How to Improve Your Self Esteem

self-love2So many people in this day and age struggle with self esteem issues, myself being one of them. If you are one of these people, then you know just how hard it is to break free from that cycle of criticism and to build your self confidence. I’m not saying it’s easy, you’ll have to step out of your comfort zone, but it will be worth it.

I still struggle with my self esteem, but I have come a long way from where I used to be. I am the sort of person who sets high expectations for myself and then beats myself up if I don’t achieve those goals. This has led to many problems, including being partially the reason for my anxiety and depression. With the help of counselling and my own determination, I am making steps towards learning to love myself for who I am.

As I’ve already said, it is not easy by any means. But if you are serious about changing your mind and self image, this post is for you. I have compiled a list of tips and activities to help you along your way 🙂
  1. Positive Self Talk
    • Don’t underestimate how much what comes out of our mouths can influence what goes on in our minds. This has been a big obstacle for me. I’m constantly telling myself and others that I’m not good enough, from “I know I’m going to fail this test” to “none of these clothes suit me”. One day I suddenly realised how this must sound to other people. I realised that they don’t like hearing me beat myself up all the time, they may even see the behaviour as attention seeking, which for me it isn’t. So I decided that it had to stop.
    • So, how can you break the cycle of negative self talk? Identify the areas that you’re most likely to criticise yourself in, then don’t allow anything negative to come out your mouth.
    • Task: Rehearse some practise sentences, for example, replace “I understood nothing in that test I’m going to fail” with “the test was challenging, but I tried my best”
  2. Don’t compare yourself to others
    • How many times have we heard this one right? But seriously, it is so important. I struggle with this in many aspects of my life.quote_alberteinstein
    • It’s very important that you firstly notice when you are consciously comparing yourself to other people. It’s not a bad thing to have individuals that you look up to, but when that is causing you to feel insecure, you need to change something.
    • Task: divide a piece of paper in half. On one side, list all the situations or traits that make you feel inferior to others. On the other side, write down a list of things that you’ve achieved and are proud of. Then rip the paper down the middle, destroy the first side (rip to shreds, through off a cliff, burn, your choice) and stick the positive piece onto your mirror to read every morning.
  3. Be more positive
    • For me, the defining turning point was when I decided to believe that I am strong. If there is a certain situation that makes you feel self conscious, like being in a certain group of people, you can imagine yourself in that situation acting self-secure and confident. I really recommend you try this technique, it has helped me a lot with exam anxiety.
    • Surrounding yourself with positivity is a great way to improve your self esteem. Surround yourself with people who make you feel valued, read blog posts about self esteem and scroll through Tumblr for motivational quotes.
    • Task: Make a list of small achievable goals. Tick them off as you complete them and reward yourself.
  4. Spread positivity
    • A great way to boost your self esteem is by helping others.
    • Task: meet up with your friends and stick a piece of paper onto the back of each person. Spend some time writing down compliments and things you appreciate about that person on their back. This is a great way to boost their self esteems as well as your own
  5. Learn to forgive yourself
    • Try to show yourself some compassion, you are only human after all! You cannot hate yourself into a version of you that you’ll accept. Hatred fuels hatred, not personal growth.
    • Engage in acts of self care. Have a pamper evening, exercise, get a good amount of sleep and eat a healthy diet.
    • Task: At the end of every day, write down something that you have achieved, or a compliment you have received onto a post-it note. Store the notes in a jar to read back when you’re feeling down.
  6. Distract yourself from negative thoughts
    • This can be hard, and takes a lot of determination, but try to focus on something else whenever you begin to give yourself a hard time for something.
    • Task: If your insecurities are about your physical appearance, try to look in the mirror less. When you do, put a big smile on your face. It is scientifically proven that your brain will associate smiling with happiness and this will help you to accept and value your body more.
I hope you found this long and wordy post helpful. I just want to encourage you and let you know that it is possible to improve your self esteem. This time last year, I hated my body so much that I never wore shorts, and this year I have been walking around in my bikini without a care in the world! haha. Have a wonderful day, lots of love,
Hope x
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