in a compliment journal. Write down the nice things people have said or done for you in a journal that you keep close by. Refer to this journal when you are having a bad day.
2. Focus on your positive qualities. We all have less-than-desirable qualities. Believe that, overall, your net worth is positive rather than negative. Make a list of your positive qualities and keep this list on hand.
3. Eavesdrop on the voice inside of your head. If it is saying little things such as, “You’re really going to mess up this presentation,” counter it with conscious and affirmative rebuttals, such as, “I’ve worked very hard, and I feel confident and prepared.” How you talk to yourself can make a big difference in how you feel about yourself.
4. Recognize others. Recognize that everyone around you is worried about their self-worth at some level just as much as you are. Stop, listen, and give attention to those with whom you interact. Making them feel recognized will often make you feel that you’ve done something good.
5. Learn to ask for what you want without feeling guilty. Never feel guilty about making your needs known to others, whether that is asking other members of your family to make dinner or telling your boss you need to come into work at a different time to avoid traffic. You would be surprised at how accommodating others can be when you ask simply and politely. Getting what you need in life can do wonders for your self-esteem.
6. Keep track of your successes and goals. Every evening, write down one thing you did or handled really well that day (even if it is just remembering to floss your teeth) and write down one aspiration you have for the following day. Your brain will take stock of your successes and encourage you to move toward your goals.