3 Simple Ways to Start Raising Your Self-Esteem Today (+ The Self-Esteem Course launches on Tuesday)

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[hana-code-insert name=’social w twitt face’ /]“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on.”

Your self-esteem is one of the most important things in life. It is one of those things that will make a huge difference for you if you work on it.

As you raise your self-esteem you will for instance:

  • Feel more deserving and trusting in yourself. This will allow you to more fully explore your own potential and start going for your dreams and happiness. Instead of holding yourself back in life because you do not think you deserve good things or because of fear of failure, rejection etc.
  • Live as you want. Not just when it comes to your goals and dreams. But also in the way that you will be better at standing up for yourself, asking for what you really want, saying no and to not feel pressured by shoulds or perfectionism.
  • Stop feeling lousy about yourself and start feeling that you are OK and good. Sure, life still has its ups and downs with better self-esteem but those ups and downs also become easier to handle. And if you become more understanding, accepting and loving of yourself then just about any day in life will become better and happier than it used to be.

Those are a couple of reasons why I have created my brand new course, the Self-Esteem Course. It will launch on Tuesday as the headline mentions. At 13.00 EST (that’s 18.00 GMT) to be more specific and during the first week of the launch you can get it at 30% off.

But that is not the only thing about self-esteem that I wanted to share today. I also wanted to share three simple ways that you can start using today to start raising or to better maintain your own self-esteem.

1. The daily self-appreciation journal.

It is easy to get lost in basing your self-esteem on just what you accomplish, on what you get done in a day or week. But basing your self-esteem on just that makes it pretty unstable.

One way help yourself out with that and with appreciating what is good and awesome about you is to use a self-appreciation journal.

You can do that by taking out a pen and notepad (or use a word processor on your computer or cell phone) every evening for a week. There you write down 5 things you appreciate about yourself. But make sure that you do not only write down accomplishments. Also write down good stuff related to your core-self esteem. By that I mean things that always there no matter how you perform at work or in school. It could be things/traits like your sense of humor, your kindness, your honesty, wisdom, creativity and so on.

If you like, continue to make this kind of journaling a habit of yours after the first week is up.

2. The stop word or stop-phrase.

We all have an inner critic. The critic can spur you on to get things done and to behave in way that gains acceptance from the people around you. But it can also drag you and your self-esteem down.

The inner critic whispers or shouts thoughts in your mind. It could be thoughts like:

  • You are lazy and sloppy too, now get to work.
  • No one really likes you for who you are.
  • You always fail in relationships.
  • You aren’t good at your job at all and someone will figure that out and throw you out.
  • You are worse or uglier than someone else.

Now, the inner critic can as I mentioned help you to be productive and so on. But there are alternatives that are better. If you want to become more effective then it will for example be healthier and more productive to remind yourself of your major reasons for doing what you do each day. You could write down the most important reasons why you are focusing on this project, on these classes in school and so on and put that note where you will see it every day.

But, as you start going on that other, healthier path, you also have to stop the critic so it does not start to drag you down. You have to talk back to it.

You can do so by simply creating a stop word or stop-phrase that you say or shout in your mind whenever your critic pipes up with a distorted and self-esteem hurting thought.

Simply say: Stop!

Or use something else. I like these two phrases:

  • No, no, no, we are not going there!
  • No, that is just stupid.

They have worked well for me to get the inner critic to shut up. Try these ones out or create one that feels good and works for you.

Then use it to not get dragged down by your own inner critic when it may get triggered by for example criticism or a mistake in everyday life. And as you use the word or phrase and it becomes a habit and as you find healthier paths towards what you want your critic will pop up up less and less.

3. Be kind and understanding towards others (and yourself).

By being kinder towards and more understanding of others if becomes easier to do the same to yourself. One simple way to focus on being more understanding and kind when you feel the need to judge someone is to use helpful questions. One I find to be really effective is:

What parts of this person can I see in myself? How is he or she like me?

This one helps me to shift my perspective from what is different and what I feel the need to judge to what we have in common instead. This tears down the mental barriers between us and I can feel closer to and more understanding of this person.

Try it out whenever you feel the need to judge someone, no matter if it is someone close to you or someone you don’t even know.

By doing so it becomes more natural to extend and use this more understanding and kind frame of mind when you view yourself too. And by behaving in this way towards others you will feel better about yourself and in that way raise your self-esteem too.

If you found this article helpful, then please share it with someone else by using the buttons below. Thank you! =)

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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehacker, HuffPost and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Great tips!

    Writing a journal and talking to somebody, yourself included, help to organise your mind and this is the best possible way towards higher self esteem.

    Thanks for sharing

  • With you on the middle one Henrik – be who you want, do what you want, live as you choose, think and act for yourself. Rubber stamp your own existence than ever ask the world to!

  • I LOVE your tip about dealing with the mouthy inner-critic by using a stop word or phrase. I coach writers and this issue is particularly acute for them. The stop word is a great idea!

    That said, I think the BIGGEST issue with self-esteem relates to accomplishment (or lack of it.) Bottom line: You’re not going to have good self-esteem unless you accomplish things. Our current school system has tended to reward kids for just “being there.” NB: I’m not harkening for a return to the bad old days. But I am saying that true self-esteem comes only when you set a goal and reach it.

    This is true for writing, for exercise, for business, for school. Set yourself a goal, work to achieve it and your self-esteem will go through the roof! (A good book on this topic is: The Optimistic Child by Martin Seligman.)

  • For me, self esteem is matter of mind set, as what Buddha said, “What you think you become.”

  • Self Esteem is so important, we find its the essence to weight loss and control. Once our clients begin to develop a stronger self esteem they are more confident and are able to loss and control their weight.
    Great article

  • Ant

    Add to that have positive friends!

  • I think my favorite of the system first one. I have a journal I keep myself, and I always take a few minutes when I am writing in it to express gratitude for things that I’m grateful for. Sometimes these are things that I have accomplished, sometimes it’s people in my life, and sometimes it’s other things. This helps to remind me of all the good things going on in my life.

    I’ll have to keep in mind the stopword or stop phrase idea. It sounds like something that can really help whenever you keep your mind in a negative mindset.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Great post – and great point.
    Through my depression and anxiety I have learned the hard way the importance of self- esteem, and the true meaning of it.
    For me, it is not the belief in that you are pretty, you are worthy and so on – but the belief that YOU CAN! You are strong enough and so on.
    And than again that the “simpler” form of self-esteem – the feeling pretty part – can also help. It is so much easier facing a challenge – for example an open, crowdy space, if this is where your anxiety lies – if you are feeling and looking great.

  • Let go and let God – that is one of the finest ways to raise your self-esteem!

  • i am really glad i found this blog. Love the tips contained in this article. As for me, nobody can drain my self esteem as long as i don’t allow such.

  • Thank you everyone for your great comments and tips for building self-esteem! :)

  • Why didn’t I find this site earlier?! This is awesome. I spend a great deal of time building value with people at my job. It’s amazing how many adults are dealing with self-esteem issues and how that negatively impacts their work relationships. I’m gonna recommend this site from now on! Keep up the good work!

    “positive media for positive people”

  • Henrik,

    I have a small criticism to make about this otherwise well written post.

    You wrote at the beginning of your article: “Stop feeling lousy about yourself and start feeling that you are OK and good.”

    Surely we need to encourage people who are looking to improve their self esteem to become great, rather than good.

    It’s all about perception and putting an individual in the right state of mind to achieve greatness.

    I really liked your first point about writing a self appreciation journal. This is not only measurable, but also hugely empowering to individuals. What a great idea!

  • to SMoB for being so incredibly brave as to post all of that and be so vulnerable. I’m sure that your honesty will help folks here, as will the incredibly usefull pointers you give.I know also, I’ve found a distinction between what psychologist types call external and internal locus of control. ie whether you attribute things that happen to you to something external – I did badly on the exam because it was a difficult paper, that person frowned because they were in a bad mood anyway, etc etc – or something internal – I did badly on the exam because I didn’t study enough and I’m bad; that person frowned at me because they’re angry at me and I’ve done something wrong… It seems like people who get depressed, me included, are too quick to assume that anything that happens is because “I’m bad”. And getting out of that is one of the hardest things I know, but one of the key things to getting some self esteem and beating this illness.More to anyone who’s depressed and needs them.

  • This was a very well written post.
    1. The daily self-appreciation journal. I think this is one of the best ideas I have heard of in a long time. People tend to think that if they say anything positive about themselves then they are bragging. That mindset causes so many people to not give themselves the credit that they are due.

    Thanks for sharing this article and the information provided.

    http://www.selfconfidenceforum.com is another website that is related to what you have written. It has some other ideas that may also help a person in raising their self esteem/confidence.