Want Higher Self-Esteem? Stop Doing These 6 Things

January 9, 2015 Emily Roberts MA, LPC

You want higher self-esteem, but can't get there. Why? Unfortunately, we are creatures of habit. As humans, we resist change as it often brings up uncomfortable, anxious feelings. When we avoid changing our thoughts or habits (because let's be honest, even the negative ones can be comfortable), nothing really changes and that includes your self-esteem. When you stop doing what your ego, or your fearful state mind tells you is "right" because it's "safe," you begin to gain power over your life, and develop higher self-esteem (What is Healthy Self-Esteem?).

6 Things to Stop Doing if You Want Higher Self-Esteem

  1. Stop hating what you see in the mirror. The more you focus on the negatives in life the more your mind is filled with negative self-talk. Instead, break the pattern by trying to find one nice thing about yourself to say. Thank your body for supporting you today, your legs for getting you out of bed. Start with one or two nice things and increase it to more if you can.
  2. Do you want higher self-esteem? Stop doing these 6 things that can lower your self-esteem and impact your confidence.

    Stop avoiding new relationships just because old ones didn't work out. The most abusive and hurtful relationships teach us something. Is it that the other person was a jerk, heck yeah, but it also teaches us powerful lessons about ourselves. There is a purpose for everyone you meet and every relationship you have. It's for you to learn more about who you want to be with. This includes friends and romantic partners.

  3. Stop engaging in gossip. Do you ever notice that after you talk about someone behind their back you feel icky? Talking about others in a negative way brings out the worst in you, including negative feelings which makes you feel bad about yourself. Avoid the urge to engage in the badmouthing, and think about empathy: why may this person be triggering you? What is the lesson here?
  4. Stop saying everything is fine. No one can help you if you don't tell them what's up. This impacts your self-esteem because when you deny your feelings you actually deny them to yourself as well. This makes it harder for you to express yourself later on. Confident people honor their struggles and feelings. You don’t have to pretend to be fine because everyone struggles from time to time.
  5. Stop blaming others. The past is the past and sometimes it sucks. (5 Steps to Move Forward in Mental Health Recovery) But in order to move on, you've got to radically accept that this is who they are and you cant change the past. When you remind yourself of this you are improving your self-esteem because you aren't putting more energy into something that cant be fixed. You are taking responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you give others power over that part of your life.
  6. Stop trying to please everyone. By denying yourself you time and your own needs, you build resentment and your self-esteem depletes. (Are You A People Pleaser?) You must put yourself first and others second, because you can't take care of others if you are not in a good place. You can't rely on others for self-esteem. Trying to please others and trying will only burn you out. Making yourself happy will help others feel happy too.

Even implementing one or two of these can make a huge difference in your self-esteem. Try your best and see what you can stop doing today.

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.

APA Reference
Roberts, E. (2015, January 9). Want Higher Self-Esteem? Stop Doing These 6 Things, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 18 from

Author: Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Emily is a psychotherapist, she is intensively trained in DBT, she 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 FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

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