It is a term used to indicate a person’s assessment of his or her own value. It incorporates emotions and beliefs about oneself. Beliefs such as: ‘I am capable’, “I am successful’, ‘I am a good person’, and emotions like pride, misery, despair or happiness.
Having positive self-esteem lays a strong foundation to being able to achieve things in your life and overcome obstacles that come across your path. Whereas having low self-esteem can see you constantly worrying, feeling anxious and unhappy, not taking care of yourself and expressing negative self-talk, all of which is destructive.
Judi Clements, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation says: “Maintaining a good level of self-esteem, neither too high nor too low, is important for people’s overall wellbeing. It aids people in leading a flourishing life, as it is connected to high levels of resilience, vitality, optimism and self-determination, as well as positive relationships.”
How to Improve Your Self-Esteem?
Those less confident can improve their self-esteem. You need to believe in yourself and in an alternative way of thinking. i.e Banish the negative thinking – the glass half empty and think in a more positive light. Below are some tips to get you on the right path.
- Learn to focus on what you HAVE achieved, whether small or large. Making it into a school sports team, passing exams, getting your first job, car or own home. Acknowledge all your achievements.
- Accept yourself for who you are, love yourself for who you are, faults and all. None of us are perfect.
- Learn to accept what you cannot change about yourself and then let it go.
- Focus on the positive things about yourself. Write a list of all your good points like: being a good listener, caring for others, always willing to lend a hand, down to being a good cook or gardener. When you start negative self-thoughts, bring out your list and focus on the positive!
- Avoid comparing yourself to others. There will always be the ‘Jones’ next door with a flasher house, car or boat. Don’t dwell on what you don’t have, learn to appreciate what you DO have and show gratitude for it.
- Learn to forgive yourself (as you would others) if you were unable to complete a certain task. Adjust your goals so you have a better chance of achieving it in the future.
- Associate with positive and encouraging people. People who are positive can help you feel that way too and also provide a supportive environment which is up lifting.
- Try not to take criticism personally. It can be hard I know! But depending on who it is coming from (someone you respect) try to take it as ‘feedback’ and learn from it.
- Learn to accept a compliment. Don’t brush it off and make light of it. Acknowledge it positively and verbally accept it.
- Make time to exercise. Endorphins are released during cardio activity causing us to feel happier and healthier, boosting your mood and your self-esteem.
- Take time out for yourself and do something you love. Doing something you enjoy will help improve your self-confidence.
- Laugh. Have a sense of humour and learn to laugh at yourself. It will help distract you from negative emotions and boost your mood bringing greater happiness.