Ways to Boost Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Improving self-esteem is a lifelong process. Cultivating a strong sense of confidence and belief in ourselves is not something that comes easily to most people. Many find it difficult to develop healthy self-esteem or self-reliance, particularly if they have experienced trauma or come from troubled backgrounds.
The beauty of self-esteem, however, is that it is something that can always be improved upon. Nothing in this world is fixed, no matter how difficult our experiences may have been. If you feel like you are standing on a foundation of weak self-worth, then it is never too late to change that. What it comes down to is discipline, determination, and practice to love yourself and change unhealthy thoughts, behaviors, or habits that contribute to feelings of negative self-worth.
Below we explore some of the ways that you can boost your sense of self-esteem and live a happier, more fulfilled life.
Create Positive Self Affirmations
Many people are accustomed to putting themselves down or focusing on their weaknesses. Over time, though, embracing negative thoughts about yourself will only cause you to feel less worthy and confident. While this can be difficult at first, start to write down positive affirmations about yourself. This could be something as simple as ‘I am worthy’ or ‘I am a good human being.’ Create as many of these as you can and post them on your mirror or repeat them silently to yourself. True self-esteem comes from an appreciation of who you are, but you have to believe it first.
Don’t Compare Yourself with Others
Comparing yourself to others is one of the most damaging things you can do to your self-esteem. Not only are you discrediting your own value and abilities, but you are putting others above you. Every person has different skills and gifts to bring to this world, and yours will be unique to you. Embrace your talents and focus less on others’. Becoming a stronger and more confident person requires that you value who you are.
Tap into Your Intuition
Intuition is innate: it is our gut instinct that guides us through decisions in life. It is that voice inside that tells us when to jump and when to hold back. In many ways, we are not encouraged to use our intuitive voices. We are trained to follow our minds rather than our hearts — in other words, we think, rather than feel.
But by denying our intuition, we also deny the belief in ourselves. We paint ourselves into a corner by reviewing all angles of a situation in our heads, rather than listening to our instincts to tell us what is right. If you can start to practice tuning into what you feel and be guided by your heart when making decisions, you’ll start to feel stronger every day.
Practice Redirecting Thoughts
People with low self-esteem will often focus on negative thoughts. This applies not only to themselves but also to the world around them. If you find yourself in a spiral of negativity, try to begin a practice of redirecting negative thoughts and turning them into positive ones. It can be a challenge to do this exercise at first, but if you can first become aware of your thought patterns and which ones are negative, you can begin to transform those into more positive states. A good place to start is to write down your main thoughts throughout the day and see which areas require changing.
Do What Fuels Your Spirit
Many times throughout our lives, we are taught to do what’s expected. This includes the obligations towards our jobs, our families, and our daily to-do lists. It can be easy to put our own interests and passions to the side to just get through the day. The problem is that over time, we can become empty and resentful. If you have an activity or hobby that you’re passionate about, be sure to take time to foster that. Whether it’s painting, playing a musical instrument, or using a Hobby Lobby coupon for a new craft project, doing things that fuel your spirit will go a long way to fostering self-esteem.
Do What Scares You
This might sound like a strange thing to suggest, but continuously pushing yourself to do what scares you can be an incredibly empowering exercise. Whether it’s forcing yourself to speak in public or participating in something that makes you nervous, doing what scares you allows you to master your fear. The result is that you become more confident in life because you feel like you can handle more.
Learning to love yourself and be self-reliant is a challenging process, but it can be done. With fortitude, discipline, and intention, you can begin to strengthen your inner world and create a happier life for yourself. The above tips can serve as a starting point for making that happen.