Eight Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem

Self-love is fundamental to feeling good. If you include these habits in your routine, you'll be able to boost your self-esteem. Don't forget to invest in yourself!
Eight Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem

Last update: 29 March, 2021

Self-esteem isn’t something to be taken lightly. The more you love and respect yourself, the better your quality of life. It’s important to remember and easy to forget that your thoughts and emotions also directly affect your physical health.

Only when a person treats themselves with respect and loves themselves they can express their full potential and create healthy relationships. Hence, knowing and valuing yourself is one of the keys to achieving happiness and connecting with others. Here’s how to do it.

How to boost your self-esteem

Silence your negative inner voice to boost your self-esteem

Everyone has a voice inside that’s dedicated to judging everything you do: the inner critic. In some people it will be muted, in others, its tone of voice will be barely distinguishable, while in others, its volume will be so high it’ll be almost impossible to distinguish other voices. When the latter happens, your self-esteem is probably at rock bottom.

Your inner critic makes you doubt and distrust your capabilities. You’ll never do anything well, even if you put all your efforts into it; nothing is enough. It always wants more.

Hence, it has great consequences on emotional health. It’s important to learn to identify when it speaks to you to lower its volume and stop believing it. Because even if its intention is to protect you,  it doesn’t know that communicating through fear and threat isn’t the right way to go.

  • To banish your inner voice, the first thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need a lot of willpower since the inner critic has grown alongside you, and sometimes it’ll be complicated to recognize it.
  • Once you’ve identified it, the next step is to question it; that is, to doubt what it says, but with affection and respect. The important thing is for it to perceive there’s a world of possibilities beyond its rigidity.
  • In this way, you’ll learn that criticism isn’t the way, but kindness is

Stop waiting for the approval of others

All people like to know that other people around them value them and approve of what they do or undertake. However, as stated in a publication of the journal Actualidades Investigativas en Educación of the University of Costa Rica (2007), the problem occurs when you need it to move forward when you depend on the responses of others to act and forget your own needs.

Waiting for others to express their approval before choosing what to do only generates frustration. In addition, self-esteem gradually diminishes and distances the individual from their essence because they put aside their own priorities in order to meet the expectations of others.

Some fundamental keys to managing this need for approval are as follows:

  • Be yourself
  • Say what’s on your mind
  • Appreciate and indulge yourself from time to time
  • Know that no matter what you do, at some point you’ll let someone down

Exercise

A woman with good self-esteem at the gym.

A Merck Manuals medical publication states that doing exercise, in general, is another way to increase your self-esteem. For starters, you generate endorphins that will make you feel more at ease and satisfied. In addition, having a body that’s in good physical condition makes you feel better about yourself.

This happens in part because exercise releases endorphins, substances that are released in the body and produce a feeling of well-being, in addition to reducing pain.

Although at first doing exercise doesn’t demand a great effort, both physically and mentally, the truth is that over time it doesn’t just improve your mood, but also helps you gain more motivation.

Learn to accept yourself

Accepting yourself is the first step to begin to love yourself, the springboard to well-being. The aforementioned specialized publication states that self-acceptance is linked to feelings of self-worth and self-approval.

Furthermore, if you don’t accept yourself, it’ll be impossible to change what a person dislikes. In fact, most emotional problems and conflicts stem from a lack of self-acceptance.

So, how can you achieve this? The challenge is to stop rejecting everything you don’t like about yourself; otherwise, you’ll just be strengthening it. For example, if you continually reject sadness, it’ll permeate your entire reality and become stronger day by day.

However, if you accept this sadness, you’ll observe how it is diluted. It’s as if, by accepting it, it loses all its strength and chooses to leave. Moreover, experiencing it also helps you get to know yourself and learn to manage it when it appears. Because only when you accept it do you also have the option to change.

Be social

As also described in the study cited above, having a social support network is important in order to improve your self-esteem. Knowing that you have people who will always stand by you will give you a sense of security and the confidence that you need.

In addition, spending time with friends and family helps you eliminate stress. In this way, it’ll be much easier for you to feel better.

Some friends with good self-esteem having fun at a coffee shop.

Make a list of your qualities and values

What are you good at? What activities do you do with relative ease and are passionate about? Everyone has qualities and abilities that they’re good at. The question is to discover them in order to develop your inner potential and boost your self-esteem.

To begin to do so, an alternative is to make a list of all the qualities and skills, of those personal aspects that make you stand out. Perhaps, it may be complicated, especially if you’re used to criticizing yourself.

Thus, it’ll be hard to do at first. If you find that you’re stuck, ask for help from a close friend or a relative. You’ll see that after an honest conversation you’ll have a clearer image of the qualities that make you unique.

Review the list and add new qualities as you discover them. That way each morning you can reread it and modify it as necessary. Don’t limit yourself: any quality is important.

Avoid being a perfectionist

Perfection isn’t always perfect. On many occasions, it brings more obstacles than advantages for your physical and emotional health. Constantly demanding that you do everything right not only frustrates people but also generates a certain feeling of dissatisfaction. Rigidity isn’t usually a good companion.

Thus, the key to boosting your self-esteem isn’t in reaching perfection, but in learning from mistakes and tolerating defects. If there’s one thing we must be clear about, it’s that it’s impossible not to make mistakes.

The best option is to learn to be flexible, as this will give you the freedom to choose and act, to get to know other points of view, and, of course, to reach a state of calmness and tranquility.

However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to improve in certain aspects, but rather that you should be aware of when to stop, instead of obsessing over the idea that something can always be done better.

Love yourself to boost your self-esteem

A woman enjoying her morning coffee.

In short, there are many habits that can help increase your self-esteem. All you need is willpower and a lot of motivation.

Although learning to love yourself takes time, it’ll always be worth it. Valuing yourself is one of the most beautiful actions you can do. As we said, this can be the springboard that propels you to happiness.

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Self-esteem is the appreciation or regard we have for ourselves. Situations that hit us hard can cause our self-esteem to falter.