Self-esteem is basically about having a positive and realistic sense of who you are. You like yourself and understand your strengths. You believe in your abilities and recognize the areas where you could use a little more work.
While your childhood experiences influence your level of self-esteem, there’s a lot you can do as an adult to boost your confidence. Study these tips for building up your sense of self-worth, and apply them to your own circumstances.
Practice Your Faith
For many of us, our spiritual faith defines who we are and our purpose in life. Let your faith show you how valuable you are, and how precious your life is.
1. Meditate and pray. Set aside time each day to connect with the divine. Create a quiet space where you can sit down and still your mind.
2. Read inspirational messages. Pick up a few books by a spiritual leader you admire. If you’re looking for new ideas, browse online and ask your friends what they’re reading.
3. Discuss your beliefs. Clarify your thinking and challenge your assumptions by talking with others. You’ll deepen your understanding of your faith and discover how to put your beliefs into action.
4. Embrace your individuality. Your faith will help you to respect your unique gifts and give you the courage to be yourself. Authenticity is the basis of true confidence.
Appreciate Your Accomplishments
Each action we take reinforces our self-esteem or tears it down. Learn to make choices that will help you to take care of yourself.
1. Make a list. Think about your past victories and the patterns that they suggest. Maybe you perform well when you collaborate with others or narrow your focus to a few top priorities.
2. Align your actions with your values. Think about what you value and how your actions support your core beliefs. Examine which choices cause stress or create peace of mind for you.
3. Take risks. Feeling confident and capable allows you to reach beyond your comfort zone. Audition for a part in the next production at your local community theater or volunteer for a tough assignment at work.
4. Persevere through obstacles. It’s easy to say you have a goal, but tougher to see it through to completion. High self-esteem helps you to overcome setbacks because you know that you’re worth the effort.
Cultivate Social Support
While we’re ultimately responsible for developing our own self-esteem, our interactions with others play a powerful role. Use your relationships to strengthen your belief in yourself.
1. Turn to your family. Rely on family rituals that contribute to your sense of self-worth, and work on changing the dynamics that seem counterproductive. You may decide to hold family meetings so you can agree on house rules and cut down on bickering.
2. Deepen your friendships. Are your daily interactions mostly about work? Disclose your inner thoughts to let others know you and communicate on a more profound level.
3. Evaluate your romantic life. How you perceive yourself has a powerful impact on how you handle dating and marriage. Talk with your partner about what you can do to respect each other’s feelings.
4. Play with your dog. For a quick fix, look at yourself through your dog’s eyes. Your dog thinks you’re great, so let them teach you to have more compassion for yourself. Many studies show that pet owners tend to have higher self-esteem.
Love and accept yourself for who you are. As you build your self-esteem, you’ll be more likely to make sound decisions and fulfill your goals. You’ll know that you are worthy of respect and dignity.