Living with low self-esteem is quite a challenge. You feel anxiety and emotional turmoil, you often overthink everything, and you’re always hard on yourself but tolerant of others. As the result, your judgment gets pretty cloudy and your stress levels get elevated, which, naturally, affects the quality of your life in a negative way.
Does this sound like something you do? Let’s do a quick test if you’re not sure.
Someone you know compliments the way you look today. What’s the first thing you think about?
A). Great, this look really works. I am looking pretty fabulous today! Yay!
- B) Well, thanks. Somebody thinks I look great! Oh, wait. Does that person mean that I looked bad before? No need to point that out…
If you think that the first option describes your thoughts the best, chances are that you don’t have to boost your self-esteem. On the other hand, if you think that the second option sounds more like something you’d think, then we’ve got a little bit of a problem, and you need to boost your self-esteem immediately. Read on.
The fact that you cannot accept a compliment suggests that you have a poor self-image and you need to boost your self-esteem as soon as possible. People suffering from a lack of confidence often second guess other people’s intentions, even though they have no reasons to do so.
In this particular situation, you’re getting in your own head and making unnecessary comparisons and speculations about the reasons why that person has decided to compliment the way you look. As the result, you’re bringing your self-esteem down without any obvious reason.
Obviously, thinking this way has some complex psychological reasons resulting from negative experiences, including the following:
- Chronic abuse
- Being bullied as a child/teen
- Punishment from parents/guardians
- Neglect and lack of love and affection
- Strict parents who imposed harsh behavioral standards
- A lack of encouragement to express your opinions and views.
Do you feel like you’ve experienced at least something from this list? Then it’s time you knew how to minimize the effects of negative experiences on your self-confidence.
How to Boost Your Self-Esteem
- Become Aware of Negative Self-Talk
The first step that you need toward resolving the problem is acknowledging that there’s something that affects your life negatively. If you start to notice things that reduce your self-esteem (second guessing other people’s opinions, lacking confidence etc.), you can distance yourself from the way it makes you feel.
Remember: as soon as you notice that you start all that negative self-talk again, just take note, and forget about it. These are the thoughts that can potentially ruin your life.
- Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People
Do you often compare your salary to your friend’s salary? Or do you think that friend has a better haircut than you? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you’re on the path of self-criticism that leads nowhere you want to be.
Making comparisons is anything but healthy, so it’s not a good way to boost your self-esteem. Here are three reasons why, as described by Deborah Carr, Ph.D. in this Psychology Today article:
- Perfection doesn’t exist. There’s no way you can know the whole truth about the experience of the person you may envy. For example, why feel envy an Instagram post announcing that a person you know has gotten a promotion if that person may have waited four years to get that and got rejected many times?
- Life isn’t fair. The next time you compare yourself to a person who has more than you do because of wealthy parents, accept this truth: some people are born with more advantages than others. You can’t change that because we don’t live in a perfect world. Beating yourself up because of that won’t change anything
- You may lose a lot of friends. The constant need to judge others can turn you into a very jealous person and undermine your ability to genuinely cherish success of people around you.
- Minimize Social Media Time
One of the reasons fueling your habit to compare yourself to others is your obsession with browsing social media profiles of people you know (in fact, the average daily usage of social media worldwide accounted for 135 minutes in 2017). As it was described above, you don’t know the whole truth about the experiences of other people, so you may be beating yourself up for nothing.
So, limit your use of social media for a while. It’ll boost your self-esteem much more effectively without unnecessary stress.
- Stand Up for Your Beliefs
People with self-esteem often choose to do what others advise them, so they don’t always feel like they make the decisions they really want to make. This means that if someone tries to give you advice you think isn’t good, just ignore it. Ultimately, feeling good about the choices you make will help you make feel good about yourself, too.
If you’ve been postponing joining that local gym or the idea of doing that terrifies you, then you should definitely do it (seriously). Not only you’ll feel good physically, but also mentally. Research has proven many times that exercise improves self-perception, so it’s a sure-fire way to instantly boost your self-esteem.
- Be Self-Compassionate
Being hard on yourself is one of the reasons why your self-esteem is low, so it makes a perfect sense to begin practicing self-compassion. You deserve to be treated kindly even if you screw up because everyone does that once in a while.
So, next time you think that you messed up because you’re stupid, just remember that there are millions of others who fail miserably every day. Relax, you’re allowed to do it once in a while.
- Recognize Your Strengths
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. You may be an excellent basketball player but a horrible cook, and there’s no shame in that. If you cannot do something better than others, it doesn’t make you a loser because there’s definitely something that you can do better.
Don’t be hard on yourself if you cannot accomplish something and focus on your strengths because they will help you to win big and boost your self-esteem more effectively.
Boost Your Self-Esteem with these Tips
Hopefully these tips are helpful to you to define your core worth and gain self-confidence. Remember: confidence is something that can be learned, and it may change your life for the better, fast.
About the Author
Nadia Corey is a marketing specialist who believes that writing is the best way to express ourselves and show the world who we are. She currently works at https://www.a-writer.com/ and besides traveling, she is using her free time to write about things she’s passionate about.