The MHS Journals

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How to Improve Your Self-Esteem

Jan 24, 2022

Woman Rolling a MatAccording to Dr. Joe Rubino — an author who specializes in self-esteem — up to 85% of people have struggled with low self-esteem at some point in their lives. If you’re one of these people, you certainly aren’t alone, but where do you start in addressing the problem? Building a healthy relationship with yourself can seem like an uphill battle if you don’t know how to have self-esteem. There are a few proven strategies you can employ, though, to effectively develop a sense of healthy self-esteem and revolutionize your life in the process. Read on to learn how you can improve your self-esteem and your life.


What Is Self-Esteem?

Before you can improve your self-esteem, you need to understand what it is. Self-esteem is a concept that refers to your ability to value yourself. Those who suffer from low self-esteem often do not find worth in themselves and can face a myriad of social and personal problems as a result. In severe cases, these problems can interfere with a person’s wellbeing and lead to more serious conditions such as anxiety and depression. Needless to say, it’s important to address low self-esteem before it worsens and causes more problems.

Building self-esteem thus requires that a person augment and improve their own subjective valuation of themselves. This is a process of recognizing one’s own worth, addressing negative thoughts that contribute to feelings of unworthiness, and enriching one’s life to support a more positive outlook and self-image. These objectives can be achieved by any means, but the following strategies are some of the most effective approaches to try.


How To Build Healthy Self-Esteem

Healthy self-esteem is a tricky concept. Each person is liable to define it differently, and there is no objective measure to define “healthy” by. Still, a consistent belief in one’s own worth is a useful starting point for building healthy self-esteem — and so are these steps.


Get Into the Habit of Positive Self-Talk

One of the most common causes of low self-esteem is the prevalence of negative self-talk in a person’s mind. If your inner monologue commonly includes ideas about your unworthiness or lack of success, it’s time to reverse it and train yourself to think positively. Compose several positive ideas about yourself, and whenever you hear a negative self-talk thought, work to replace it with a positive one.


Forgive Yourself for Making Mistakes

Another common culprit in low self-esteem is an inability to forgive oneself for making mistakes. People often dwell on their own shortcomings and refer to missteps that occurred in the past as proof of their unworthiness. There’s one major problem with this, though — everybody makes mistakes. Rather than continue punishing yourself, try to forgive yourself for mistakes.


Shift Your Focus Towards Successes

Once you’ve started to forgive yourself for your mistakes, you can take it a step further and work on celebrating your victories! Just as you may be in the habit of dwelling on errors, you may have a tendency to downplay successes. Rather than write off your abilities and victories, try to focus on them and derive a sense of accomplishment from these experiences.<


Identify and Develop Your Competencies

Some people feel as though they don’t have any victories to celebrate or focus on. If this is the case, you need to identify your talents and competencies and develop them further. Are you artistically inclined? Adept at writing? Identify the skills you possess — or those you’d like to sharpen — and develop them deliberately. This can help you build healthy self-esteem while developing your talents, too.


How Do I Like Myself Without Being Self-Absorbed?

If you want to work on building self-esteem, but you’re worried about falling prey to narcissistic tendencies, remember that healthy self-esteem is entirely separate from — and in contradiction to — self-absorption. Follow these principles to keep yourself in check while you work on boosting your self-esteem.


Recognize Every Person’s Worth

The first step to developing your own self-esteem — and preventing it from turning into self-absorption — is recognizing the inherent worth of every person. Though you may not feel as though you are worthy, you are — and so is everybody else! As you work to adopt this mindset, you may find that you value other people more in addition to valuing yourself more, too.


Develop Relationships Intentionally

Another important aspect of developing healthy self-esteem is developing relationships that make you feel positive about yourself. You shouldn’t rely on others for validation, but investing in relationships with others is a great way to hone your own sense of self-worth through meaningful friendships and relationships.


Foster Positive Interactions With Others

Of course, you won’t be able to develop a relationship with every person you encounter, but you can put effort into making each interaction a positive one. This can help you develop your own self-esteem by honing your social skills and allowing you to focus on others rather than yourself. When you focus on investing in others, you may find that your self-esteem naturally begins to lift.


Identify Specific Self-Esteem Goals

Perhaps the most important aspect of developing healthy self-esteem is establishing clear goals to aim for. Without goals, you might simply be building a better self-image with no context for your actions. Identify the reasons why you want to improve your self-esteem and keep those goals at the forefront of your efforts. This will help you avoid the pitfalls of self-absorption that may arise from aimless self-investment.


Improve Yourself With Help From a Therapist

Improving your self-esteem is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your friends, your family, and your community. Low self-esteem doesn’t just affect you. It affects everybody around you, too. If you’re ready to begin the journey of self-improvement, you can benefit from a guide to help you. MHS offers dedicated therapists to help you improve yourself and your life through proven techniques such as dialectical behavior therapy. For more information on how MHS can help you boost your self-esteem, you can call us at (952) 835-2002 or learn more about us online.


Image Source: Maridav / Shutterstock