There’s no quick or easy way to gain self-esteem. It takes mindfulness and hard work, BUT it is worth it. Here are some tips on how to start building up your self-esteem and confidence.
So… what is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is the opinion we have about ourselves, and how we value ourselves.
Generally, when we have healthy self-esteem, we feel positive about ourselves and our lives. It helps us deal better with whatever life throws at us – both good and bad.
When our self-esteem is low, we tend to be more critical of ourselves and see ourselves in a negative light… which makes us feel like able to take on life’s challenges. You may hide, or avoid doing things that are challenging and this can form some unhelpful habits in the long term as well as leading to harming your mental health and mood.
Here’s some things you can do to that building up your self-esteem.
Connect with others
Relationships with others are one of the key aspects of our emotional happiness. The closer you are, the more supported you feel.
Connect with those who are already in your life – but also make an effort to meet new people.
There is limited research on the topic of loneliness, but we do know that it can have severe impacts on our physical health; Loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. (Holt-Lunstad, 2010).
Reach out to friends and family, you’ll feel more supported and valued when you’re connecting to others which will raise you up. Build positive relationships with people who are positive and who appreciate you.
“Humans are social animals who rely on each other to survive. Perhaps not in the way we once did, but we still rely on others for our survival through our exchange of information, goods and services. our need to be social is closely linked to our felt sense of safety. By naming our need for authentic social connection, we validate our needs, and we can start to make a plan around things that we can do to help ourselves,” says Kaysha Thomas, Registered Nutritional Therapist, Pilates Instructor and wellness blogger.
Try not to compare yourself with others
We’re all unique, we’re all individual and that’s what makes us special. Try not to compare where you are in life to others, whether that’s social, personal or at work because it often leads you down a path where you feel inferior or doing something wrong.
Exercise can help manage your emotions and increase your focus and energy.
Find a type of exercise that you enjoy and make it a daily habit.
“Pursuing a fitness goal is a highly effective method for building self-esteem. The physiological benefits greatly improve overall vitality and wellbeing. Importantly, exercise can be used to teach useful skills such as resilience, consistency, and positive self-talk,” says Melody Coleman, PT & Life Coach.
Learn to be assertive and when to say ‘no’
Being assertive is about respecting other people’s opinions and needs and expecting the same treatment for yourself. People with low self-esteem are often less vocal with their own wants and needs in favour of others, which is detrimental to their own wellbeing.
This often means they say yes to people, even when they don’t really want to, which can lead to you feeling overburdened and resentful. Saying no isn’t negative or selfish, quite often it’s self-preservation and proves that you value yourself.
Enjoy the moment
Take time to be mindful in the everyday, to appreciate the beauty that’s all around. Enjoy the moment and take notice of the world around you.
“One of the biggest challenges we face in our society is the inability to slow down. Being constantly busy can also be a result of being in that survival mode. If this is the case, then seek ways to tap the brakes so that you can connect to yourself. That might be taking an extra few minutes in the shower, mindfully making yourself a cup of tea or even taking the time to reach out to a friend. When we slow down, we can listen to our needs,” says Kaysha Thomas Registered Nutritional Therapist, Pilates Instructor and wellness blogger.
Learn something new and challenge yourself
Learning something new is good for you, it can give you a sense of achievement that can do wonders for your self-esteem. It doesn’t have to be a set course – it could be anything from learning an instrument, to a langue or even trying out a new sport.
“Self-esteem is about living in line with our values. To have healthy self-esteem, I must consistently prove to myself that I am the type of person I myself respect. Overcoming challenges to meet your goals is a powerful way to feel good about yourself.
It’s also important to take the time to celebrate your successes. Emotionally, rewarding ourselves with positive reinforcement is highly motivating and boosts self-confidence,” says Melody Coleman, PT & Life Coach bodyprojectpt.com
Self-talk is the way you talk to yourself. You may not be aware of it, but you are doing it. Your inner voice combines conscious thoughts with inbuilt beliefs and biases and this creates your daily internal monologue.
Self-talk is important because it has a BIG impact on how you feel… what you do. And by being supportive, motivational and positive to yourself, can make a huge difference to your confidence and the way you feel about yourself as well as many other benefits.
“A healthy sense of self-esteem is essential to positive mental & physical wellbeing. Self-esteem is about the way we view, think, and take care of ourselves. If I believe I am important and worthy, I’ll make better health decisions overall. Making the best possible nutrition, lifestyle & exercise decisions overall is the key to optimising health,” says Melody Coleman, PT & Life Coach.
You should also try and reframe those negative thoughts into something positive. It’s easy to fall into unhelpful habits, so recognising them and taking steps to think about things differently can really improve your mental health and wellbeing.
Think about ways you can help other people – giving back can really help you feel like you have a bigger role in the world. It can help you feel part of a wider society, something bigger than yourself and it just feels good overall.
Stay strong and believe in yourself! Remember…
- You’ve already got what it takes
- Dream big
- Be bold
- Inhale positivity
- Exhale self-doubt
We all have times when we lack confidence and don’t feel good about ourselves. But if this goes on long-term, it can have a negative impact on our mental health and everyday lives.
Life is way too short… Go easy on yourself. Whatever you do today, let it be enough. Remember, you’re human and humans make mistakes and have emotions.