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Strengthening one’s SELF-ESTEEM

Self-esteem cannot be strengthened overnight by a single change or insight; change happens gradually. This means that self-esteem can be developed, but this requires commitment and active work with yourself. There are many ways to boost self-esteem, and below are a few key ones.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

The ability and willingness to take care of yourself is the cornerstone of self-esteem. It means recognising your needs, desires, and goals and making a determined effort to meet them. You can start by thinking about what you like and how you spend your time. What fun, exhilarating and inspiring thing could you do today? For example, would you like to go to the cinema or bake something tasty? Even a small act that gives you pleasure every day will increase your ability to take care of yourself.

The ability to take care of yourself is also particularly important when you face grief and sorrow. In such moments, you can ask yourself: What do I need right now? How could I comfort myself? For example, would a warm bath or a hug from a loved one help? Through small actions, you can show yourself that you are there for yourself even in difficult moments.

SUPPORT AND CLOSENESS FROM OTHERS

Self-esteem and self-worth are built from within, but it is also important to gain appreciation from other people. Even if you can’t get a complete sense of adequacy from others, the acceptance, respect, and support you receive from them reinforce a positive attitude towards yourself. So, try to find a group where you feel comfortable and accepted.

In addition to closeness, also firmness and respect for your own boundaries are important skills for self-esteem. They help you express to others what you want or don’t want. Being able to put your own wellbeing first in a healthy way is a sign of firmness and respect for your personal boundaries.

PHYSICAL WELLBEING

It’s harder to feel good if your physical state is tired and drained. Good physical fitness feeds a person’s self-esteem, and it also gives you the energy to look at other aspects of self-esteem. Nutrition, sleep, exercise, and relaxation are worth paying attention to.

RECOGNISING AND EXPRESSING EMOTIONS

Recognising your own emotions and expressing them helps you to get to know yourself. Emotions are messages about what we want, hope for, and need. Without being in touch with your emotions, it is difficult to know who you are and what you want. For example, feelings of anger may be caused by the experience of having your boundaries crossed or not feeling valued.

Emotions always carry a message, and therefore, giving space to your emotions helps to develop self-awareness and self-esteem. If you are used to repressing your feelings, it can be difficult to face them at first. However, facing a strong emotion that feels difficult can tell you that you are on the right track.

POSITIVE INNER SPEECH

Self-beliefs and inner speech influence the way you feel about yourself. If negative and critical thoughts are constantly running through your mind, it’s hard to feel good. You may think, for example, that you will never succeed at anything.

By exploring and challenging your thoughts and investing in positive inner speech, you can influence how dominant these thoughts are. For help, you can use a variety of empowering phrases repeated with determination.

You can say to yourself, for example, “I am worthy of appreciation and acceptance” or “If I try, I’ll have a chance to succeed.” In difficult moments, remember all the good things in your life; both difficulties and good times are part of life. Also try to be compassionate with yourself: failures are part of life, too.

GOALS IMPORTANT TO YOU AND A SENSE OF ACHIEVEMENT

Achieving goals that are important to you is fuel for your self-esteem. You cannot build your self-esteem on external achievements alone, but achieving things that are meaningful to you will affect your experience of yourself. Commitment to your goals is about taking responsibility for your life and its direction.

Your self-esteem will grow as you feel in control of the direction of your life. So, take the time to think about what’s important to you and to create an action plan. Setting goals also requires the ability to make choices. You may first have to practise making decisions about seemingly insignificant things if you are not used to wanting something.

The above tools all offer a good opportunity to strengthen your self-esteem. You can go through all the tools and think about what you already have at your disposal and what you could try next. Start by practising one thing. Remember that to make a change, you also need patience and gentleness towards yourself. Ask your loved ones for support and, if necessary, seek professional help.