How can we increase self-esteem when, each day, we are faced with situations that can lower our self-esteem and affect our confidence, if we let them?
My friend recently applied for a new job and had rounds of interviews which were completely out of her comfort zone. A client of mine had to attend an event with people he had not seen in years, and was no longer close to. What do both of these people have in common? Situations that can wreak havoc on their self-esteem.
Here are four things you can do to increase your self-esteem and make sure your positive sense of self stays intact even on the most difficult days.
Improving Self-Esteem Tips
Have a positive morning. Instead of looking in the mirror and putting yourself down with this kind of talk: “I look terrible,” “If I would have been up sooner I would be more prepared,” think of a new, more positive line. Rather than putting yourself down, notice when you do and correct yourself. “I really like the way _______ looks on me today.” or “I slept in, I learned from this experience that I need more time in the morning. Tomorrow I will try to set my alarm 15 minutes earlier.” Stop putting yourself down at the beginning of the day, try a positive affirmation instead . It sets a tone for the rest of the day that is difficult to break free from.
Access Your Inner Cheerleader. When you make a good decision that affects your mental or physical health, seriously pat yourself on the back and give yourself some credit. Say you pick a healthy breakfast rather than the doughnut and coffee that sound so tempting, or you were assertive to a coworker who frequently takes advantage of you. Notice this, and tell yourself something positive. “Nice job sticking up for myself.” or “I am proud of myself for making a healthy choice this morning.”
Take Care of You. Spend time doing something you enjoy and acknowledge that this is healthy and good for you. Say you generally come home from work and go from task to task before falling asleep. Take some time for you, enroll in a class that speaks to you, take 30 minutes to watch that episode of whatever show makes crack up, indulge in a bath, or order in a dinner you have been craving. Spend time taking care of your biggest fan and critic, yourself. Self-care is vital in maintaining healthy self-esteem.
Build Mastery. Say you are interested in becoming fluent in another language, or are into yoga, whatever the activity is, start to do that more, especially on days you feel that negative voice creeping up. I have a friend who feels her best when she is performing; she knows this is something she excels in. Rather than listening to negative self-talk, she takes a class, practices her monologue or performs with her troupe. Even the act of researching auditions or new classes allows her to feel like she is on the way to achieving her goals, which boosts self-esteem.
Each day, we are faced with circumstances that are out of our control. However, how we handle these situations and feel afterwards is up to us. Pick the positive path and use these tips to increase your self-esteem.
Take Good Care.
Emily is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are.You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.