7 Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem

See also: Building Confidence

Building healthy self-esteem is an ongoing task that requires effort, but is a practice that is worth the energy. It is normal for us to sometimes have wavering self-esteem where we may feel insecure and inadequate.

However, in our lives, we need to build healthy self-esteem in order to live productive and happy lives.  Here I have listed five ways that you can start to build healthy self-esteem today.

1. Catch Yourself Comparing Yourself to Others

Comparing yourself to others can be extremely detrimental to building healthy self-esteem.

In our society, it is quite easy to compare ourselves to others, but it is something we must learn to move away from. When we compare ourselves to others—whether it be about looks, personality, or job status—we end up feeling inadequate.

We start to feel that we are just not good enough. Instead of comparing yourself to others, it is important to remind yourself of all the positive qualities you possess. When you recognize that you are a unique person who has a lot to offer to the world, you will feel your sense of self-esteem rising.

Comparing yourself to others is often linked to negative self-talk, which is another thing you must be mindful of.

See our pages: Developing a Positive Body Image and Status Anxiety for more on this topic.

2. Turn Negative Self-Talk into Positive Self-Talk

Often when we compare ourselves to others we develop negative self-talk. For example, if you meet someone who has the dream job you’ve always wanted, you may start to feel inadequate and perhaps even insecure. For many people, this is the time when the issue of negative self-talk begins.

Instead of feeling happiness for that other person, you compare yourself to them and begin a very unhealthy dialogue of negative-self talk in your head. “I’m not good enough” and “They are better than me” are examples of things you might tell yourself at such times.

Unfortunately, when you speak to yourself like this, your self-esteem also starts to suffer. You feel completely down and maybe even depressed.

Negative self-talk is not only limited to when we are comparing ourselves to others. It can be about anything from trying to lose weight or starting a new hobby. This is why it is important for you to find ways to re-frame the negative self-talk into positive self-talk.

Instead of telling yourself that “You aren’t good enough”, you can tell yourself that you have room to improve and grow. Or if you think someone is better than you, you can learn to compliment them and learn from them. When you find the way to re-frame your negative self-talk, you will start to see your self-esteem improve as well.  In order to truly develop healthy self-esteem, you need to be mindful of and monitor the dialogue you have with yourself. 

See our page: Managing Self-Dialogue for more.

3. Surround Yourself with Positive People

Our self-esteem is not only limited to our own internal feelings, but is also linked to the types of people we surround ourselves with.

When we have positive people in our life, people who will support our goal and life journey, we also feel positive and motivated. This in turn helps us to develop healthy self-esteem.

When we want to develop healthy self-esteem we need to surround ourselves with the type of people who will help us to feel good about ourselves.  Find people who will support you and help you reach the goals you set in your life. These types of people will be the ones who will help you to boost and build healthy self-esteem.

4. Create a List of All the Wonderful Things You’ve Done to Remind Yourself You are a Great Person

This is something that can be done on slips of paper or within a journal you keep. Every time you have a moment of feeling good about yourself you should jot it down in writing.

On the days when you are not feeling so great about yourself, you can take a look at this list. This list will serve as a reminder that you are capable of doing great things in your life. In turn, this will help you to feel more confident and positive and help boost your self-esteem.

5. Be Mindful of Your Body Language

Body language plays a significant role in how we feel about ourselves, even if we are not consciously aware. Becoming aware of our body language is an important realization we must make if we want to develop healthy self-esteem.

It is important to walk and sit with your posture upright, with your shoulders rolled back. You should also try not to cross your arm when speaking to others, because this can make you appear guarded. With positive body language, not only will you appear more confident, but you will also feel more confident.

Eye contact is something else that will help you to develop healthy self-esteem. Low self-esteem is often connected with looking away from others when speaking. Don’t worry if you struggle with this now—it is something you can learn to do over time. To begin with, you can start to maintain eye contact with close friends and colleagues you are comfortable with. Over time it will become a natural habit. Maintaining eye contact will make you appear more confident to others, which should help you to feel more confident about yourself as well.

6. Set Realistic Goals for Yourself

Setting goals for yourself will allow you to reach milestones in your life that will help you to feel more confident and inspired. When we reach goals, we are able to truly believe in ourselves which in turn helps us to boost our self-esteem.

It is important, however, that we set realistic goals that we are able to achieve. By making your goals realistic and specific, you are setting yourself up for success and ultimately boosting your self-esteem.

See our page Setting Personal Goals for more information.

7. Practice Self-Forgiveness to Experience Self-Love

In order to develop healthy self-esteem, we must be able to truly forgive ourselves for things in our life that didn’t turn out the way we expected. This may be about regrets we have, or goals we weren’t able to reach.

Life is a journey and we should not see our past failures as negative experiences, because they help us to learn what to do right the next time. When we are able to forgive ourselves we can develop self-love. This sense of self-love helps us to develop healthy self-esteem that cannot be shaken by extrinsic factors. It allows us to feel empowered and confident in our lives.

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Learn how to set yourself effective personal goals and find the motivation you need to achieve them. This is the essence of personal development, a set of skills designed to help you reach your full potential, at work, in study and in your personal life.

The second edition of or bestselling eBook is ideal for anyone who wants to improve their skills and learning potential, and it is full of easy-to-follow, practical information.

The Journey to Healthy Self-Esteem

It is important to remember that you are in control of your self-esteem.

By becoming aware of that, you can truly start the journey in your life to feeling confident in anything you do.

Working with these tips will help you develop the skills you need to truly experience healthy self-esteem and help you to take charge of your life.

About the Author

Anna Alapatt is from the United States. Currently she is living in Germany where she works as a writer and English teacher. She has a personal blog where she writes about love and relationships, travel and personal development.