13 Killer Tips to Boost Your Self-esteem Fast
Updated: Aug 5
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Do you ever wish you could just cut yourself some slack? Show yourself a little compassion; mercy? I longed to be able to let myself off the hook once in awhile. To treat myself with the same loving kindness I would show a good friend.
I knew that my inability to give myself a break, had everything to do with a deep sense of unworthiness and low self- esteem.
What is self - esteem?
Self -esteem is a result of your feelings and beliefs about your worth and your abilities. The way we feel about ourselves fluctuates from day to day. Ranging between a very high regard for self, and self -loathing - and many levels in between.
People with healthy self - esteem, feel good about themselves and have a positive outlook on life. They believe they deserve respect from others, and know how to set up healthy boundaries. They feel confident with the decisions they make and also with their opinions, interests , and beliefs.
Those with poor self - esteem often don't feel confident about their thoughts, opinions, and decisions. They have a more difficult time in relationships and connecting with others because they never reveal their authentic self , out of fear of rejection. They are much more critical of themselves and have a harder time navigating their way through life's' challenges.
Low self - esteem affects the quality of your life
Low self - esteem affects the quality of your life in a number of different ways, including:
Neglecting self - care - Poor personal hygiene , sleeping too much, or too little
Negative feelings - constant negative feelings and self - criticism can lead to persistent feelings of shame, guilt, anger, anxiety, and depression
Fear of trying - avoiding new challenges or activities because you doubt your abilities
Fear of judgement or rejection - This fear can be consuming for someone with anxiety. You avoid social events You are constantly assessing the reactions of others to see if they "approve" of you
Relationship issues - Lack of boundaries. Inability to say no leads to anger and resentments
Perfectionism - the need to be or appear to be ( e.g. spending 30 minutes writing and rewriting the same 2 sentences) This one i know all too well...
Self - harming behaviors - low self - esteem puts you at increased risk for self - harm. Examples include, cutting, bulimia, drug and alcohol abuse and suicide.
If you ,or a loved one , are suffering a mental health crisis, or having harmful thoughts, please call:
SAMHSA'S NATIONAL HELPLINE 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
What causes low self - esteem?
Low self - esteem often begins in childhood. We learn about ourselves and our place in the world, through our interactions with others (parents, teachers, siblings, peers). Depending on the messages that were sent to us , and the way we perceived them, will determine our level of self - esteem.
Some of the many causes of low self - esteem include:
Highly critical parents and caregivers
Emotionally distant parents
Disapproval from authority figures
Guilt associated with religion
Social beauty standards
Chronic medical conditions such as a disability
Mental illness ( anxiety, depression)
What messages were you sent as a child?
What can you do to improve your self - esteem?
Recognizing that there is something to change, is the first step in changing. I knew that my thinking had everything to do with the way I felt about myself.
But many times, our thoughts are so repetitive and automatic, that they just slip by our awareness. They are ingrained in our subconscious mind!
So how do we begin to feel more worthy, after so many years of thinking, feeling, and responding to life in a certain way?
Here are a 13 of my best tips , that have helped me so much over the years increase my self - esteem and self - worth:
Be mindful -
Learning to be still , and calm the mind is one of the first steps in changing your thoughts and limiting beliefs. Many people believe that in order to reap the benefits of meditation that you need to become a master meditator. And, that's simply not true!
You can experience the benefits of meditation, in as little as one breath...
The goal is to take your attention off of your monkey mind, and focus it elsewhere in the present moment. Whether that be an object, or the rise and fall of your chest, as you're breathing.
Your thoughts will begin to slow down. You will start to notice when those negative, self - defeating thoughts, try to slip by your awareness. You can then, stop that thought in its tracks and either challenge it, or focus on a better feeling thought.
Flipping negative thoughts into positive ones is another reliable technique.
" I'll never figure this out" becomes "I'm really good at writing" or " I've overcome great challenges"
" no one will love me" becomes " my loved ones value me"
"I'm never going to create a successful blog" becomes " I'm doing my best and learning a lot"
The one thing I've learned along this journey, is that everyone is messed up in there own way. Some are just better at hiding it. When we start comparing our lives to the lives of others - we always come up short.
Pull yourself together
This one may seem like a given, but if you're anything like me, a busy mom who puts everyone's "emergencies" before her own basic needs - then you know what I'm talking about. At times, I can not shower or put on any "real" clothes for days at a time. I may change out of my PJ's and throw on my good sweatpants...but that's the extent of it some days. I'm running on empty and practicing no self - care.
I had to change this, in order to start feeling better about myself.
I began with baby steps. I committed to taking a shower or hot bath everyday. Why? Not because I couldn't stand the smell of myself...but because it felt good...and I deserved to feel good!
I also started to get dressed first thing in the morning. Even if I didn't have anywhere to go. I would put on a little make-up, do my hair, and feel ready to conquer the day.
This helped me feel more confident, put together, and show up better for life.
This increased confidence , then began to trickle into all areas of my life.
Doing these things won't magically build your self - worth, but they are powerful subconscious reminders that YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Stand up straight - smile - and look people in the eye
These 3 simple moves can change your whole vibration. Try it...
Stand up. Tighten your abdomen. Roll your shoulders back. Head up. Chin in. Now smile! I know this might seem weird, but do you sense the subtle shift in the way you feel?
You are now exuding more confidence. Practice this for awhile and you will begin to internalize that confidence and your whole experience will shift.
Now, practice maintaining eye contact with people.
Have you ever tried having a conversation with someone who was looking over your shoulder, staring at their phone, or distracted by some other menial task?
How did that make you feel? Not very good , right? Like they didn't give a shit what you were saying, right?
Eye contact let's other's feel validated, recognized, and understood.
Who doesn't want to feel validated?
In turn, the more you make others feel like they matter, the more you will begin to feel validated and understood yourself.
This will lead to greater sense of self - confidence , and eventually, a deeper, increased sense of self - worth.
Focus on what you're good at
Self - esteem is built by achieving in areas that matter to us...one small step at a time.
Everyone is good at something, but no one is good at everything.
Say you're really great at painting, but not so much at writing. It wouldn't make sense to compare your writing skills with the likes of Stephen King, or Dean Koontz, because that's not your strong set.
That would be a sure - fire way to end up feeling badly about yourself. Now, don't get me wrong, you can improve your writing skills by practicing, or taking writing courses, if you're interested in that.
But, instead, why not focus on improving what you're already good at, or interested in.
If you're good at art, paint more, set up a shop on etsy, or illustrate children's books.
If you're a great cook, throw more dinner parties.
If, you're great with crunching numbers, ( which I personally suck at ) Start a book -keeping service or help others with budgeting.
Let your skills shine and you are bound to see an increase in your self - esteem.
Build up positive relationships - avoid negative ones
We all have people in our lives that make us feel better than others. Focus on building and maintaining those positive, uplifting, supportive relationships. If you have people in your life who constantly criticize you or make you feel not so great about yourself...avoid those people if at all possible.
Give yourself a break
You don't have to be perfect! This has been a hard one for me over the years. With an ever - running to do list in my head, I felt like I always had to be "on". It was not o.k. for me to be unproductive or have an off day. I'm not sure where this message came from, but it was imperative that I change it in order to lead a happier life. I had to schedule time to "do nothing". I had to challenge my inner critic, who naturally showed up trying to steal my joy. I had to use affirmations to remind myself that I was o.k. I had to show myself a little compassion. Some of the affirmations that played a major role in changing my mindset were:
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Learn how to set healthy boundaries and start saying NO!
Although, it's extremely gratifying to help others in need, you have to be aware of where your motivations lie. Are you saying "yes" in order to please others or gain their approval? You will know that's what you're doing if , as a result , you feel stressed out, angry, or resentful.
These emotions are huge red flags, that let you know that you're saying "yes" for the wrong reasons. In that instance...the answer should always be NO!
Saying "yes" when you really mean "no" is a sure-fire way to flush healthy self - esteem down the toilet. Learning how to set healthy boundaries and say no , is a skill that can be developed. It will be uncomfortable for awhile... you will feel a sense of guilt. You will feel the need to overly justify your reason for saying no (still looking for approval). You will feel anxious and afraid over others' reactions.
Don't give in to the urge to slide back into your comfort zone! This is a temporary feeling. The more you practice...the easier it will become. With consistency, saying no and setting healthy boundaries allows you to feel more confident and in control, which in turn boosts your self - esteem.
Always keep your word to yourself and others
We place so much value on honesty, integrity, and being "a man of his word". But how often have we so carelessly broken promises to ourselves? I know I have...more often than I care to admit. Why do we find it so easy to drop the ball on ourselves?
Everytime you break a commitment to yourself, you are sending a powerful message that you are not important.
Learning to be accountable means you start showing up for yourself...you keep your commitments. Everytime you keep a promise to yourself, your self - esteem increases. You begin to trust yourself and your ability to deliver. This boost in confidence will trickle over into all areas of your life.
Be true to yourself
I was on the phone with a friend tonight, and he began talking really badly about a mutual friend. I listened, with a perfectly timed "uh - huh", every now and then. Although I cringed inside...I listened. Not saying a word. Although, I felt completely uncomfortable with the topic of conversation...I listened.
Each time we deny our truth, a little piece of our self shrinks. The food you ordered is cold and overcooked...but you silently choke it down anyway. We shrink. The guy you're seeing cancelled on you...again...at the last minute! You politely tell him it's no big deal...we'll try again next weekend. You hang up and reel about in your head all things you " should " have said. A piece of our authenticity shrivels...
Simply put, authenticity means being true to your values, personality, and spirit, regardless of popular opinions. If you want to increase your self - esteem to an all time high, living a life that's aligned with your true self is a must!
Celebrate small wins
You made your bed today. Check. You worked for 10 minutes on that novel you've been wanting to write. Check. Celebrating the small victories in life is a great way to start building more confidence and feeling better about yourself.
Follow your bliss
Spending time doing things you enjoy increases your happiness and positivity. Try to schedule time everyday to do things that make you happy. Whether it's lighting a candle , and taking a bubble bath, or watching that movie you've been wanting to see, your self - esteem will thank you.
Our self - esteem can fluctuate from day to day. Boosting your self - esteem can help you live a more fulfilling life. Although you won't completely change the way you feel about yourself overnight, you can radically increase your self-esteem by incorporating these tips into your life consistently.
Do have any tips that helped boost your self - esteem over the years? We'd love to hear about them. Please, share them with us in the comments below.