Seven Strategies to Raise Your Self-Esteem
Self-Esteem is a challenge for many people. As humans, it is common at some point to feel low self-worth, to lack confidence, and to feel generally blah about ourselves and even our lives.
The wonderful thing is that there IS something you can do about it! Often there is a sense of helplessness when you're feeling down. Like it's just going to pass in it's own time and you've got to wait out, or you're going to be stuck in that dark place. Luckily there are many things you can do to help improve your self-esteem starting today!
First things first... what the heck is self-esteem?? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition for self-esteem is: "A confidence and satisfaction in oneself."
Now I don't know about you, but that's awfully vague. What the heck does it mean? I like to think of it like this...
Self-esteem is the combination of self-love, self-respect, and self-worth. It is the overlapping space. Only by addressing all three of these areas can we hope to create a change in our self-esteem!
Do you love yourself and treat yourself with kindness?
Do you feel like you are worthy of love, success, and joy?
Do you respect your needs, your wants, and your desires?
If you answered no or are unsure how to answer, then a little bit of self-esteem love might just be right for you...
The thing about having low self-esteem is that it's a cycle. You just might do some things that help, maybe you feel a bit better for a while, then something happens that makes you plummet back down.
In order to help boost your self-esteem, you've got to disrupt the cycle. By breaking this cycle in one way or another, you can begin to heal and thrive.
How the heck do you break the cycle? There are many theories and ways people use to boost self-esteem. Most (if not all) of them are things that will disrupt the chain. I've outlined seven of my favourites below, they're listed in no particular order and any one of them is a great place to begin.
1. Self Care
This is something that many people struggle with, and for good reason. Setting aside time for yourself can be a challenge, especially if you don't feel like you're worthy of it, or if your inner critic says you're greedy for wanting it. Sometimes you have to create a new habit for it to feel good, for it to light you up, and for it to make a difference in your life. If self care isn't on your radar at all, start incorporating 5-10 minutes a few times each week.
This can look like:
- Taking a bath
- Going for a walk in nature
- Sleeping in
- Getting a massage
and if none of these things tickles your fancy, check out 90 self care ideas to get you started here.
This might not be the first thing that comes to mind with self-esteem, but the fact is that it's proven exercise causes your brain to secrete hormones that can boost your mood and increase happiness!
Low self-esteem can often feel lonely, hopeless, and exhausting. By getting your body moving in a way that feels good to you, the chemical profile in your body can shift and it can help you feel better and more able to create the life you want to live.
3. Social Connection
Many times the importance of social connection is underrated. A recent report states that on average 1 in 4 Aussies say they're lonely. The same report states that "Higher levels of loneliness are associated with higher levels of social interaction anxiety, less social interaction, poorer psychological wellbeing and poorer quality of life."
I don't know about you, but if I'm struggling with social anxiety and poor psychological wellbeing, that's for sure going to have a negative impact on self-esteem.
To help combat this, meeting people face to face is key! A few ideas to do this include:
- Join a Meetup group
- Join a club or sports team
- Volunteer in your community
- Call an old friend you haven't spoken to in a while
One of my personal favourites, practicing gratitude can absolutely change the way you see yourself and your life. By focusing on the positive things in your life and creating a daily habit of consciously acknowledging yourself and all you have to be grateful for, you can actually solidify new neural pathways.
This can make it easier for your brain to see the positive side in any situation - including your relationship with yourself! Improving self-esteem is one of many benefits you can create from gratitude.
To find out more about a gratitude practice and why it's something you should incorporate today, read about how being grateful makes you happier here.
5. Medication & Alternative Therapies
Often low self-esteem, anxiety and/or depression go hand in hand, and using medication to treat it can be incredibly helpful. Many alternative therapies such as reflexology, acupuncture, herbal remedies, yoga, and massage also have proven benefits as well.
If you think your low self-esteem is overlapping with depression and/or anxiety, consult with your health care professional to discuss the right course of treatment for you.
6. Mindfulness & Journaling
Mindfulness is just a fancy word to describe being in the moment, concentrating on the now. Instead of reliving the past a hundred times or worrying about what's coming in the future, the act of being mindful is simply being here.
The most common way to increase mindfulness is to incorporate meditation into your daily routine. Simply by being present, relaxing, and incorporating positive affirmations, your self-esteem can begin to shift and grow.
Along with meditation, journaling can be very helpful. By noting all of your feelings and experiences with compassion and curiosity, you can begin to reflect on where you are and how you see yourself. The more you notice your experiences and reflect on how often you're able to use your voice and be the real you, the more you'll step into and appreciate the real you.
Being mindful can also mean being aware of your inner self talk. The voice in your head can be very negative when suffering from low self-esteem, so to counteract this you can start to become aware of it. Notice when you're being negative, and react mindfully with patience and kindness. A great way to do this is to use positive affirmations each day to create a new inner dialogue.
Working with a certified coach who is trained in doing deep belief changework can be a game changer when working with self-esteem. It can get to the root of where that deep-seated belief was created and create new beliefs and thought patterns.
After all, self-esteem is centered on our beliefs about ourselves, our deservability, our self-worth. These beliefs are often formed in childhood, and through life circumstances can become further ingrained to the point where they are debilitating. Re-wiring those thought patterns with someone who can support you, guide you, and keep you on track when you want to give up might just be the biggest gift you can give yourself when your self-esteem is on the line.
Are you looking for more?
Is your self-esteem in need of some extra love and attention?
Let's connect over a free Discovery Call today and get clear on what you're wanting to achieve, what's preventing you from getting there right now, and create a plan of action to make it happen!! Your life can be whatever you make it. You just have to decide. Click here to change your life.