7 Ways to Raise Self-Esteem

Jerry Kennard | May 29th 2017

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Think positive

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Try to work out where your negative thoughts (“I’m stupid” or “I’m unlovable”) come from. Think of 1) evidence that disproves these thoughts and 2) positive things about yourself. Nothing is too small. For example, “I can cook,” or “I can repair a punctured tire.” Write these down, and regularly read what you’ve written.

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Avoid negative people

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Think about the people in your life who bring you down. Work out ways to spend less time with them and seek out more rewarding people who like you for who you are. If you really can’t get away from the negative types, consider telling them how their words or actions make you feel.

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Risk is all right

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Take a few small risks. People with low self-esteem often live fairly narrow and predictable lives. They don’t like change because change is risky. People with a healthy self-esteem are more likely to try new things and take on new projects. Start small and build up: visit a new coffee shop, or take up a hobby.

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Assert yourself

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Learn simple assertion techniques. The most effective social encounters are based on a system of mutual benefit. Do something for me, I’ll return the favor. If you allow yourself to be used, then you’ll always feel disadvantaged. It can be uncomfortable asking for something for yourself, but until you try nothing will change.

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Don’t beat yourself up

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It’s strange how people can offer good advice to others that they can’t take themselves. What would you say to a friend who is upset over their perceived inadequacies? You’d point to all the reasons why what they are saying is wrong. Now try applying those same principles to yourself.

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Be yourself

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Stop comparing yourself to other people because there is always someone who is better looking, wealthier or smarter. The trick to healthy self-esteem is to figure out your own strengths, and your own potential. These are the things to build on and with that comes greater confidence.

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Support yourself

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Use available resources that make yourself feel better. Use daily relaxation or mindfulness techniques. Don’t be afraid to use talk-therapy as a way to help restore self-esteem. Exercise. Eat a nutritious diet. Sleep well. It’s all about balance, focusing on things you can change, and moving forward.