10 ways to boost your self-esteem

Our self-esteem, which is defined as our own sense of our worth and value, changes as we get older and have different experiences throughout our life. The relationships and interactions we have with family, friends, co-workers, teachers, and others, have a big impact on whether or not our self-esteem will be low or high. The environments we are in and are exposed to, as well as social media, and our innate characteristics and degree of resilience, also play a part in building or diminishing our self-esteem. 
 

How can our self-esteem be diminished?

The beliefs we have about ourselves; the beliefs we have about others, and the beliefs we have about how others view us, greatly impact our self-esteem. These beliefs, or negative thoughts about ourselves, influence how we perceive our bodies, our skills, our careers, and the situations we are in. Our self-esteem can also be severely reduced by some of the experiences we have had. Some of the ways our self-esteem ends up being diminished include: 
 

1) Comparing ourselves to others 

2) Believing most, if not every negative thing someone says about us as being true 

3) Being physically, emotionally, or sexually abused or neglected

4) Experiencing some form of trauma 

5) Experiencing bullying 

6) Societal views and aspects of social media 

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How to boost your self-esteem? 

To start working on improving your self-esteem, there are a few activities and practices you can start doing on your own. These include: 
 
1) Write down at least five (5) things you like about yourself. This could be characteristics you like, skills you possess, or physical attributes you like about yourself. 
 
2) Accept that you are YOU. Everyone is different. Your body won’t always look the way you want it to. You won’t be as good at playing the piano as your friend might be, but you might be better at math than she is. Try to focus on the good things about yourself, and not so much on what you wish you could do, or how you wish you could look. 
 
3) Write down your short-term and long-term goals, and make a plan. Sometimes we have low self-esteem because we haven’t achieved what we would have liked to. Make a plan and work towards your goals. If your goal is working towards losing or gaining weight, start working towards making that a reality. Ensure that when you do start, your goals are SMART
 
4) Surround yourself with people who uplift you, encourage you, tell you when you’re wrong, and help you grow. It is important to have people in your life who are not only loyal and trustworthy but are the types of people who will help you achieve your goals. They will comfort you when you need it, give you a good laugh when you need it, and correct and guide you when you need it. 
 
5) Take pride in looking your best. Have you ever heard the saying, “look good, feel good”? When you look good you ultimately feel better about yourself. Enjoy putting your outfit together to go out and looking your best. You’re not doing this to impress others; you’re doing this for you. 
 
6) Challenge your negative thoughts. Try to identify and notice when you start having negative thoughts about yourself. Whenever you start thinking negatively about yourself, challenge those thoughts. Replace those thoughts will positive ones. 
 
7) Read daily affirmations. Daily affirmations help you to feel good about yourself. They help you to accept situations you are in for what they are and encourage you to work on who you want to become. 
 
8) Take a few minutes to clear your mind and get some time to yourself daily. This could involve doing a breathing exercise, listening to some music, going to the beach, or reading a book. Take some time for yourself. 
 
9) Exercise! Exercising and being active in general makes you feel good once the endorphins in your body start increasing. Go for a walk and listen to your favourite playlist. Do a home workout or take a fitness or dance class. 
 
10) Start doing more of the things YOU enjoy. Find activities that you like to do and try to incorporate them into your daily or weekly schedule. Once you start enjoying your life, you’ll start loving yourself more for it. 
 
Our self-esteem is something that can be increased or decreased daily, depending on the types of people we surround ourselves with, the types of environments we are in, and the types of beliefs we have about ourselves. Once we start working on loving ourselves for who we are and working towards what we want to achieve and who we want to be; we will be steps closer to increasing our self-esteem on our own. This would ultimately allow us to love being in our skin and loving the person are becoming/ have become. 

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