Easy ways to improve your self-esteem

What is self-esteem and how do you improve it?

Self-esteem is the views and opinions you have of yourself. You may hold yourself in high regard, knowing that you’ve got your strengths and challenges but essentially you like yourself.

Or maybe you have poor self-esteem and live life in a self-critical state constantly berating yourself for each little hiccup.

Maybe you flitter between the two, at times being able to praise yourself for your efforts and for how well something went whilst sometimes telling yourself off for not being braver, for not daring to try something or beating yourself up for something you’ve said or done (that perhaps you shouldn’t have said or done!)

If you have good self-esteem you’re more likely to be happy to try new things, and are more resilient when things don’t go well whilst being able to speak kindly to yourself about how well you’ve done just giving something a go.

Those people who have been raised in a positive environment where praise is profuse and easily earned are probably more likely to have good self-esteem, whereas if you’ve been raised in a family who nit-pick and where praise isn’t easy to come by, you may end up with poor self-esteem. But that can be improved! 

It’s useful to note that your own positive opinion of yourself is all that matters, you don’t have to wait for someone else to give you validation or tell you that you’re amazing and you don’t need to be perfect in order to add value to the world or to be loveable. You’re amazing just as you are. Honestly.  

Here are some easy ways to improve your self-esteem

how to improve your self esteem see yourself with kind eyes. Image of woman wearing rose tinted glasses on a blue background

See yourself through kind eyes and speak nicely to yourself

The quickest way to raise your self-esteem is to start seeing yourself through kind eyes.

If something goes wrong know that you have tried your best. Instead of beating yourself up by telling yourself you’re an absolute wally you are (or worse!) look for the lessons it’s taught you, think about what you’d do differently next time and tell yourself that you did your best. If you see ‘failure’ as a learning experience you will feel much better!

We don’t need to get everything right 100% of the time. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you may have made. Let it go. It’s also important to challenge any negative beliefs. Sometimes we think things that just aren’t true or that may have been true at one point, but aren’t true now. Consider if someone else had done this, would you think less of them or would you smile and think nothing more of it? Treat yourself in the same way you’d treat others.

Use words of encouragement on yourself. Things like ‘you can do this’ or ‘let’s see what happens’ are powerful ways of boosting your self-esteem Top Tip: If you wouldn’t say what you’re thinking about yourself to a small child, don’t say it to yourself!

improve your self-esteem dare to give it a go image of woman jumping

Dare yourself to give it a go – be playful Be playful!

Dare yourself to try new things and let go of the need for a specific outcome.

See what happens. Allow it to play out. If you feel like you always need to get every job you apply for, pass every exam with distinction first time, be accepted onto every course or be accepted on a date by everyone you ask, you’ll find it too hard to do anything. So let go of a specific outcome and see what happens.

Usually you’ll find that the more you try new things with no specific outcome in mind, the better you feel about yourself and the more confident you get! If you take a more playful attitude it won’t matter if you get a no, don’t get the job, don’t go on the date etc.

The same principle applies to projects you might want to start, if you feel like you need to be absolutely 100% ready or it has to be the right time or perfect before you release it into the world, you’ll never do it. So just give it a go, see what happens and you can always adjust what you do when you’ve got more information! Be brave – I dare you!

improve your self esteem by celebrating everything image of woman looking happy on blue background

Recognise/ Celebrate what you CAN do.

Sometimes we brush off what we can do or what we have achieved. It can help to list all the things that you can do, that you’re good at and things that you’ve overcome. Praise yourself and celebrate every little achievement. If anyone compliments you on anything, make note of it and then when you’re having a bad day you can look at what other people have said and know that you’re just having a bad day rather than a bad life! Remember that you’ve got many talents and have plenty to offer the world, even if it doesn’t always feel that way!  

Read Blog post about What CAN you do

improve your self esteem don't compare yourself to others image of book saying don't compare yourself to others on blue background

Never compare yourself to others

We can sometimes look at other people and decide that they’re doing way better than we are. But it’s important to remember we only see the bits of people’s lives they want us to see.

We don’t see the sleepless nights, the worries about paying bills, the arguments, the mound of washing stacked up, the pile of pots on the work top.

Also we’re not climbing the same tree as anyone else.  Many years ago I was happily moaning about how my life wasn’t going as well as someone else’s and it was pointed out to me that we weren’t climbing the same tree. That their life may have had some easy to climb branches lower down where as my tree may be easier to climb further up and that really stuck with me.

If i was comparing my life to someone else’s I may find my life lacking but if i compare myself with how I was say 5 or 10 years ago then I’m doing really well. So pack it in!

Don’t compare yourself to anyone else’s illusion of a perfect life!  Top Tip: Know that other people struggle too! With practice you can get better at most things. Don’t feel that you have to ‘be a natural’ at anything in order to be good at it.

improving self esteem if it's not a heck yes it's a no image of man thinking on blue background

Set Boundaries  – If it’s not a heck yes it’s a no!

You can improve your self-esteem by setting boundaries and knowing your value. Prioritise things that make your heart sing and curate your time wisely. If you get asked to do something and your immediate response isn’t ‘heck yes’ then decline and do something else.

People will respect you more if you don’t always do everything you’re asked to do and the higher your self-esteem will be. 

If something makes you feel uncomfortable (and it’s something you can get out of, not say completing your tax return!) then feel free to decline.   

Further Reading: https://www.sarahcooper.co.uk/what-is-self-love/

Over to you.

What do you to to improve your self-esteem? Please let me know in the comments below. If you have enjoyed this article please share with your friends.

Sarah Cooper

Sarah Cooper

I am a Reflexologist, Reiki Master Practitioner and Writer from Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire. I love writing about Health and Wellbeing, Mind Body Spirit and Reflexology. When I’m not at work, you can find me in the kitchen cooking up a storm!

If you’d like to book a treatment please go to https://www.sarahcooper.co.uk/book

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