Despite knowing how important it is to have high self-esteem and confidence, many still don’t think very highly of themselves.
Low self-worth can significantly reduce your quality of life. Unfortunately, raising your self-esteem can be difficult.
Are you one of the many who suffer from feelings of low self-worth and zero confidence? You know it’s essential to be confident and believe in yourself, but you still need to improve yours.
Having high self-esteem not only makes you feel good about yourself but also makes you physiologically stronger.
Brain scan studies have demonstrated that people with higher self-esteem are more likely to bounce back quicker from emotional pain. Failure and rejection don’t hurt them as much as those with lower self-esteem.
Studies show that the higher your self-esteem is, the less anxiety you experience in day-to-day life. High stress and anxiety lead to an elevated release of the hormone cortisol.
Cortisol causes increased heart rate and blood pressure, weight gain, fatigue, irritability, low libido, intestinal problems, and so much more.
Cortisol is less likely to remain in the system of those with higher self-esteem, so it doesn’t affect them as much as those who constantly feel down about themselves.
There’s no shortage of articles and blogs designed to help you raise your confidence and self-worth online. There are so many articles, books, and videos that claim to help with this issue.
Unfortunately, most of them don’t work, and some can even make you feel worse. Improving how you feel about yourself is more challenging than it sounds.
Part of this is that your self-esteem is unstable and varies daily.
The Way You Feel About Yourself Depends On Several Factors
To further complicate things, your self-esteem consists of your specific life roles (lawyer, student, parent, teacher, etc.) and your global/general feelings about yourself- they go hand-in-hand.
For example, if you believe you’re a great parent, you’re more likely to feel good about yourself in general.
However, if your child yells at you or tells you they hate you, it’ll hurt your self-esteem in all aspects of your life- not just as a parent.
So even if you feel pretty good about getting a work promotion, feeling like a bad parent will override your pride in your work self.
It’s also important to note that while having high self-esteem and confidence is necessary, it’s possible to have TOO MUCH!
You would think sky-high self-esteem is good, but it can damage and make a narcissist out of you. People don’t usually like narcissists because they think they’re better than everyone else.
In addition, they don’t care to help or listen to anyone else’s problems but their own. They’re also bad sports when something doesn’t go their way, and they always have to be in control of things.
Having self-esteem that’s through the roof might make you feel good about yourself for specific periods, but all hell breaks loose if you receive constructive criticism or negative feedback!
You’re more vulnerable to spiraling out of control if you hear something you don’t like, and are more likely to respond in ways that hurt your self-growth.
There’s a sweet spot for how much confidence and self-esteem you need. The goal is to appreciate yourself and your worth without feeling superior to everyone else.
According to psychologist Guy Winch, here are five ways to raise your self-esteem:
Some of the most popular positive affirmations sound like, “I’m going to succeed no matter what!” However, these aren’t the best things to tell yourself if you’re feeling low.
Affirmations like this can leave people whose self-esteem is already low feeling worse about themselves than if they didn’t even say them at all.
The reason for this is that these sayings contain too much contradiction to how the person truly feels. While it may be ironic, these overly positive affirmations work better on people whose self-esteem is already high.
To make affirmations work for you when trying to raise your self-esteem, you must use them correctly. Modify this common affirmation to make it more believable and realistic.
Instead of saying, “I’m going to succeed no matter what!” say, “I am determined and will persevere until I succeed!”
This modification makes it more relatable and closer to home for you; something within reach that you can accomplish instead of just a fantasy wish where everything magically comes true.
Genuine self-esteem and confidence are created by attempting and succeeding in areas of life that matter the most to you.
Having the knowledge and ability to accomplish tasks and achieve things you set your mind to will do incredible things to your psyche and how you view yourself.
If you’re good at running, sign up and train for races and marathons. If you know you’re a good cook, organize and host more dinner parties.
Figure out what you’re good at and find ways to showcase your talent. You can apply this to your career too. If you’re good at doing hair and makeup, sign up for cosmetology school.
If you have low self-esteem, you probably already know how hard it can be to take a compliment from someone.
Feeling bad about yourself makes you more reluctant to receive praise. The sad part about this is that during these low times, you really need compliments and praise the most.
Set yourself the goal of being able to accept compliments, even if you feel awkward or uncomfortable.
It will feel strange at first and might go against your nature, but a good tactic for fighting the natural urge to dismiss them is to practice!
Have some simple responses handy and “train” yourself to automatically reply with them when someone says something nice to you.
You can say things like, “that’s very nice of you to say that,” or “that means a lot to me,” and even just a short and sweet “thank you!”
These responses will come more naturally with time and practice, and your tendency to reject compliments will disappear.
When this starts happening on its own without you thinking about is a good sign that your confidence and self-esteem are rising.
It’s unfortunate that when your self-esteem is low, you’re likely to damage it even more by constantly criticizing yourself.
Considering your goal is to raise your confidence and self-worth, you need to swap out negative self-talk with positive and compassionate inner dialogue.
Even if you have a strong urge to talk down to yourself, know that it never accomplishes anything and only causes you more damage.
A good little exercise to follow when you start negatively talking to yourself is to stop and think about what you would say to a close friend if they were in your situation.
We’re always more understanding and compassionate to others than ourselves. Stop and think about precisely what you would tell them and how you would talk to them.
Next, direct those comments toward yourself. Treat yourself as you would treat a loved one. You need to see things differently and be more sympathetic instead of beating yourself up.
This last exercise will raise your self-esteem when you feel low. It requires a bit more work and introspection, but it is worth it.
When your self-esteem takes a blow, grab a notebook and list all the qualities you possess that have to do with the situation that made you feel worthless.
For example, if your boss passed you over for a job promotion or higher position, write down all the qualities that make you a valuable employee.
These qualities can include always showing up on time, being a fast learner, focusing on your work, etc.
If your self-esteem took a nosedive after a breakup, write down the things that make you a good partner. Things like the fact that you’re always honest, you’re very understanding, you don’t have jealousy issues, etc.
Once you’ve written all the qualities down, pick one of them and write a short, one or two-paragraph essay about how that quality is valuable and why others in the future will appreciate it.
Do this as often as possible until you begin seeing your self-worth and loving yourself just as you are.
If you have trouble looking within yourself and soul-searching, enlist the help of a psychic reader!
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As you can see, building your self-esteem and confidence requires work and dedication, and it relies on you to develop and maintain healthier and more positive emotional habits.
Doing this will give you more psychological and emotional benefits in return for your time and commitment. These benefits will stay with you for a lifetime once you develop them.