No one can give you self esteem. Self esteem involves knowing who you really are and having positive feelings about yourself. You have to feel it for yourself. You cannot get it by having lots of possessions, a fancy house, academic qualifications or trophies. When you recognise that you are a worthwhile human being and are confident in yourself you have self esteem.
Most people lack self esteem to some extent in one or more areas of their life. Here are twelve things you can do to increase your self esteem-
1. When your inner critic starts saying you aren’t good enough tell her to ‘Stop’.
2. Would you forgive someone else for making a mistake? Forgive yourself too. Sometimes it is easier to make allowances when someone else makes a mistake. I find myself thinking someone else made a mistake because he/she was tired, under pressure or hadn’t been given all the relevant information. However, when I make a mistake I tend to be harder on myself.
3. Take note of your successes and all the things you achieve. At the end of the day think back to all the things you did well or well enough. Success may be simply finishing a task. Congratulate yourself.
4. Don’t set yourself an unrealistically high standard. Sometimes near enough is good enough. Save energy for those things that really do need to be completed to a high standard.
5. .Take good care of your health. Feel good about the aspects of your health that are good.
6. Do some enjoyable exercise. Set yourself small achievable goals if you are not keen on being active. Three ten minute walks in a day add up to thirty minutes but may be easier to achieve than one longer walk.
7. When you make a mistake turn it into an opportunity to learn something. In fact, a doctor I know says, ‘It isn’t a mistake if you learn something from it.’ (I don’t know if he was quoting someone or if he thought that up himself.)
8. Make a break with negative people or at least spend less time with them. (It can be tricky if these people are relatives or you work with them.) Remember these people are dragging you down so don’t feel guilty about your decision. Spend more time with positive people.
9. Accept both your weaknesses and strengths.
10. Do something creative. It might be a new pursuit or an established hobby. It doesn’t need to be a big project. You might take a few photos or do a scrap booking page. Avoid setting yourself a task that is so big it ends up causing you stress.
11. Do something that brings you pleasure every day and nurture yourself.
12. Learn to say, ‘No.’ If you really don't want to do something you are asked to do say so. (I find it difficult to say 'no' but am working on it.)
When you do things with the aim of boosting your self esteem avoid making your goal so big you are unable to carry it through. You don’t want to end up putting stress on yourself or feeling you have failed.