The decision to improve your self esteem can be an important step in improving your life and gaining the respect of other people. Although, building your self esteem is not difficult, you do need to know how to go about it. Here are ten ways to help your self esteem grow:
1. Choose your company wisely. Avoid people who are overly or persistently negative or cynical and instead choose the company of those who have a positive and uplifting outlook.
2. Get clear about your goals. If you set goals and work steadily towards them, achieving small successes along the way to the larger ones, you will gain confidence and begin to feel a lot better about yourself. By reducing larger goals to a series of smaller steps, you increase your chances of achieving them. You will also be able to enjoy the sense of accomplishment whenever you can cross one of the smaller goals off your list.
3. Think and speak deliberately positively about yourself. When things are difficult it is easy to be hard on yourself and focus on your mistakes. However if you remind yourself of your strengths, achievements and importance to your family and friends you can lift your mood and increase your self esteem.
4. Learn to accept and use constructive criticism. You need to set boundaries about what sort of criticism you will be influenced by. If it is negative and an obvious attempt at attacking your self confidence, deflect it or ignore it. However, if the criticism is constructive you can learn from it and use it for feedback on your journey of personal growth. Helpful criticism will guide you in overcoming your weaknesses. As your weaknesses disappear and you become the person you want to be, your self esteem will soar.
5. Be resilient. If you fall down, be willing to get back up again and keep on going. Everyone fails at different times in their lives, it doesn't mean you're a failure. Decide to belief the best about yourself and your future. Be persistent and know success is in your future. If we retain our optimism and resilience we will be able to weather the most difficult of circumstances.
6. Don't compare yourself to other people. There will always be people who are more successful and less successful than you at any point in your life. If you compare your self to others, you make yourself vulnerable to feeling inferior. Instead, evaluate yourself on how far you have come in your own life not how far you feel you have to go. This approach to life will strengthen your self confidence and improve your overall self esteem.
7. Don't belittle yourself. If we don't quickly recover from the disappointments in our lives we can end up wallowing in a sense of failure. Our self respect, confidence and self esteem can be eroded to the point of non existence. Do your best to defeat negative thinking and deliberately strive to project a positive image. The attitude you show the world will affect how you are treated and how you are treated will impact how you feel about yourself. If you are treated with respect, you will feel more positive about yourself. So try to accept yourself and avoid the habit of self criticism.
8. Stand up to bullies. Bullies come in all shapes, sizes and social status. Unfortunately, they don't disappear once we leave school. We can find them in workplaces, in our families or in our social groups. If you are dealing with bullying at any level, it is important to stand up to the bully. Practice being assertive rather than aggressive and teach people how you want to be treated. As people treat you with greater respect, your self esteem will improve.
9. Learn to relax with people. If you are shy or self conscious and find it difficult to break the ice with people you don't know, your self esteem has probably taken a battering. Our confidence in relating to other people has a big impact on how they treat us and how we feel about ourselves. Practice starting conversations with people who don't know well or at all. Listen to what they have to say and if the conversation gets bogged down, ask some questions. Show your interest through your body language and your responses. As you get used to talking to new people, your self esteem will improve and you will feel more confident in social situations.
10. To feel your best you need to look your best. If you are lounging around in creased, unfashionable clothing, you are not going to feel as good about yourself as if you are well dressed and well groomed. Remember, the impression we give other people will impact how we are treated by them and how we feel about ourselves. It is also important to look after your health, not only to look good, but to feel energized and positive about life. A healthy self esteem and a healthy body go hand in hand.
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of My-Personal-Growth.com , a site that provides information and articles for self improvement and personal growth and development.