Now that summer is well and truly here, there is no better time to enjoy…
Positive self-esteem is vital to our confidence and ability to navigate life’s rough terrain successfully. However, several people struggle with self-esteem issues which often prevents them from thoroughly enjoying what life has to offer. According to the Mental Health Foundation, body image is the third-biggest challenge facing young people aged 16-25 in the UK. Fortunately, there are several ways to improve your overall self-esteem. So if you’re looking for ways to boost your self-esteem and be more confident, then take a look at these top tips right here.
Sun Tzu, the author of the widely acclaimed bestseller “The Art of War”, says “Know yourself, and you will win all battles.” Indeed, several experts agree that even in the self-esteem battle, good knowledge and acceptance of self is crucial to winning. Knowledge of self begins with the understanding that people are different, have varying strengths and weaknesses, and you aren’t an exception.
Therefore, it is natural to be good at, say, leading small groups while being terrible at public speaking. The key here is to accept your unique makeup and even hone these traits into strengths that can be advantageous occasionally. Are you heavily introverted? While you may not thrive in the spotlight, you can be an empathetic listener to friends or notice things quicker than most people do. Self-denial is a significant cause of low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, negative feelings of self-pity, and developing a victim mentality. Therefore, practice self-acceptance as a way to boost your esteem for the best results.
Make some improvements
While many things that impact self-esteem are beyond your control, several others are within your power to change. For example, being overweight or in bad shape can lead to body image issues which negatively impact your self-esteem. Several experts suggest exercising as a great way of improving self-esteem because fitness is crucial to self-image. Therefore, join a yoga class or ride a bicycle frequently to keep in shape and gain a positivity boost from endorphins you receive post-workout.
Also, dress in clothes that make you feel better about yourself. Your appearance is vital to self-esteem, so invest in comfortable clothing and accessories that give you confidence. Likewise, if a part of your body knocks your confidence, do something about it. For example if you don’t like the condition of your teeth, you can invest in some proper clip-on veneers to improve your smile. Maintaining proper personal hygiene and eating well are also improvements you can make to improve yourself. So explore various ways to boost your self-esteem for optimum results.
Repeat positive affirmations
Positive affirmations are brief, positive statements targeted against a defined set of negative beliefs. Many self-help books suggest that you can affect your self-esteem through what you say, making positive affirmations a powerful tool you can use to battle low self-esteem issues. Also, there is MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) evidence from neuroscientific research that indicates that you strengthen some positive neural pathways when you practice self-affirmation. What this reveals is you can positively rewire your brain and improve your self-esteem because these affirmations successfully reorient your conscious and subconscious mind. Cultivate a habit of articulating positive statements about yourself directed towards your deepest insecurities and fears to fight off negative thoughts and boost your self-esteem. Experts also recommend that you make these affirmations regularly to achieve a lasting, long-term change to how you think and feel.
Surround yourself with positive-minded people
Low self-esteem issues typically arise in our early life due to our interaction with disapproving authority figures. These issues creep into adulthood and can damage positive self-image. Those currently closest to you can significantly impact your self-esteem so it would help to surround yourself with positive people whose optimism you can feed off. Several psychological studies reveal you are more impressionable than you think because you are a social creature. As such, your thoughts and behaviours are susceptible to others’ input because you are prone to the primal human herd-like effect without even noticing.
Are your friends uplifting or bringing you down? Are they complementary or critical? Surrounding yourself with pessimistic and cynical people will lead you to be negative and cynical. Conversely, you will become optimistic and self-confident if you have positive and uplifting people around. Positive friends will also acknowledge and reinforce your positive traits while pushing you to be a better person, so hang around positive-minded people to receive a self-esteem boost for your mental health.
Don’t compare yourself to others
A reported 65% of men and 87% of women compare their bodies to images they find on traditional and social media, leading to widespread self-esteem issues. While all comparison isn’t harmful, neuropsychologists say that you are susceptible to Brain Negativity Bias, which involves fixating on the negatives! Comparing yourself to others will only leave you dissatisfied, insecure, and anxious because basing your worth on others is disempowering.
Comparing yourself to others is also unfair- you’re focusing on their strengths while highlighting your weakness which only causes self-doubt and unfounded loss of self-confidence. Therefore, avoid comparisons to preserve your self-worth. Experts suggest realising that self-worth comes from the inside, not what others are doing. Also, cherish your individuality, focus on your positives, have realistic expectations of yourself. Remembering that looks can be deceiving will prevent you from relying on others’ apparent perfections as a standard for self-assessment.
Try something new
Common characteristics of people battling self-esteem issues include feeling incompetent or incapable of accomplishing some things. As such, many experts advise learning new skills or engaging in new activities to significantly impact your self-esteem. Trying something new is beneficial because it helps you surmount challenges. The learning process demands hard work and adjusting to challenging conditions. Over time, you adjust better to understand concepts and learn new skills like problem-solving and timekeeping which improve your self-esteem. That’s because the more you overcome challenging tasks, the more confidence you gain. Learning new things also develops your creative side, which in turn improves your confidence and makes you feel better about yourself. Finally, try something new to get out of your comfort zone and expose yourself to new opportunities for self-improvement that will positively impact your sense of self.