Do you struggle with a low opinion of yourself? Do you consistently believe that you might be an underachiever and not worthy of compliments or praise? If you answered yes to either one, you may be suffering from low self-esteem. Self-esteem is essentially how you think about yourself or your overall opinion of yourself. Struggling with self-esteem can also shift how you feel about your strengths and weaknesses. The image below is an example from Psychology Tools to show what living with low self-esteem can look like.
Low self-esteem can affect several aspects of life. It can impact your relationships, job, and health. This does not mean that you are doomed to always struggle with low self-esteem or forever have your life impacted by it. Self-esteem lives on a spectrum, and you may only struggle with it in certain situations or when interacting with certain individuals.
We recommend that you seek support from a mental health professional for treatment. It can be beneficial to seek a therapist that utilizes a modality like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). But I can understand that for some, seeking that support is scary and sometimes we like to attempt to seek relief on our own. Here are some tips to build and improve your self-esteem on your own.
1. Challenge bad thoughts about yourself
This first begins by just noticing that you’re having negative thoughts about yourself. Once you do that, you can challenge them with more positive or balanced thoughts. For example, a balanced thought could be: “I might feel a little strange, but it doesn’t mean I’m going crazy.”
2. Prioritize taking care of yourself
Eat well and exercise to boost your endorphins, this can make you feel good and stimulate a more positive mood.
Engaging in relaxation activities is incredibly important! It can support decreased levels in stress, as stress can play a role in your self-esteem.
4. Set goals
Take time to think about what you want to achieve in the short and long term. Set realistic goals for your day or week. Writing down your progress and accomplishments can increase your self-esteem.
5. Try new things
The more things you learn, the more likely you will find things that you feel passionate about.
6. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good
Be mindful about how you feel when spending time with certain individuals. If you notice feeling worse about yourself multiple times after engaging with a certain friend or family member, think about trying to distance yourself.
7. Accept yourself
We all have flaws or challenges. Learn to accept these flaws or imperfections and love them. This is far easier said than done but these characteristics make you unique.
8. Keep visual reminders of things that make you feel good
Mementoes are an excellent way to capture memorable moments and when you do you’re able to look back at them to remind you of enjoyable activities you’ve experienced.
These tips can be helpful to increase your self-esteem on your own. But it can be difficult to challenge ourselves and our thinking patterns without the support of another. This is where a professional can be supportive and assist in your journey to increase your self-esteem. Because YOU deserve it!