5 ways to boost your self-esteem
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Graeme Orr MBACP(Accred), UKRCP Reg. Ind. Counsellor
4th March, 20140 Comments
We all have a sense of value about ourselves, a personal value. This reflects our overall sense of ourselves and is often referred to as our self-esteem. Psychologically self-esteem is important, it can be the cornerstone of how we act and re-act to events in our lives. If you are suffering from low self-esteem then you are more likely to think badly of yourself or to give up. You are likely to feel that others have a negative opinion of you. Clearly self-esteem can have a direct bearing on how happy we feel in our lives. Yet there are practical simple measures that you can take and notice about yourself that can help you maintain a high self-esteem and keep your self-worth high.
1. Putting yourself first
This can feel strange, selfish even to put your needs ahead of others. Yet it can be one of the best things that you can do for your self-esteem, it helps to re-enforce that sense that you are as important as everyone else and deserve as much care and compassion as everyone else. That includes time to focus on your needs and re-charge your batteries to the exclusion of all else from time to time.
2. Helping others out
Almost the antidote to those selfish feelings left over from point 1. When you help others to achieve their goals, even when there is very little in it for you, there is a satisfaction that you have done something, touched someone else’s life in a positive way and in doing so shown that you are to be valued and thus raise your self-esteem.
3. Celebrate your achievements
It seems that we have got so use to a culture of “Oh it was nothing!” that we forget to stop and look at the things that we do achieve. For example something as simple as remembering to send a friend a birthday card – Oh it was nothing, yet if you received a card you enjoy that someone has taken the trouble to remember, so celebrate all the things that you do big and small that make you and the people you care about happy. It can be a handy boost when you think you never achieve anything.
4. Make fair comparisons
We are all too ready to run ourselves down, perhaps we think ourselves less pretty, less talented, more stupid. Indeed it is interesting to compare our self-talk in these situations to what we would say to a friend while we might say to ourselves “why did you say that, that was a stupid thing to say” to a friend we will offer more compassion, “Yes, I know you didn’t mean to say that never mind, tomorrow is another day”. Hear the judgement in the first and the forgiveness in the second phrase. Try to at least offer yourself the same standard that you offer others, would you tell a friend they were ugly? Why tell that to yourself? Find the positive things and talk about those
5. Do the things that you are good at
We all have talents, it might be playing a sport, it might be conjuring tricks, but doing things you are good at helps you to feel a sense of achievement. That sense of worth that comes from a job well done. It may be that you can combine your talent and help others or it may be that you do it for your own pleasure the value to your self-worth is the same to boost that sense of worthiness to the world.
We have seen that there are very practical ways of addressing self-esteem problems, however, it may be that if you have lived with low self-esteem for a number of years that you will need help in getting started and in taking those first steps on your journey.
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