As human beings we are wired to thrive on love, appreciation, and recognition; however, it is impossible to believe that you are loved and appreciated when you neither love nor appreciate your own self. This post highlights fifteen strategies to help you boost your self-esteem such that you love yourself better. Self-esteem is basically your opinion about yourself. It encompasses how much you like and appreciate yourself and highly affects your overall self-worth which is the recognition that you are worthy of being loved.
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Low self-esteem is like a prison cell, and without a positive perception of self, one cannot achieve the best of life. Well, some actually do achieve so much more than they had ever imagined. However, as earlier said, low self-esteem is so much like a prison cell. Once alone, where no one is seeing you, away from your achievements, you face the torment, the agony, and the dread of being you. This is why it is highly essential that you take on the strategies that I will highlight for you to boost your self-esteem.
Benefits of healthy self-esteem
Psychology tells us that when we feel good about ourselves, we perform better in various aspects of life. Meaning we will be more functional, more productive, and ultimately happy in most areas of our lives. Also, people who feel good about themselves find it easy to deal with negative situations such as disappointments or rejection. They also tend to handle relationships better and succeed in personal or love relationships in comparison with those suffering from low self-esteem.
In terms of love, individuals with healthy self-esteem make it so easy for others to love and get along with them. Individuals with low self-esteem can be a frustration to handle; because it seems they are just never content.
Personality traits or temperaments influence one’s attitude towards others and life in general. Some temperament types are known to possess healthy self-esteem and this equips them with a positive and healthy attitude towards other people and life in general. Individuals with healthy self-esteem tend to be self-motivated and this drives them to demand a lot from life and achieve much more.
Causes of low self- esteem
Background; often childhood experiences and upbringing have a huge effect on how one perceives oneself. Victims of bullying, abuse, neglect, or traumatic events tend to have low self-esteem and low self-worth.
Personality trait: it has been proven that some personality traits are more susceptible to incidences of low self-esteem. However, that does not mean that the individuals falling under such groups are destined for low self-esteem, no! There are various proven ways in which this can be prevented including some highlighted in this article.
Physical appearance; most often low self-esteem is caused by physical appearance. Believing that one is not good looking; often exacerbated by teasing and bullying from peers or siblings about physical attributes tends to have a negative impact on how someone perceives himself.
Disability; the disabled population is often victims of bullying, prejudice, and stereotyping giving rise to low self-esteem.
Society and media; social media is often viral with glamorous models or the latest definition of beautiful and what is trending. It is often a cause of low self-esteem when one can’t seem to keep up with the looks or trends.
Terminal illness; prolonged periods of illness can have a detrimental effect on one’s physical, psychological, and social well being thereby leading to consequent low self-esteem.
Life events; such as divorce may cause shame or negative reactions from society.
Other causes may include;
- Academic challenges
- Past failures
- Negative input from others
- Expectations from others or self
You might be reading this post and you definitely have healthy self-esteem no doubt; however, you know someone who you suspect may be a victim of low self-esteem. So how can you be certain you are dealing with someone who may not feel so good about themselves and who or what they are? Well, below I have listed some attributes and if someone is exhibiting three or more of these, they definitely have low self-esteem.
Signs of low self esteem
- Avoiding challenges
- Sensitivity to criticism
- Inability to make friends
- Fear of failure or embarrassment
- Negative self-talk
- Phobia to contribute to conversations
- Comparing self to others
- The belief that others are better than self
- Aiming to please others
- Attention seeking
- Cannot take complements
- Bullying others
- Blaming others for their own mistakes
- Failure to say no
- Substance abuse
In a later post, I will be sharing these signs in detail, highlighting how and why low self-esteem associates with them, so be sure to sign up so you don’t miss out. You can also read 15 Signs of low self-esteem in a man here.
Why should low self-esteem be of concern? Why should you boost your self-esteem?
Low self-esteem is a danger because of the ways in which one may decide to appease the situation. Some people turn out to be terrorists or serial crime perpetrators just to punish humanity for not being the people or living the life that they had wanted. Consequences of low self-esteem may include;
- Substance abuse to feel better
- Self-harm tendencies to seek attention or punish oneself
- Risky behavior to prove oneself to peers or to get noticed
- Abusive towards others
- Judgmental hence failure to love and accept others
15 amazing strategies to boost your self-esteem
So how can you boost your self-esteem? Firstly if you’re reading this post on behalf of someone that you may want to help, the best way is to share this article with them or advise them to subscribe for frequent newsletters via mail that will help them deal with various issues surrounding self-love and happiness.
Secondly, if you are reading this because you have identified that you may need a small push in improving your self-esteem, you can do the following;
Avoid self-criticism and self-pity
Fix it step by step; if your low self-esteem is caused by your appearance such as being overweight; begin to work on it a step at a time. Don’t go into extreme methods of weight loss or extreme diets. They will only hurt you and the results never last. Take a step at a time and be content with getting gradual but steady results. If it is caused by past experience, take certain steps to face your past and start letting go.
Say and think positive; people with low self-esteem are often pessimistic about themselves, about situations, and about other people around them. Everything begins in the mind, if you don’t fix your mind, you are messed up. What gets your mind ultimately gets you. If you’re always thinking negatively you will perceive things negatively and your life will be all negative. You can’t achieve anything in a negative environment.
Avoid comparing yourself to others; another man’s path of life is not your path of life so you cannot be envying what others have, do, lifestyle, or achievements. Being motivated is alright, but do not envy. You are a unique entity; you can’t look like your neighbor or that famous person on social media. Stop comparing yourself or what you have with other people; you should be your own measure of worth. Do not select an individual as your measure of worth or beauty.
Avoid social media; if you are unable to handle social media positively or without feeling bad about yourself, avoid it. In fact, delete those social platforms from your phone. Why are you there anyway? If it’s gossip you love, there are other forms of media where you can reach out to a number of people without having to scroll down your screen for an hour envying fake make-belief lives and photoshopped or edited images. Most of the impressions on social media are not even real.
Three-quarters of the people that spend time telecasting their entire lives and achievements on social media actually have self-esteem issues and only get a sense of self-worth through the numerous likes and affirmations on their post. So don’t suffer your soul by envying whatever is displayed there, there’s always more or less to the story than actually meets the eye.
Accept failure; Failure is a normal aspect of life and we all go through it in one way or another at some point. Of course more often for others but that doesn’t mean that you’re a loser. When you fail, lick your wounds, get up and try again or try a new thing till you satisfy yourself.
Develop a positive approach to rejection; the same goes for rejection. This is something that we all encounter at some point. To learn more about how to face rejection with a smile, click here.
Forgive yourself; you may have done some very nasty or disgusting things in your past that make you dislike or cause you to look down on yourself. However, you can’t beat yourself up forever. It’s time to forgive yourself and give yourself a second or third chance.
Nobody’s perfect so don’t pressure yourself to be perfect. Be fair to yourself. Yes, you should aim for excellence but not perfection. Also do not use another person to measure excellence, be your own comparison.
Practice saying no; have you ever been made to do something that you really didn’t want to and it left you feeling terrible? If yes then next time say no. You will like the feeling and you will feel powerful because you will be in control. Don’t be made to do things that are against your principles.
Stand your ground. If you don’t have core principles, it’s time you laid down some and stuck to them. Those principles define who you are and you should never cross them for anyone. If you need help with setting principles, you can reach out in my mailbox or simply subscribe because I will be sharing this topic soon.
Don’t think too much into what others say about you
Limit your time on social media; instead, develop a hobby that will keep you busy such that your whole life is not on social media.
Identify habits that leave you feeling bad about yourself and avoid them; if gossiping makes you feel like a bad person, you might as well avoid it altogether. Perhaps you are a substance abuser and you hate it so much so that you disgust yourself, take a step by seeking help that will enable you to quit without suffering the full impact of withdrawal symptoms. But whatever it is that you do that makes you hate you, is not worth doing. Quit.
Stay clean; if you think you are not pretty or handsome, there’s very little I can do right now to convince you otherwise. But I can strongly advise you to make the most of what you have by cleaning up. Do your hair, dress modestly, look fresh, and clean. But remember not to do it for somebody, do it for yourself. Moreover, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. You may not see the beauty in yourself but trust me someone will. But it’s hard to see that beauty if you are all messy and stuffy.
Don’t think too much into fashion trends and societal expectations; Fashion is what it is- for show. Reality is what it is- authentic and you are in reality, not a fashion show. You cannot aspire to move along with every little fashion trend. Try setting your own trends so long you feel good about yourself.
What you can do right now as short term goals
Break a sweat; Science has proven that physical exercise has the ability to elevate the mood and relieve anxiety. YouTube is loaded with all manner of exercise from dance to six-pack challenges. You can jog around the house or skip with your rope. Whichever you prefer, the idea is to get moving and relieve some of that negative energy, and to feel better.
Restock; Get rid of all the sad music in your music collection. Any music that makes you cry, makes you crawl into a self-pity black hole, or makes you feel bad. Music about pain, revenge, vengeance, sadness, anger… that music, get rid of it right now! It is not good for you at all. Replace it with a new collection of uplifting happy music. Similarly, get rid of all negative movies and videos, find movies that will make you feel good or laugh.
Smile and laugh. Find something right now to make you laugh. Make laughing and smiling a habit. It has been proven that laughing stimulates the release of endorphins which are natural feel-good chemicals. Hence improving your overall sense of well being and mood; and in the long run, boost your self-esteem along with the other strategies highlighted above.
Get rid of that negative person who makes you feel bad about yourself immediately!
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Hope you have found this post helpful. Your feedback will be highly appreciated. You can also share your tips in the comment box below and help that someone that may need a self-esteem boost. Thanks for reading.