The way you think about yourself shapes how you feel, act, and treat others. It’s one of the biggest influences on your mental health. So many of us struggle with low self-esteem, and it can be a long journey to build up a better self-image. However, there are easy things we can do to improve confidence and self-esteem, that over time, can help change the way we see and think about ourselves.
1. Practice positive affirmations.
I know, I know. It feels silly at first, and seems pointless. But trust me when I say that over time, it works. You’ve probably created a negative self-image by lots of negative self-talk over time. It’s gonna take some positive self-talk to reverse the damage. You can customize the affirmations you’ll use for your specific areas of struggle, but to give you some examples, here are some affirmations I use to help with my social anxiety:
I am capable.
I am smart.
I am liked.
There is nothing wrong with me.
Everyone else is more concerned with themselves than any mistake I make.
I don’t have to be perfect.
2. Make a list of things you like about yourself.
Too often we focus on the things we dislike about ourselves, and don’t think to consider any positive qualities. Make a list of as many things as you can think of that you like about yourself. Then challenge yourself to think of 5 more. Having trouble coming up with your list? Ask a friend or two to tell you what makes you special to them!
3. Set goals.
Make a list of at least 3 challenging but achievable goals, then create a plan for how you’ll conquer each one. Think of thing’s you’d like to improve on, things you’ve always wanted to try, and things you find exciting. Maybe you want to run a 5k. Maybe you want to build a habit of walking everyday for at least a month. Maybe you want to save enough money to travel. Maybe you want to learn a sport or a hobby. Maybe you want to get a good grade in a difficult class, or finish an art project, or talk to your coworkers despite your anxiety. Slowly making progress towards your goals and eventually conquering them will give you a major self esteem boost.
What other ways can you think of to improve your self-esteem?