- 7 Signs of Low Self-Esteem
- 1. You define yourself by your past
- 2. You procrastinate on your passions
- 3. You’re hypercritical of others
- 4. You’re unwilling to enforce healthy boundaries
- 5. You overthink minor decisions
- 6. You rely on other people to feel better
- 7. You struggle to take compliments
- All You Need to Know
- Low Self-Esteem: What Does it Mean to Lack Self-Esteem?
- Overcoming Low Self-Esteem
- How to Develop Self-Confidence
- Symptoms Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes of It
- “Attitude is Tattoo”
- Believe You Can Do It
- Embrace Failure
- Start Making the Change
- Write down What You Want to Change
- Tell a Friend and Talk About It
- Stop Yourself from Saying the Forbidden Word
- Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
- Do Anything That Can Relieve Your Uncertainty
- Final Thoughts
- More Tips for Strengthening Your Resilience
- 9 Signs of Low Self-Esteem & 10 Ways Grow Confidence
- Nine signs of low self-esteem
- 1. Difficulty speaking up and prioritizing your own needs, wants, and feelings
- 2. Saying “I’m sorry” and/or feeling guilty for everyday actions
- 3. Not «rocking the boat»
- 4. Not feeling deserving of, or capable of, having “more”
- 5. Difficulty making your own choices
- 6. Lack of boundaries
- 7. Doing things or buying gifts excessively for other people
- 8. Negative self-perception
- 9. Critical, abusive internal dialogue
- 1. Seek out professional help
- 2. Prioritize exercise that feels good for your body
- 3. Put your health first with well-rounded meals
- 4. Make a list of your priorities or goals
- 5. Pause and assess before automatically saying “yes” to a request
- 6. Start lifting yourself up!
- 7. Start meditating, using positive affirmations
- 8. Notice, and try to limit, when you are comparing yourself to others
- 9. Find your favorite way to unwind, relax, and pamper yourself
- 10. Replace “I’m sorry” with more situationally-appropriate interjections
- Work with a therapist to boost self-esteem
7 Signs of Low Self-Esteem
Many people struggle with low self-esteem — a persistent belief that they’re not good enough, worthy enough, or not lovable.
And while most of us assume low self-esteem is a fixed personality trait—something they’re stuck with for life—nothing could be further from the truth:
When you understand what really causes low self-esteem, you can take steps to improve it.
What follows are 7 common signs of low self-esteem. Learn to identify these in your own life and you’ll be on the road to cultivating healthier self-esteem.
1. You define yourself by your past
Low self-esteem is often a failure of imagination.
If you’ve struggled with low self-esteem for much of your life, those beliefs and feelings of being less than are what you know best. And so they feel very real. On the other hand, imagining your future self with higher self-esteem feels distant and unreal. But here’s the thing…
How you feel about yourself is not always a very good indicator of your true value.
People with healthy self-esteem know that just because they feel bad doesn’t mean they are bad. They know that just because they’ve been one way in the past says nothing about how they are destined to be in the future. And they don’t overprioritize their past selves at the expense of their future selves.
When you define yourself by your past, you give away control over your future.
2. You procrastinate on your passions
When you avoid the things that matter most, it’s often a sign that you don’t trust yourself.
Of course, we all procrastinate. But people with low self-esteem often have a strange pattern to their procrastination: They get the mundane, everyday stuff done on time (paying the bills, finishing those weekly reports, etc.) but they procrastinate on the activities they care most about (creative hobbies, travel, learning, fitness, etc.). And the reason…
When you have low self-esteem, you don’t trust yourself with your most important goals.
On the other hand, people with healthy self-esteem trust themselves to pursue their passions even if it means failure, mistakes, or frustrations. They’ve built up the confidence to go after the things that matter most to them despite the possibility of failure, embarrassment, or mistakes.
Healthy self-esteem means you define yourself by the pursuit of your passions, not the end results.
3. You’re hypercritical of others
Being overly critical of others is usually a primitive strategy for boosting your own ego.
Obviously, we all need to think critically sometimes. But there’s a big difference between thinking critically and being critical:
Helpful criticism is about making the world a better place. Unhelpful criticism is about making yourself feel better.
People with low self-esteem have a hard time feeling good about themselves. This means that they sometimes get in the habit of criticizing others as a way to make themselves look better in comparison. For example: when you criticize someone’s opinion for being stupid, you’re implying that you’re smart—and that feels good.
The trouble is that being critical of others as a way to boost your own self-esteem is only temporary. And after that, you usually end up feeling even worse about yourself.
If you tend to be overly critical of others, ask yourself this:
When I criticize other people, am I trying to be genuinely helpful or am I trying to make myself feel better?
4. You’re unwilling to enforce healthy boundaries
Boundary-setting issues are usually self-respect issues in disguise.
Most of us know that it’s important to set healthy boundaries, especially with difficult people in our lives. The trouble is, even if we set a healthy boundary, the hard part is enforcing it. And the reason…
If you don’t enforce boundaries, it’s because you value other people more than yourself.
But here’s the strange part: If you find yourself in this position—not having enough self-respect to enforce your boundaries—the best way to get it is to set and enforce healthy boundaries!
The trick is to start very small and work your way up. Work on returning that Starbucks drink they got wrong for a while then move your way up to saying no to your boss’ request that you work weekends again.
When you enforce a healthy boundary, you reinforce the belief that you matter just as much as anyone else.
5. You overthink minor decisions
Indecision goes hand-in-hand with poor self-confidence.
Some decisions in life are hugely important and impactful—whom you choose to marry, whether to try heroin or not, quitting your job to start your own business. These are big-time decisions with big-time consequences. And it’s perfectly understandable for people to experience some mental back and forth between deciding.
But people with low self-esteem often treat even minor decisions as if the fate of the world rested on them.
This indecisiveness in even small decisions is often the result of low confidence in your own ability to make decisions. The key is to come to terms with the fact that you will make some bad decisions (or at least decisions that other people don’t ) and that in the end, that’s okay. Nobody dies if you choose pizza for dinner even though your family wanted Chinese.
Courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is the belief that you’ll be okay despite your fear.
6. You rely on other people to feel better
Low self-esteem frequently manifests as chronic reassurance-seeking.
When we feel bad, we want to feel better. When we’re worried, we want to know that things will turn out alright. When we’re sad we want to feel happier and more energized. Unfortunately, many people get stuck in the habit of relying on other people’s reassurances in order to feel better. This is a problem because….
Reliance on others for emotional support leads to emotional fragility in the long-run.
Of course, we all benefit from the support of people around us. But when you rely on it, you give up the opportunity to practice those essential skills for yourself. And the result: low confidence in your own ability to handle stressors and challenges. And eventually, low self-esteem along with it.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for support when you really need it. But it’s unwise to rely on it.
7. You struggle to take compliments
Difficulty taking compliments is often an indicator of low self-worth.
If compliments tend to make you uncomfortable and squeamish, it’s ly a sign that you either don’t think you deserve it or you’re worried that other people will think badly of you if you do. But whether you don’t respect yourself enough, or you respect other people’s opinions too much, the end result is the same: low self-esteem.
Taking compliments well means a healthy respect for yourself and the opinions of others.
Luckily, taking compliments well is something you can practice and get better at. Instead of making excuses for yourself or downplaying your achievements, taking a compliment well is often as simple as smiling and saying “thank you.” And the more you practice, the more you’ll start to believe that you are actually worthy of all those compliments you get.
A compliment accepted is a vote of confidence in yourself.
All You Need to Know
Of course, self-esteem is a complex phenomenon: there are many reasons why people can experience low self-esteem that aren’t listed here. And just because you exhibit some of these things doesn’t mean you have low self-esteem.
But if you do struggle with low self-esteem and aren’t sure why, the seven signs listed above may be useful in helping you better understand what habits and tendencies are contributing to your self-esteem issues.
And more importantly, they may give you a starting point for where to begin working to build healthy and high self-esteem.
One final thought: When it comes to building healthier self-esteem, don’t overthink it. As naval once said:
Self-esteem is just the reputation you have with yourself.
Low Self-Esteem: What Does it Mean to Lack Self-Esteem?
Critical Inner Voice, Self Development, Self-Esteem By Lena Firestone
Low self-esteem is characterized by a lack of confidence and feeling badly about oneself.
People with low self-esteem often feel unlovable, awkward, or incompetent. According to researchers Morris Rosenberg and Timothy J. Owens, who wrote Low Self-Esteem People: A Collective Portrait, people with low self-esteem tend to be hypersensitive.
They have a fragile sense of self that can easily be wounded by others.
Furthermore, people with low self-esteem are “hypervigilant and hyperalert to signs of rejection, inadequacy, and rebuff,” write Rosenberg and Owens. Often, individuals lacking self-esteem see rejection and disapproval even when there isn’t any.
“The danger always lurks that [they] will make a mistake, use poor judgement, do something embarrassing, expose [themselves] to ridicule, behave immorally or contemptibly. Life, in all its variety, poses on ongoing threat to the self-esteem.
While everyone’s self-esteem is vulnerable to other people, who may openly criticize them, ridicule them, or point out their flaws, I would argue that an even greater threat to each person’s self-esteem lurks within. Rosenberg and Owens explain:
“As observers of our own behavior, thoughts, and feelings, we not only register these phenomena in consciousness but also pass judgement on them.
Thus, we may be our most severe critic, berating ourselves mercilessly when we find ourselves making an error in judgement, forgetting what we should remember, expressing ourselves awkwardly, breaking our most sacred promises to ourselves, losing our self-control, acting childishly—in short, behaving in ways that we regret and may deplore.”
This harsh inner critic, which Dr. Robert Firestone refers to as the Critical Inner Voice, contributes to a negative perceived self. Having a negative perception of oneself can have serious consequences.
For example, if someone believes that other people don’t them, they are more ly to avoid interactions with others and are quicker to react defensively, cynically, or even lash out.
Rosenberg and Owen argue that “the nature and degree to which we interact with others is strongly influenced by these perceived selves, regardless of their accuracy. Indeed, our perceived selves represent one of the most important foundations on which our interpersonal behavior rests.
” Furthermore, when we perceive ourselves negatively, whether we label ourselves awkward, unlovable, obnoxious, shy, etc., it becomes more and more difficult to believe that others could possibly see us in a positive light.
“In a nutshell, to have low self-esteem is to live a life of misery,” conclude Rosenberg and Owen.
Overcoming Low Self-Esteem
The good news is that it is entirely possible to overcome low self-esteem! There are two key components to combatting this negative self-image. The first is to stop listening to your critical inner voice. The second is to start practicing self-compassion.
Stop Listening to Your Inner Critic
The critical inner voice is that internal observer that hurtfully judges our thoughts and actions. This nasty inner critic continually nags us with a barrage of negative thoughts about ourselves and the people around us. It decimates our self-esteem on a consistent basis with thoughts …
“Nobody s you.”
“You should be quiet. Every time you talk you just make a fool of yourself.”
“Why can’t you be other people?”
In order to overcome low self-esteem, it is essential that you challenge these negative thoughts and stand up to your inner critic. On PsychAlive, we have an entire section of articles, several Webinars and an eCourse devoted to this subject.
The first step is to recognize when you start thinking these kinds of negative thoughts about yourself. Then, you can choose not to listen to your inner critic’s character assassinations or bad advice.
It can be helpful to imagine how you would feel if someone else was saying these things to you; you’d probably feel angry and tell them to shut up or explain that they are wrong about you. Take this approach in responding to your inner critic.
One way to do this is to write down all your inner critic’s criticisms on one side of a piece of paper. Then write down a more realistic and compassionate appraisal of yourself on the other side. For example, if you write a self-criticism “You’re stupid,” you could then write, “I may struggle at times, but I am smart and competent in many ways.”
Challenging your inner critic helps stop the shame spiral that feeds into low self-esteem. When you recognize the critical inner voice as source of your negative self-attacks, you can begin to defy this inner critic and see yourself for who you really are.
Start Practicing Self-Compassion
In many ways, the cure for self-criticism is self-compassion. Self-compassion is the radical practice of treating yourself a friend! It is a wonderful way to build more confidence in yourself. Research has shown that self-compassion is even better for your mental health than self-esteem.
Dr. Kristen Neff, who researches self-compassion, explains that self-compassion is not self-evaluation or judgement; rather, it is a steady attitude of kindness and acceptance toward yourself. While this may sound simple, treating yourself with compassion and kindness may be challenging at first. However, you will develop more self-compassion as you practice over time.
Here are the three steps for practicing self-compassion:
1) Acknowledge and notice your suffering.
2) Be kind and caring in response to suffering.
3) Remember that imperfection is part of the human experience and something we all share.
You can find self-compassion exercises on Dr. Kristen Neff’s website.
How to Develop Self-Confidence
Research into self-esteem shows that both low and high self-esteem can create emotional and social problems for individuals. While high levels self-esteem can be linked to narcissism (read more here). Low levels of self-esteem can be linked to social anxiety, lack of confidence, and depression.
The healthiest type of self-esteem is moderate self-esteem that is based more on valuing one’s inherent worth as a person and less about comparing oneself to others.
In this sense, if your goal is to develop more self-confidence, it is better to focus on having high levels of self-worth rather than high levels of self-esteem.
I’ve written previously about building self-esteem and developing more confidence. In addition to challenging your inner critic and practicing self-compassion, here are a few other strategies for feeling better about yourself.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People
Looking to boost your confidence by measuring yourself against others is a big mistake. Dr. Kristen Neff explains, “Our competitive culture tells us we need to be special and above average to feel good about ourselves, but we can’t all be above average at the same time…There is always someone richer, more attractive, or successful than we are.
” When we evaluate ourselves external achievements, other people’s perceptions and competitions, “our sense of self-worth bounces around a ping-pong ball, rising and falling in lock-step with our latest success or failure.
” Social media only exacerbates this problem, as people post their picture-perfect moments and shiny achievements, which we compare to our tarnished, flawed everyday lives.
In order to build a healthy sense of confidence, we need to stop comparing ourselves to others. Instead of worrying about how you measure up to the people around you, think about the type of person you want to be. Set goals and take actions that are consistent with your own values.
Live Up to Your Own Moral Code
Self-confidence and self-esteem are built on self-RESPECT. If you live a life that is in line with your own principles, whatever they may be, you are more ly to respect yourself, feel more confident, and even do better in life.
For example, a study at the University of Michigan found that students “who based their self-esteem on internal sources–such as being a virtuous person or adhering to moral standards–were found to receive higher grades and less ly to use alcohol and drugs or to develop eating disorders.”
To feel good about yourself, it is important to have integrity and make sure that your actions match your words. For example, if eating healthy and looking your best are important values to you, you will feel better if you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
When your actions don’t match your words, you are far more vulnerable to self-attacks. The inner critic loves to point out these shortcomings.
It is valuable to think about your core principles and act in line with those beliefs when you are trying to boost your confidence.
Do Something Meaningful
As human beings, we tend to feel good about ourselves when we do something meaningful, taking part in activities that are larger than ourselves and/or helpful to others. This is a beautiful way to go about building confidence and developing healthier levels of self-esteem.
Studies show that volunteering has a positive effect on how people feel about themselves. Researcher Jennifer Crocker suggests that you find “a goal that is bigger than the self.
” When pursuing meaningful activities, it is important to think about what feels the most significant to you. For some people, this may mean volunteering at a homeless shelter, tutoring children, taking part in local politics, gardening with friends, etc.
Follow the breadcrumbs of where you find meaning, and you may find your self-esteem along the way.
In this Webinar: Cultivating a healthy, compassionate, and authentic sense of self is key to improving every aspect of our lives. In this Webinar,…
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Symptoms Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes of It
Last Updated on July 21, 2021
When someone says, “I can’t do it” . . . I say to myself, “What do you mean you can’t do it?” Maybe you don’t want to do it, but saying you “can’t” do it is a completely different story.
With the right mindset, positive attitude, and a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, the only thing that is holding you back is yourself.
Can’t is a terrible word and it has to be taken your vocabulary.
By saying you can’t do something, you’re already doubting yourself, submitting to defeat, and you’re making that barrier around your life tighter.
So today, right now, we are going to remove this word for good.
From now on there is nothing we can’t do.
“Attitude is Tattoo”
Your attitude is everything; it’s your reason, your why and how, your facial expression, emotions, body language, and potentially the end result. How you approach an opportunity, and the result of it, is solely you — not your boss or your co-worker or friend.
If you enter a business meeting with a sour attitude, that negative energy can spread wildfire. People can also feel it — maybe even taste it. This is not an impression you want to leave.
Now imagine you enter a business meeting with a positive attitude, that whatever happens in here is going to be your result, in your control, not someone else’s. Of course, we can’t always win, but even if the outcome is negative, your attitude and perception can turn it into a positive. The question is: can you do it?
Of course you can, because there is nothing in this world you can’t do.
It’s much better to be known for your positive attitude — your poise, your energy, the reason why things go so well because you are able to maintain such character. A negative attitude is easy. It’s easy to complain, it’s easy to be mad, and it’s even easier to do nothing to change it.
When I say your “attitude is tattoo”, it sounds permanent. Tattoos can be removed, but that’s not the point. Your attitude is a tattoo because you wear it. People can see it and sometimes, they will judge you on it. If you maintain a negative attitude, then it is permanent until you change it.
Change your attitude and I guarantee the results change as well.
Believe You Can Do It
Do you know why most people say “can’t” and doubt themselves before trying anything?
It’s our lack of self-confidence and fear on many different levels. The one thing we have to purge from ourselves is fear — fear of bad results, fear of change, fear of denial, fear of loss, the fear that makes us worry and lose sleep. Worrying is the same as going outside with an umbrella, waiting for rain to hit it. Stop worrying and move on.
Confidence is fragile: It builds up slowly, but can shatter glass. Project your confidence and energy into believing in yourself. This is a very important and groundbreaking step — one that is usually the hardest to take. Start telling yourself you can do something, anything, and you will do it the best to your ability. Remove doubt, remove fear, and stick with positive energy.
Learn how to boost your confidence: How to Be Confident: 62 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence
Do not fear failure. Do not run away from it. Face it, learn from it, grow, and take action. Just remember: You will never know success if you have never failed.
Your confidence will bolster after embracing these facts. You will be immune to demoralizing results, and instead you will find ways to fix it, improve upon it, and make it better than before. You will learn to never say “can’t,” and will realize how many more opportunities you can create by removing that one word.
Don’t let one simple and ugly word plague your confidence. You’re better and stronger than that.
Start Making the Change
But to actually start the process of change is very challenging.
Why is that?
Fear? Time? Don’t know how — or where — to start?
It’s hard because what we’re doing is unlearning what we know. We are used to doing things a certain way, and chances are we’ve been doing them for years.
So here are some ways that I avoid using the word “can’t”, and actually take the steps to put forth the change that I wish to see. I hope you can incorporate these methods into your life.
Write down What You Want to Change
Write it on post-its, notecards, whatever makes you comfortable — something you will always see. I usually write mine on post-its and put them all over the wall behind my monitor so I always see them.
Tell a Friend and Talk About It
Discussing your goals, what you want to change, is very effective when you say it out loud and tell another person other than yourself. It’s almost saying, hey, I bet I can do it — watch me.
When you fulfill that goal and tell your friend, it feels rewarding and will motivate you to do it again in a different aspect. Who knows? Maybe your friend adopts the same mindset as you.
Stop Yourself from Saying the Forbidden Word
Sometimes,I can’t control myself in public when I’m with friends, so I have to be careful with the words I use so I don’t embarrass or insult anyone.
Treat the word “can’t” as the worst word you can possibly use. Stop yourself from saying it, mid-sentence if you must, and turn your whole perspective around — you can do it, you will do it, and nothing is impossible!
Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
You think this change will be overnight? No way. This is a practice. Something you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life from now until forever.
As I said earlier, you are unlearning what you know. You know how easy it is to say you can’t do something, so by unlearning this easy practice, you’re self-disciplining yourself to live without boundaries.
Practice this everyday, a little at a time, and before you know it, the word can’t will not be part of your language.
Do Anything That Can Relieve Your Uncertainty
When I catch myself saying I can’t do something or I don’t know something, looking up information on that action or subject, doing research, educating yourself, relieves that uncertainty.
Sometimes, we think we can’t do something because the whole idea of it seems too large. We skip the small steps in our head and only focus on the end.
Before you say you can’t do something, rewind and slow down a little bit. Focus on what the first step is, then the next. Take it a step at a time, and before you know it you will have done something you previously thought you couldn’t do.
You know what you must do. The first step is right now. Once you begin this habit, and really start noticing some change, you’ll realize the door to opportunity is everywhere.
The funny thing is: Those doors have always been there. The evil word that we no longer use put a veil over our eyes because that’s how powerful that word is.
More Tips for Strengthening Your Resilience
Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com
9 Signs of Low Self-Esteem & 10 Ways Grow Confidence
It's easy to brush off low self-esteem or a lack of confidence as a character trait, or to mistake it for humility. But low self-esteem has long-term damaging effects, ranging from smaller-scale occurrences – not speaking up in class or work meetings, for example – to longer-term threats, relationship problems or self-damaging behavior.
Recognizing the signs of low self-confidence is an important first step in cultivating it. Recognizing your own worth is the next one. Here's how to get started with both.
Nine signs of low self-esteem
How often do you stop yourself from speaking your mind, due to fear of embarrassment or being wrong? Do you frequently say «sorry» where an «excuse me» would suffice?
These small self-confidence «blips» can add up, and compound your low sense of self-worth. Here are nine such signs to be aware of, so that you can work on overcoming them (e.g., with a therapist or life coach):
1. Difficulty speaking up and prioritizing your own needs, wants, and feelings
This may be especially prominent in the context of what others want or need, such as routinely placing others’ priorities above your own.
Perhaps you convince yourself that what you really want doesn’t matter in the moment, in the face of someone else’s needs.
It’s understandable why you don’t speak up! While caring for others is a personality strength, when it comes at the cost of your own needs, wants, or feelings, it becomes a hindrance.
2. Saying “I’m sorry” and/or feeling guilty for everyday actions
Is the word “sorry” at the top of your vocabulary? Do you feel guilty for things taking up space or apologize for things that you have no control or responsibility over? This could be a sign that you constantly feel you’re doing something wrong — chances are you have nothing to apologize for, but it’s become a habit!
3. Not «rocking the boat»
Not “rocking the boat” describes the tendency to follow along with what others are doing, saying, wearing, and going. This is another example of a strength becoming overdone — being flexible is a good thing, but when it means that you seldom carve your own path, it may be a sign of low self-esteem.
4. Not feeling deserving of, or capable of, having “more”
Whether “more” means deserving better relationships, a higher-paying job, or the common decency of others, when you feel you deserve better, you won’t go seeking it. This can lead to unfulfilling (or even toxic) relationships, unsatisfactory or low paying jobs, and overall lower standards.
5. Difficulty making your own choices
A lack of confidence can show up in feeling torn between choices or having difficulty making your own choices. It’s much easier to let others decide, but do they always know what you want or need? If you do make a decision, do you have trouble standing by them? This is a sign of low self-esteem, not believing that you can make good decisions.
6. Lack of boundaries
Having a lack of boundaries may leave you feeling vulnerable or hurt, whether that’s the intention of your loved ones or not. Low self-esteem shows up in feeling insecure that speaking up about your needs will cause people to look down on you.
7. Doing things or buying gifts excessively for other people
Everyone loves receiving gifts — which is the point. By giving people thoughtful gifts, you’re relying on the joy of presents to bolster your reputation. Even for those who wouldn’t appreciate it, you buy them gifts in order to feel wanted, needed, recognized.
8. Negative self-perception
Negative self-perception means that you don’t think that people would or accept you for who you are. This often stems from a lack of acceptance from yourself and is a very common sign of low self-esteem.
9. Critical, abusive internal dialogue
One of the most damaging signs of low self-esteem are critical, abusive internal dialogues. Whether you scold yourself for negligible actions or call yourself names, this is negative self-talk that will impact your mood and mental health.
Working on building, or rebuilding, your self-esteem can be done! By growing your self-esteem, you will have a much higher satisfaction with yourself – and reconnect with your own truth and joy.
1. Seek out professional help
Going to therapy for low self-esteem can help you identify and understand the origin of their low self-esteem. Many therapists specialize in working with clients who have low self-esteem, and they not only affirm the clients’ strengths but teach them how to recognize those harmful cognitive distortions.
2. Prioritize exercise that feels good for your body
Prioritizing exercise or movement that feels good for your body, even in small amounts, helps you feel connected to your body (think mind-body connection!).
This could be yoga, sports, jogging, or dancing — anything that puts your body in motion! Exercise can actually boost the serotonin levels in your brain to help you feel calmer, help you make better decisions, feel stronger and feel more in control of yourself.
3. Put your health first with well-rounded meals
Speaking of the mind-body connection, we can put our health first by filling ourselves up with well-rounded, nutritious meals. When we are feeling healthy physically, it can have a dramatic impact on our self-esteem, as well as how we feel emotionally.
It is, of course, important to be mindful if exercise and eating healthy is becoming extreme, compulsive, interfering with other aspects of life, as this can become detrimental to self-esteem and have other emotional consequences.
4. Make a list of your priorities or goals
Make it a habit to outline your priorities and your goals each day, week, or month. Try to stick to them so you don’t get derailed by other people’s needs, demands, and requests. When it’s down on paper, it’s more meaningful than when it’s trapped in your head.
5. Pause and assess before automatically saying “yes” to a request
Pausing and assessing the situation before you say yes to a request gives you the chance to ask yourself: Is this something you can do and want to do? You can also ask yourself: Am I saying yes because this is something I actually want to do or just so this person will me/need me/approve of me? After reflection on your answers, you may feel differently.
6. Start lifting yourself up!
Lift yourself up, however that looks! Leave love notes to yourself around your home, office, car or any other space where you spend a lot of time. We’ll get you started: I am beautiful, I am confident, I am successful, I am worthy! (Because you are). Before long, these affirmations will not feel foreign to you – and you will start to feel it and believe it!
7. Start meditating, using positive affirmations
Meditation or positive affirmations are another great way to lift yourself up. There are a lot of free apps that you can choose from, such as ThinkUp and Shine.
Meditation helps you clear your mind and focus on the present, being mindful of who you are, how you feel, and your body’s state — which can help you connect with who you authentically are.
And don’t forget to reflect on your strengths!
8. Notice, and try to limit, when you are comparing yourself to others
When you are comparing yourself to others, how does that make you feel? Consider why what someone else is doing/saying/wearing matters to you so much. A concrete way to minimize this is to reduce exposure to social media (goodbye, Instagram!).
9. Find your favorite way to unwind, relax, and pamper yourself
Your favorite way to unwind, relax, or pamper yourself could be so much more than just a bubble bath! Your list of pleasurable activities could include hiking, playing with puppies, photography — these are all ways to relax your mind and body. Doing what makes you feel refreshed is a wonderful way to invest in yourself and honor your worth.
10. Replace “I’m sorry” with more situationally-appropriate interjections
Try out some other situationally-appropriate interjections instead of “I’m sorry.” This could be “excuse me” or “beg your pardon,” where appropriate.
Or, depending on the situation, replace sorry with «thank you» – such as “thank you so much for your patience» when you're running late.
Or, depending on the situation, replace sorry with «thank you» – such as “thank you so much for your patience» when you're running late.
Work with a therapist to boost self-esteem
Understanding where your low self-esteem stems from can help you move away from some of the internally-perpetuating patterns, and towards self-acceptance. Low self-esteem can come from many places: your upbringing, harmful past relationships, the result of ingrained distorted thinking, anything.
Working with a therapist is a great way to identify and capitalize on your strengths, and pave the way for self-empowerment. Zencare makes it easy to find a therapist that’s perfect for you.
You can even filter our therapist directory by looking for “self-esteem” under Specialties! You are worth finding the right therapist, so check out some of the therapist introductory videos and reach out when you find one that you .
Meredith Brown is a therapist in NYC who specializes in issues relating to depression, anxiety, relationship and family conflict, eating disorders, women's health, and life transitions.
In this article, we explore the narrative of women in psychology, highlight a few amazing women in the field that helped shift the cultural image, and speak to past and present inequalities.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we bring you a (non-exhaustive!) list of incredible female psychologists, therapists, and researchers.
If you sometimes struggle to make decisions, you’re not alone. When you’re overwhelmed with choices, try out these simple strategies to ease anxiety and streamline your decision-making.
If you are in a life threatening situation, please do not use this site. Call the 24h National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255 or use these resources. If your issue is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
© 2021 Zencare Group, Inc.
If you are in a life threatening situation, don’t use this site. Call the 24h National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255 or use these resources. If your issue is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
© 2021 Zencare Group, Inc.