10 Ways to Build Self-Esteem

by Maryann Opatola
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build self-esteem

There was a time in our lives when we stumbled upon self-doubt and feared, ‘what if I’m not good enough.’ We once wanted to build self-esteem and face the reality of who we are.

Self-esteem has two types. It is either positive self-esteem or negative self-esteem. And for either one you choose, it would reflect how you communicate and associate with people and even yourself.

Types of Self-Esteem

Below are the differences between the two major types of self-esteem:

  • Negative Self-Esteem

Negative self-esteem can also be known as low self-esteem. This is when you are not confident about what you can do or are scared of delivering your skills. Again, it is concerned about what others think or say.

Have you ever asked yourself how negative self-esteem starts? How do people become so scared and doubtful of themselves?

Negative Self-esteem comes from those little side talks filled with biases. It comes from stares that ring a bell that something has gone wrong either in the way you dress or look or by just the way you are. It all starts from there. Some people have suffered from it since childhood and still haven’t healed.

Some effects of negative self-esteem include:

  • Loneliness
  • Self-doubt
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Exposure to drinking and drug addiction
  • Impairment to career, hobbies, abilities… etc

Negative self-esteem is just you wrapped up in thoughts about how you are not good enough instead of thinking the other way round. Most times, self-esteem starts with the people around us. Those who can’t say little compliments to others.

It’s sad but not enough reason to be locked up in the cage of depression. Although sometimes people’s opinions might matter, they shouldn’t define who you are and what you should become. If others don’t celebrate you, celebrate yourself.

That’s what brings us to positive self-esteem.

  • Positive Self-Esteem

Positive self-esteem is the complete opposite of negative self-esteem. It is also called high self-esteem. Positive esteem is embracing every step and fall that you pass through. Positive self-esteem is finding confidence in yourself and in whatever stage you might be at.

When you have positive self-esteem, it will glare because you would show your ability and skills right before everyone with every enthusiasm you have. So even when people don’t compliment you, you must compliment yourself as someone with high self-esteem.

Effects of positive self-esteem:

  • Self-love; always admiring yourself, your hard work, and everything about you.
  • Always motivated
  • Acquires skills mastery on time
  • Excellent communication skill
  • Vocality
  • Excitement & security
  • Loves giving and taking feedback.
  • Cheerful, lovable, esteemable.

With the above justification on the major types of self-esteem, we can all agree that negative self-esteem is disastrous. Therefore, building self-esteem and riding on the road to positive self-esteem are important. Not just for our appearance without, but our confidence and strength within.

10 Ways to Build Self-Esteem

build self-esteem

  1. Find Your Passion 

Your passion is everything about your interest. When you find your passion, something that you adore and love to do all the time, it is a step toward building self-esteem. People’s passion has brought them far into accepting who they are and what they can do. When you find your passion, practice it daily, and become the best at it. You will learn to become confident about your skills and, more importantly, grow your passion.

  1. Be Assertive

You need to understand the difference between being self-confident and being aggressive. It is good to listen to people’s opinions, but do not let their words alter your boldness.

Never listen to people’s opinions on their thoughts or how they want you to be. However, listen to the corrections or suggestions they give to the things you already have passion for. Be confident.

  1. Build a Healthy Relationship 

If there’s any better way to build self-esteem is by learning how to surround yourself with people of value. Learn to stay within people that see you and love you for who you are.

A lot of relationships are built on dishonesty and mistreatment. Find the relationship that builds you up positively and stay in that relationship.

  1. Face Your Fears

This might be a difficult one, but also the most important. If you desire to build self-esteem, you must sooner or later face your fears. You must understand what makes you lose confidence in yourself and fight it.

If your major problem is anxiety whenever you’re in a crowd, you should consider speaking in the crowds often to ease such anxiety. But, first, find the barrier and fight it.

  1. Practice Daily Affirmations

Daily affirmations are important. They are essential for everyone, especially those struggling to find their self-esteem. Daily affirmations are forms of mental exercise. It strengthens your psyche and creates a whole new motivation for you.

Every day, say words like “I’m strong, I’m capable, I’m fearless… and so on.” Do this daily to build self-esteem.

  1. Take a Break to Heal

Most times, you can’t find your way back to your self-esteem because you haven’t healed from your past hurts.

As we have learned above, many people have struggled with low self-esteem since childhood. Yet, all this while they haven’t let go of the past and the reason for the hurt. So, it’s time to take a break!

You should take a break, exhale all the toxic sayings about how good you weren’t in the past, and inhale the good things that you are.

  1. Have a Positive Mindset

Mindset is extremely significant for everyone. It would be difficult to be otherwise if you have a negative mindset about yourself. Start by changing your mindset to be positive and see how far that would go for you.

Your mindset is powerful. Whatever you keep there stays there. So unless you change it, little assistance can be rendered to boost your self-esteem.

  1. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Many are victims of negative self-esteem because they feel they aren’t good enough like their peers. Once you discover that someone else does better than you in one aspect, you begin to feel like you are not good enough. But that shouldn’t be.

That someone is better than you doesn’t mean you are not good. You also have something you’re good at. So please find it and be the best at it.

  1. Practice Generosity

This is not a key feature of building self-esteem. But it has its percentage in service. Learn the habit of being cheerful to the people around you and accept generosity from others.

You can also join charity communities wherever and volunteer. This act will expose you to see the cheerier moments of people and motivate you to know your worth.

  1. Practice Physical Exercises

We can’t stress how much physical exercise is essential for mental health. You have read in books and watched on TV how exercise helps those suffering from depression.

Practice yoga, skip daily, jog or hop, ride a bike, or paddle. Do some aerobic exercise to sweat it all out. Exercises like this turn on your mood and lift you from a gloomy stage. And so with your self-esteem!

You all can emphasize how much of a motivator working out is, so don’t think further. Get into exercising.

 Components of Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is made up of various attitudes you have about yourself. But we will discuss three. These are:

  • Your Sense of Identity

Your self-identity is vital to self-esteem. The knowledge you have about your body, gender, religion, culture, belief, sexuality, career, and everything revolves around you. Therefore, you should have confidence in everything that involves you.

  • Feeling Confident About Your Abilities 

You have to be confident about your abilities to govern whatever happens in your life. Be ready to face the mistake you have made and conquer it. Confidence is key to self-esteem.

  • The Feeling of Where you Belong

The attitude we have towards where we also belong matters. Whatever class you belong to, learn to embrace it. To the high class or working class, learn to embrace where you belong. This will aid in positive self-esteem.

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Why Self-Esteem is Important in Different Groups

  • Students

If you have self-esteem as a student, it would be easier to maneuver through hard times. You would learn easily from your mistakes and be able to be lectured during classes.

Several students do poorly in school because they lack self-esteem. Therefore, it is important to embrace self-esteem as a student.

  • Job seekers

learning how to develop self-esteem is essential for job seekers. You would need to prove that you are a good candidate for the job you want to fill in.

Low self-esteem would make your employer doubt you as the right person for the seat. So in your words and actions, every element of positive self-esteem needs to be involved.

  • Workers

In whatever you do for a living, you need proof of self-confidence. Whether you are a self-employed person, a government worker, or a freelancer, you have to prove your worth; what you can do in this aspect.

You have a client, a customer, or a patient that puts all trust and hope in you. Therefore, you must do the necessary to build self-esteem.

Challenging Negative Thoughts

build self-esteem

What’s self-talk? It is simply dialoguing with one’s self. When your thoughts about yourself are only that of the negative, it would be difficult to build self-esteem.

Self-esteem issues are often affected by negative self-thoughts. Negative thoughts often fall into one of the following categories:

  • Catastrophizing: This Is when you visualize only bad things occurring to you.

Example: “I don’t think I’m fit for this job. What if I get rejected ?”

  • Denial: This is when you never take compliments. You believe you are not good and take every nice thing people say to you as false.

Example: “My lecturer says I’m innovative. I’m sure he said that playfully.”

  • Blame: When you blame yourself for things you can’t control.

For example: “The girl I taught maths failed her maths exams. I am a very bad tutor.”

  • Rehashing: This is when you remember an event that already happened and hate yourself for the way you acted or behaved in the event.

Example: “I can’t believe I fell in the fall at my sister’s graduation. I’m so embarrassed.”

  • Overgeneralizing: Analysing every little failed event has a huge effect.

Example: “I didn’t get the job I was looking for. I know I would be unemployed all my life.” 

  • Polarisation: This is when you interpret events to be all good or all bad.

Example: “I made a mistake in the paragraph of the group’s presentation. I ruined the whole presentation.”

  • Projecting: This happens more often. This is when you conclude a natural reaction or interaction as disapproval or dislike.

Example: “My roommate dislikes me. She gave me a look that told it all.”

Negative thoughts start like this. Low self-esteemed people are more likely to say harmful things to themselves and never utter them to someone else. And once you finally get them to open up, they may admit to being unjust. Awareness of one’s negative thoughts is a step toward building self-esteem.

You can end negative thoughts by uttering the positive mantra and by commending yourself. Therapists also emphasize journal therapy, where one can write positive words about oneself and make it a routine. This is a practice of healthy self-talk.

Language is also important in self-talk. The speech we use to address ourselves is often harmful. Thus, it is important to mind the languages we use to dialogue with ourselves.

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Final Words

As simple as the word self-esteem is, it can make or mar dreams. Negative self-esteem can result in affecting our mental health and well-being. In addition, this could damage our careers and studies. So to avoid this, we must build self-esteem.

Embrace positive self-esteem. Know your worth and spread your positivity.

Read also:

10 Reasons Why Self-Care is Important

How to Communicate Better as a Student in Nigeria

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