The First Steps to Improving Your Self-Esteem
By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC
Self-esteem is how you view yourself. It’s the lens you look through when you consider who you are. If you have low self-esteem, you may view yourself in a negative way. Instead of thinking about how you have the gift for communication, you see yourself as someone who just can’t shut up.
When you have low self-esteem, it’s easy to fixate on your flaws. But you don’t have to let low self-esteem destroy your confidence. There are simple steps you can take to start building up your self-esteem today.
Stop living in the past.
People with low self-esteem often hold on to their old mistakes. They replay them in their minds again and again, wishing they could do things differently. But the problem is that you can’t change the past.
The first step toward increasing your self-esteem is to forgive yourself and let go of mistakes. One way you could do this is by journaling about your mistake and destroying the pages when you’re finished. Any time you’re tempted to relive your mistakes, remind yourself that those pages of your life are gone and that today’s a new day.
Pursue work that you enjoy.
Low self-esteem can take a toll on your ambitions. You may be stuck at a job you hate because you worry that another employer won’t want you or that you have nothing valuable to bring to another employer.
Building up your self-esteem can help you find work that you’ll enjoy. Start by looking at your current job. What do you enjoy? What areas do you shine in? Try asking your boss these questions or look at your old job reviews for answers.
If you’re in a job you hate and you can’t change it right away, do things you enjoy in your free time. Pick up an old hobby or look for a new one. This is a simple way to discover talents and abilities that you didn’t know you had.
Finish a project you really care about.
Focus on what you’re naturally drawn to. Maybe you’re crafty and can knit blankets. Maybe you love creating new recipes in your kitchen. When you focus on finishing projects you enjoy, your self-esteem will slowly increase. You’ll start to feel better about yourself and have the energy to do even more of the things you love.
When it comes to building up your self-esteem, understand that it’s a gradual process. Concentrate on taking small steps toward your goals and be kind to yourself when you make a mistake.