How To Skyrocket Your Self-Esteem
The role of self-esteem in psychological functioning has been studied throughout the years. There are many interesting theories or empirical recordings in the history of psychology. Before I expand on this subject, let’s define what self-esteem actually is. There are different types of definitions on what self-esteem is. Self-esteem is an individual attitude towards oneself (Morris Rosenberg) and also it is referred as a measurement of the overall value of oneself, how much you like yourself, how worthy you find yourself (Adler & Stewart). There are many words we can use that are usually referred to as self-esteem. It can be self-love, self-efficacy, self-worth, self-respect, self-confidence. Though in detail the definitions themselves can be a little different and don’t exactly mean the same, for now, let’s use them as the same meaning, specifically self-esteem.
As the word indicates, self-esteem is basically giving value to yourself. It can be on a very high level, meaning the person is satisfied with himself or the contrary, it can be on a very low level when a person does not like himself. There is no need to know a lot about self-esteem as it exists and occurs in our daily lives. Sometimes we don’t really have to learn what self-esteem is, as it is something we all can feel. Have you had a situation when you felt extremely confident in front of the audience, or have you had a situation when you could act in a specific way and someone else told you how brave and confident you were? Or have you felt very embarrassed when you wanted to ask that girl out but you weren’t sure?
Self-esteem is not something one can always control and it affects our daily lives on a constant basis. Some people achieve great things in life because their high self-esteem lets them take the risks and there are many out there, who are stuck in the same work or place their whole lives, because their low self-esteem didn’t let them do something bigger.
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Can You Measure Self-Esteem?
Absolutely! As I have mentioned previously, there are many empirical recordings of self-esteem and there are many different ways to measure your self-confidence. I personally would recommend to measure your self-esteem with a certified psychologist and receive professionals’ help. If you think that your situation is not that bad, you can also try online tests. However, it is important to note that tests aren’t the full validation and they are most common for general research.
No matter the results, they aren’t valid enough to diagnose yourself. On the other hand, they are useful if you aren’t sure about the level of your self-esteem and you would like to have a general idea. The most used measurement of self-esteem is Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale. Also, there are many different options such as Harter’s Self-Perception Profile, Single-Item Self-Esteem Scale, Self-Liking and Self-Competence Questionnaires and Self-Description Questionnaires. You can try out Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale, as it is available online and takes 2 minutes. To make sure that it is accurate enough, try to answer the questions very quickly without thinking too much.
Beside taking tests and talking to psychologists, there are many ways you can measure self-esteem on your own because it is always expressed in our actions and habits.
Signs of High Self-Esteem
- Being able to manage your own problems most of the time and not running to someone for help
- Having your own standards and not letting anyone disrespect you, even yourself
- Being able to take responsibilities
- Feeling confident with your body
- Taking full control of your life
- Being able to find the balance between your feelings and actions
- Striving to get better
- Being able to listen to others without fear of expressing yourself
- Accepting your own mistakes and failures
- Knowing your strengths and weaknesses
- Having sense of purpose
- Not being influenced by others very easily
- Not seeking approval
Signs of Low Self-Esteem
- Being hostile (passive-aggressive)
- Not accepting others’ opinions and scared to share yours
- Being scared of social situations
- Not accepting criticism
- Victimizing yourself
- Negative self-talk
- Blaming yourself or others
- Acting way too confident (narcissistic)
- Being negative
- Feeling always scared to try something new
- Being too optimistic and denying the reality
- Not being able to control your life
- Overreacting to everything (emotionally unstable)
How to Boost Your Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is a skill. Developing a skill requires knowing what to do and the ability to have a strong mentality and resilience. It’s the same as learning a new language, you just need to be using the right techniques and find what appeals you the most. Building self-esteem doesn’t mean that you will be yelling around that you are confident. This is a skill that we show off in our actions which lead us to success. There are many different ways to improve your self-esteem. Just find what works for you the best, as it doesn’t have to be everything from the list. There’s no specific order either, so start with anything.
Before taking any action in order to improve your self-esteem, you need to find out more about yourself and be more flexible in your actions. The best way to get to know yourself, especially if you are a beginner, is journaling and taking notes. Write down everything that comes to your mind regarding your self-esteem. This process of introspection will help you to improve yourself and know exactly what you need to work on.
Besides, writing makes this easier, as it is not so easy to have an accurate mental image of yourself. If you find it hard to identify what to write about, try to ask for help from your friends.
Self-talk is one of the most important processes that affect our self-image. Without being aware, we may have such negative self-talk that with time it will be harder to get out of it. There are already enough people out there telling us that we can’t do something. Why should you be telling yourself the same? Self-talk can be understood not only as what you constantly think about yourself but the actual talk. You don’t need to let everyone hear that you talk to yourself though.
As crazy as it sounds, I like talking to myself out loud. Especially when there is something challenging happening in my life, positive self-talk changes a lot for me. At first, I found it a little weird, however with time I have realized that it has a huge impact. If you are waiting for the approval of that new job, or too excited about that girl and think that she may reject you. Tell yourself out loud that you can achieve everything you want! Even if something that you want doesn’t happen, good self-talk will help you to stay on the positive note and pursue further goals, even if you fail.
Take Care of Your Body
Not to mention self-esteem, we all should be taking care of our body as well. Because if you feel dirty and sick, you will feel mentally down. Have you ever felt that great relief after the shower, as if you showered off all the negativity? It is vital to take care of your body as much as you can as it also affects your self-esteem. When you are clean and fresh, it all feels so much better. When you smell good, it makes you feel more comfortable in your body and you automatically start feeling better around others as well.
Besides taking care of our body, it also feels much better when we wear what we like. It doesn’t mean you need to wear expensive clothes and look for $1,000. However, when you dress better you also feel better. There is no specific outfit that increases self-esteem, however, if you have a specific style that you like or specific materials that make you feel more comfortable, go for it. For example, as a woman, I always feel more confident when I wear a dress as it also helps me to feel more feminine. There are types of people who don’t care what they wear at all. It doesn’t matter. Try it and if it doesn’t work, try something else.
Avoid Toxic People
There are thousands of reasons you should avoid toxic people and self-esteem isn’t an exception. When you are around people who always make you feel down and who always push your self-esteem down the hill, there is no need to stick around with them. I always advise anyone to be careful with friends as wrong social relationships can have a big impact on our lives and we need to be aware of it.
Find Your Passion
If you want to increase your self-esteem to a high level, it’s important to know what you want in your life. Though finding passion isn’t an easy task for everyone, it’s still manageable. Don’t be in a rush as it is something that comes with time, especially if you have trouble with that. Some people know what their passion is from an early age while for others it happens only in their 40’s.
Increase Your Competency
Once you know what you want to do or once you acknowledge what your interests are, increasing your knowledge will play a big role in your self-esteem. Besides, it doesn’t have to be specifically a profession. Life is a lesson in itself and one should never stop learning. Read books, explore art or literature, learn languages or something new. Never stop learning. Increasing your knowledge can serve you well not only in your professional life but also increase your self-esteem.
Maybe this is not something great, especially if you are looking for the long-term improvement, however having straight posture does make you feel more confident. Besides, it looks better seeing someone going straight and not like a bomb is going to fall on their head. If you never tried it, it does magic for sure. If you already don’t have a good posture, just spread those shoulders and walk like you are a king. It will instantly increase your self-esteem and people around you will notice it as well.
If you are one of those who has a huge mess on the desk or in a closet, you definitely need to declutter your space. External factors affect our mentality as well and having messy surroundings kind of makes us feel a little messy. How do you even plan to achieve your goals if you can’t take care of your stuff?
Self-image is not always an easy task to achieve, however practicing self-awareness is another key point to higher self-esteem. Knowing who you really are will help you to see things from a bigger perspective. When you strive to achieve your goals, having the realistic self-image will increase the chances to improve yourself, you will know exactly what you need to work on and as a result, your self-esteem will also skyrocket.
When you know that you are doing something, that harms your mentality, your body or your productivity, you don’t feel so good about yourself. Try to identify all the habits that harm you and start making a plan to get rid of them. A bad habit is an extra noise in your life and it does no good for self-esteem either.
Don’t Rush In
When I first started working on myself, I had such a huge list that I felt even worse. It felt pretty exhausting to even think how many things there needs to be done. However, I realized that working on myself isn’t something from A to Z. When you strive to increase your self-esteem make sure not to be in a rush and set small goals. Small goals are easier to achieve, guarantee long-term results and as a total, you achieve more. Don’t try to set yourself way too many or too high goals. It will be less stressful and more achievable.
Set Your Standards
Confident people know exactly what they want and what their priorities are. We all have some standards though we don’t always follow them. Setting yourself specific standards will help you to be more confident as you will know exactly what are the rules in your house!
Be Positive Towards Others
Confident people don’t care about others’ approval and they are never affected but someone’s negativity. Remember that you are the one in a charge here. Another great way to feel better with the people around you is simply being positive. Not because you want something from them or expect them to be positive in return. Being more positive with someone will make you feel more friendly and open and as a result, it will affect your self-esteem in some way.
Stop Being a Victim
We all have been there and we all have done that. It’s always so much easier to blame someone or blame the circumstances. I do agree, sometimes it really is about circumstances however, it’s also about the attitude. Don’t play a role of a victim as it will never fix any of your problems. Even if there is something that isn’t up to you, don’t act like you are helpless and you can’t do anything. There is always a way out and it’s all in your hands. Being able to take the charge, knowing that you are not a victim, you will feel stronger and more confident.
Be Mentally Flexible
Do you hate your job though you are scared to learn something new? Do you not love your spouse anymore yet you torture yourself every day and them as well because you are scared of changes? What if you left that job and you found something that you love. What if you could feel much better than you do right now? Don’t set yourself boundaries and don’t be scared. When I decided I wanted to study again, being sick of my job, I want to learn something new and try something new. I felt very down, as I wasn’t sure if my decisions would be right and if they would lead me anywhere. I know how it feels when you decide to make major changes in your life, however, nothing will ever get better if you stay in the same position. Be confident that you can do whatever you wish and you really will.
Stop Waiting for the Perfect Moment
How many of us wait for that magic moment or the sign that it will get better. We give ourselves excuses that when this or that happens then we can act. No, it will never happen. Of course, if you want to leave your job doesn’t mean you need to leave right now. You should plan it ahead, save up some money if you won’t be working for a while. However, don’t wait years. Start acting as soon as possible and moving towards your goals. Time will not wait for you, you need to act. When you start to act it automatically increases your self-esteem because you start having a specific direction.
No More Comfort Zone
Most people who have low self-esteem and never really get any further is because they avoid uncomfortable situations. Being scared of changes and being scared they aren’t good enough, leaves them at the same point or even worse, lowers their self-esteem. If you truly desire to be more confident, you need to do what scares you and makes you uncomfortable. As a result, you will be even surprised how good you can be. Assuming that you can’t be good enough is very self-limiting. People who are in a better position than you are aren’t the products of natural selection. Maybe there is an exception, however, whoever achieved more, did more.
When I first started working in sales, I wanted to leave during the first 3 months. Every day I thought I wasn’t good enough for it. I have never had any connection with the financial market or anything in regards to finance. Even though I realized after years that it’s not my passion, I learned a lot. I learned a lot about finance as well as attained many skills, like convincing someone, selling something, getting to know someone, building up the chemistry and so on. I learned to talk louder and confidently and it built up my confidence as well.
Attain Good Habits
Besides the desire to quit bad habits, strive to start doing something new. It can be sports or art, a new language or any new challenge. You might try something small as well, drinking more water, going to the gym, waking up earlier. Doing this will enable you to learn more about your interests, more about yourself and it will lead you to increased self-esteem. Don’t be scared to try something new.
Act More and Stop Procrastinating
You may write a lot about how to increase your self-esteem, you may think a lot and talk a lot to yourself. However, the most powerful technique is the actual act. Try to do more acting rather than thinking. Thinking feels less stressful and gives us more comfort. Only thinking is not enough to increase your confidence. Try to come up with more ideas which will lead to action. Doing something requires more commitment, however, it will lead to stronger results. Try your best and don’t waste your time on useless things. When you try to achieve specific goals, remind yourself why you are doing it and don’t let distractions take over you.
You can write a huge to-do list to work on your self-esteem and forget that there are things that you already possess. Don’t be too critical and remind yourself of the things that you already have. Practice gratitude and don’t put yourself down. Doing this will remind you that you have good qualities as well and it will help you with increasing your self-esteem. Becoming more self-aware I realized how much self-esteem means. It stops you from doing more because you feel scared to take the risk. You think of “what ifs” and imagine the worst scenario. It takes time to improve your self-esteem and myself, I have a lot of work to do as well.
Do you have your own ways of improving self-esteem? Share it!
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