You’re young, spunky, sassy, energetic, and perhaps even a little boisterous – but is that just on the surface? Although we hate admitting it, a lot of us would agree that we could use some help with boosting and maintaining our self-esteem. Self-esteem, however, is a funny thing: it takes a long time to build it up, but we so easily let others tear it down.
Luckily for all, there are better ways to improve your self-esteem than just knocking back another drink or two, or even damaging someone else’s in an attempt to boosting your own.
So, how can you build this elusive concept known as self-esteem? How can you make that mental image you have of yourself in your mind into a masterpiece? Compiled below is a list of several tips and areas that can help improve your self-esteem. The goal here is not to try them all at once but rather, to select a few and concentrate your focus. Like learning to play the guitar or taking on King Koopa and the airships in Super Mario 3, it may just take some time until you see results.
Good luck and cheers on looking for ways to improve you!
1.) Compare You to You: “She don’t careabout my car, and she don’t care about my money. And that’s real good ‘cause I don’t got a lot to spend. But if I did, it wouldn’t mean nothin’. She likes me for me.” STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS. One of the worst things you can do is define success through the lives and eyes of others. Place your efforts around focusing on you, and not others regardless if they are more or less successful. Work on improving yourself to see how YOU grow and thrive on the way to becoming a more confident and happy individual. Or as Pauly D. would say “I do me. You do you.”
2.) Improve Your In-person Communication Skills: Why is it that it is so easy to click the “like” button on Facebook but so hard to say “I like you” in person? What do we fear more: reaction, rejection, or even just a response? Relationships are one of the most important factors of life regardless if they are romantic, platonic, or bubonic (totally geeking out). How do you build strong, healthy relationships? Through strong and healthy communication. Focusing on improving your face-to-face communication (tweeting doesn’t count), body language (I struggle with this mightily – you can pretty much tell what I am thinking without me speaking), and first impressions will naturally improve your relationships and your self-esteem.
3.) Be Creative: Everyone is creative. It saddens me to hear people say “I’m not creative,” because that tells me that they don’t give themselves the chance to express themselves uniquely. Regardless of your age, you should never lose sight of your childhood imagination and creativity. Reconnecting with your creative side is a sure way to improve your self-confidence and self-esteem. Sure, you may struggle at times while trying to harness the more creative you, but in exchange you will learn so much more about your hidden capabilities, talents, or even how you overcome obstacles. That alone can give your self-esteem the boost it needs!
4.) Exercise: As a society, we often spend too much time focusing on needing to be “thin” when really we should be focusing on becoming “strong.” Exercise is great for helping boost your self-esteem through a variety of mechanisms. For starters, there is that lovely sensation connected to the release of endorphins, then of course the overall sense of accomplishment that comes with chasing after personal goals, and lastly, people who work out on a regular basis tend to have more self-confidence (not cockiness) and feel healthier overall. It’s ok to enjoy a “Friends” marathon on the couch from time-to-time (pivot, pivot, PIVOT!) but make sure you build exercise into your regular schedule to experience a variety of body and mind benefits.
5.) Face Your Fears: “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” False. “There is nothing to fear but an organic chemistry exam.” This is one of those big risk, big reward type scenarios. By facing your fears you are actually taking a tremendous step forward in improving your self-esteem and confidence. However, if your fear is an actual phobia, there are more appropriate ways of treating the issue at hand. My suggestion: pick out a couple of low-level fears and think about why these things scare or intimidate you. Then, think about how you can adapt yourself or the situations to make those things less intimidating. Lastly, take that step forward, stand your ground, and remember you cannot and will not be intimidated. You can do this, I believe in you.
6.) Reason with the Future You: Ever find yourself beyond stressed out or worked up over a decision, argument, or encounter Yeah, me too. There are just some things in life that we become so emotionally invested in, that we often lose track of the big picture. Here’s a great way to counteract that: The next time you feel caught up in the situation and so concerned about its impact, take a step back for a second and think about this: will this decision still be a big deal 3 years from now, or even more so, will people even remember this decision, issue, or encounter? In doing this, you are allowing yourself to get a better perspective of your day-to-day troubles and challenges while hopefully realizing that there really is no need to sweat the petty. Perhaps, instead, pet the sweaty?
7.) Surround Yourself with Positive People: Ever hear the saying “You are what you eat?” Well, the same goes for the people you surround yourself with. That’s right, “You are the people you eat.” Wait, that doesn’t make any sense. All kidding aside, humans tend model themselves after the people they spend the most time with. Active people like being around other active people. Smokers like being around other smokers, and believe it or not, Debbie downers like being around other Debbie downers. Take home message: Try to surround yourself with genuinely positive people, and soon you too will have a sunny disposition.
And just for kicks…