Do you never feel you are quite good enough? In my daily practice as a psychotherapist, I encounter clients who are struggling with self-esteem issues. They have difficulty feeling worthwhile, deserving, and lovable. They simply don’t feel “good enough” and believe they’re fundamentally flawed in some way. Many have felt this way since their childhood. In severe cases, this can lead to chronic conditions such as depression and anxiety. Intimate relationships, work productivity, and the ability to take necessary risks are all negatively influenced by a sense of low self-worth. Here are 5 tips which will help you boost your self-esteem so you can begin to feel better.
5 tips for self-esteem
- Get into the habit of identifying and challenging the negative thoughts you have about yourself. Most of the time, we’re not aware of these thoughts because they occur quickly. To get control of your thoughts, get into the habit of writing down what you’re thinking. It takes a little effort. Ask yourself, ‘Is this thought really true? Do I have evidence for this?’ Be as honest as you can with yourself. Try to take a different perspective on things. It is sometimes helpful to think what you would tell a good friend who was thinking these thoughts.
- Take time out and relax. Stress has negative effects on our thinking. When stress is impacting your thoughts, it’s easy to get stuck in a pattern of catastrophizing and blowing things out of proportion where you only see doom and gloom and feel overwhelmed. Exercise, taking a walk, listening to music, and reaching out to friends are good stress relievers.
- Set daily goals. Track your accomplishments by writing them in a daily log. This simple activity will give you a sense of purpose and shatter the misbelief that you can’t do anything correctly. Remember to reward yourself for all the good you have accomplished.
- Help others who are in need. You can improve your self-worth just by listening and offering advice to others. Volunteering is an excellent way to assist others. Feeling connected and valued by others is important to a healthy self-image. Surround yourself with people who value and build you up.
- Take a risk and try something new. By getting out of your usual routine and exposing yourself to a new experience, you allow space for new thoughts to compete with the negative ones keeping you down. Simply by proving to yourself that you can take a risk, you start the process of improving your self-image.