Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.” In a world that sometimes feels like it’s trying to fit us into neat little boxes, boosting your self-esteem helps you remain authentic to who we are––strengths, weaknesses, and all. Stick around for these 10 tips on how to improve your self-esteem.
1. Cut out the self-criticism
Did you know that you have over 60,000 thoughts per day? It’s easy for many of these thoughts to carry self-criticism. While problem-solving is helpful, ruminating is harmful. Try to balance your desire for self-improvement with self-acceptance. Be reasonable about who you are and what you can accomplish, and extend love for the person you are in this present moment. Remember, you are loved in all your imperfections.
2. Cut the comparison, too.
You can’t play the comparison game and win, so quit it! But easier said than done, right? Between social media and societal pressures, many of us are forced to confront our insecurities every day. I won’t say it’s easy to do, but there are ways to make it more bearable. Limit your time on social apps, connect with friends who are committed to positive self-expression, and genuinely compliment the object of your comparison. Sometimes, turning comparison into love is all it takes.
3. Know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
In Psalm 139, David prays to God and he says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” This shows us that God has made us with every detail in mind! You are not a mistake. You are perfect, just as you are today. Do you know that deep down?
4. Get to know your strengths (and act on them!)
What makes you, you? According to the authors of Now, Discover Your Strengths, a true strength meets these three criteria:
You are good or have the potential to be good at it.
You are energized by doing it.
It benefits something greater than yourself.
Consider your passions. What is your mission? When are you most productive? If you are having trouble identifying your strengths, ask a friend. Then get to work and share your skillset with the world.
5. Surround yourself with supportive people
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Given this, surround yourself with the best! Ask yourself: do your friends bring out the best in you? If so, you are keeping good company. If not, work on expanding your social circle to meet more like-minded people.
6. Be mindful of your health
It’s all too easy to skimp on sleep and eat processed foods, but these habits won’t help you grow into a more confident person. Incorporate more vegetables into your diet, drink more water, get more sleep, and laugh as much as you can. It’s the small things that add up.
7. Learn to set healthy boundaries
How many times have you said yes to something you really want to say no to? I’m here to remind you: don’t do it if you don’t want to. If someone has a problem with your boundaries, that’s on them. On the flip side, work to respect other people’s boundaries and take other people’s choices less personally. We all are trying to make the best decisions we can.
8. Aim for progress, not perfection
We are not called to be perfect. We are called to strive to better ourselves each and every day. Remember this when you beat yourself up: perfection was never a realistic expectation, nor should it be. Be graceful in your shortcomings.
9. Do more of what you love!
What do you enjoy doing? Do more of it! It’s that simple. Art, poetry, history, dance, music…it’s up to you. Get inspired.
10. When in doubt, turn to God.
You are inherently valuable and loved. Turn to your faith for guidance and strength in times of difficulty.