How to Boost Your Own Self Esteem

How to Boost Your Own Self Esteem

By Kara Ferreira

Feeling inadequate and powerless can have a huge impact on our lives, leaving us feeling discouraged and trapped in negative cycles of thinking. However, science has shown that individuals are capable of taking action to increase their self-esteem proactively; this process takes some internal exploration but can ultimately lead to greater self-confidence, improved personal relationships, higher productivity rates and better overall mental health. While there is no one-size-fits all approach to building your own esteem, there are proven methods you can use to get started.

Identify your triggers

Identifying the triggers that make you feel down about yourself can be a difficult, yet powerful exercise. We often fail to recognize the ways in which our environment and inner dialogue shape our self-esteem. It’s useful to assess your thoughts and environment when feeling down or when in doubt presents itself. Try asking yourself the following questions:

  • Do you become anxious in social situations? 
  • Does thinking about the future lead to hopelessness? 
  • Do you experience comparison traps when using social media? 

When we can identify those people, places, and situations that bring us down the most, we have more opportunity for growth and flexibility. To restore balance in our relationship with ourselves, it helps to foster healthy relationships with yourself and others.

Talk to yourself like a friend 

Talking to yourself like a friend can be a powerful tool for building self-esteem and helping  put things in perspective. This can be especially helpful when facing difficult challenges or when things don’t go our way. For example, instead of berating yourself over a mistake or missed opportunity, try speaking kindly to yourself – just as if you were talking to someone else. 

Practice gratitude

One of the most important steps to take when working to boost one’s self esteem is to practice gratitude. Paying attention and remembering to focus on the small joys in life has numerous benefits for our wellbeing both inside and outside of therapy, simply because it helps us establish an appreciation for everything we do have rather than punishing ourselves for what we do not.

Set achievable goals 

Establishing achievable goals is an excellent way to boost self esteem and build a sense of accomplishment. Start with a long-term objective and chart out attainable short-term milestones that will get you there. Doing this can help keep you make sure you stay on track and focused, without getting overwhelmed or discouraged. You’ll also be encouraged as you see your progress with every goal that you meet. Simply the act of checking something off of your to-do list can improve how you feel about your day and yourself!

Get moving

Regular exercise is essential for physical and mental wellbeing, with research showing that it can have a profoundly positive effect on self esteem. Endorphins, nature’s natural feel-good hormones, are released when you exercise, making you feel great and helping to build self-confidence. Whether it’s going for a walk or jogging at the local park, participating in organized sports or hitting the gym for an intense workout, physical activity can help to bolster self esteem. 

Take time for yourself 

The practice of self-care can go a long way towards fostering a healthy sense of self and boosting self esteem. Taking even just a few minutes each day to engage in activities that make you feel good and centered, such as having a peaceful moment of meditation or reading a book, can make a big difference. Doing this on a regular basis will help you find balance and peace in your everyday life.

Boosting your self-esteem is an important part of overall wellbeing, and with the help of these techniques, you can take charge of your mental health. It’s ok to feel down sometimes, but take note of your triggers and practice self-compassion and gratitude to help balance out difficult emotions. Make sure to set achievable goals that you can work toward each day; this will give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment which can do wonders for your self-esteem. Incorporate some form of physical activity into your weekly routine; exercise releases endorphins that boost mood in a natural way. Lastly, make sure to take time for yourself each day! 

As always, if you find that you are struggling with self esteem, you can contact Galvin Growth Group today for extra support. If you need more tools and you’d like to explore working with a therapist, contact us at (734) 323-4897 or for more information. Our practice, based in Novi, Michigan, is home to a variety of psychologists with a wide range of expertise, and our intake specialist will help to match you with the right one. We also offer teletherapy and can see anyone in the state of Michigan.

Kara Ferreira is a G3 Contributing Writer. This post was reviewed by Dr. Julie Galvin and Dr. Elizabeth Snyder.