What is self-esteem and why is boosting self-esteem important?
Are you wondering with how boosting self-esteem might improve your life?
Perhaps you already know you have low self-esteem and have already seen the damaging effects in your life from it? Or maybe you feel good about yourself but are wondering how you could boost self-confidence?
Self-esteem simply means “a confidence and satisfaction in oneself” according to Merriam-Webster.
Essentially it’s how you feel about yourself, inside and out.
All of us engage in various types of behavior patterns. They start as individual actions, but as certain things get repeated and reinforced, they become ingrained in us.
Many of these habits are beneficial and healthy. But others may be destructive and detrimental to our self-esteem and long-term mental health.
Now if you are a parent and you’re talking about your child’s self-esteem, that can be totally different. I have a whole post about Self-Esteem Exercises for Kids. So take a moment and check out that post where I walk you through the specific steps to take.
What are the symptoms of low self-esteem?
For some of us, low self-esteem takes its toll on our physical appearance. Things like:
- Our weight
- Aging prematurely (due to stress or bad habits that come from the low self-esteem)
- How an illness or injury affects us
For others, it could be purely mental challenges. In truth, we all have judgments we feel about ourselves. And even the happiest of persons may occasionally feel low self-esteem or even depression.
So finding ways to boost self-confidence and of boosting self-esteem are crucial!
Those mental symptoms might include:
- Feeling worthless or hopeless
- Thinking no one likes you
- Feeling negative emotions strongly like blame or guilt
- Thinking you don’t deserve happiness
If you are finding that you already have some of these Destructive Behavior Patterns, I highly recommend taking a moment to check out one of my most shared posts on how those can rob us of a successful future.
How do I boost self-confidence?
The good news is that by reading this post that means you’ve identified the issue. In almost any case, whether it be an addiction or problem, identifying the root issue is half the battle.
So just by recognizing the need for boosting self-esteem, you are well on your way of improving it.
The next step in the healing process is to identify the “why” behind our low self-esteem. For many, it could be emotional or physical abuse from a current or past relationship. It could also be rooted in our childhood.
I don’t want you to dwell on the cause. After all, NOTHING in the world can change the past.
I also don’t want you to focus negative energy on the people involved in those past wounds.
Confront them if you must. Remove them from your life if you need to, but negative energy creates more negative energy. Right now in looking at boosting self-esteem, you need to surround yourself with positive energy and influences.
Toxic People can rob us of our happiness and take us down a negative spiral with them.
If you struggle with toxic people in your life, I strongly suggest you take a moment and check out my very popular post on how you can get the balance you so desperately need with these people.
How do you build someone’s confidence?
In short, just like with happiness, you can’t boost self-confidence in others. I can’t make another happy, nor can I make them confident.
That being said, there are a lot of destructive behavior patterns that can erode self-confidence in our loved ones. Thus, avoiding those things is crucial for a healthy relationship.
Those of us in a romantic relationship know just how easy it is to damage our partner.
Our partner is often the one we are closest to and the one with whom we are most vulnerable. Ironically they are also the person who we tend to put the least amount of effort into with our communication.
All it takes is an off-hand comment about appearance or effort around the house to start a downward trend. If those comments turn more critical or contemptuous they can easily start a very damaging back and forth communication.
This is the point where instead of boosting self-esteem, we’re destroying it.
If that sounds familiar just know that according to world-renowned marriage expert Dr. John Gottman, there are 4 behaviors that predict divorce with a scary degree of accuracy.
Dr. Gottman calls them the 4 Horsemen. If criticism, contempt, stonewalling or defensiveness are a regular part of your relationship, you must take a moment and check out one of my most popular relationship posts while there’s still time to turn your relationship around!
How does your self-esteem affect you?
Self-esteem and overall feelings of self-worth are incredibly important!
The feelings that come from boosting self-esteem can affect all aspects of our lives.
You’ll likely see positive changes in:
As we boost self-confidence, we will naturally attract healthier people.
Confidence, as evidenced when boosting self-esteem, is attractive to healthy people. When we’re depressed or feel despair, that can make us attractive to unhealthy people.
Thus it’s not unusual for individuals struggling with self-esteem to end up in unhealthy relationships and find themselves with self-destructive habits.
The US National Library of Medicine conducted a study that looked at the effects of low self-esteem and found that “that those who are involved in addiction, theft, and prostitution have a lower self-esteem compared with the ordinary person.”
So boosting self-esteem is vitally important for our overall physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. If you need additional help, online therapy is quickly becoming a great way to get the help you need quickly and easily. Check out BetterHelp to learn more.
So what are my . . .
9 Amazing Ways of Boosting Self-Esteem?
1. Practice Mindfulness
- Focus on being present to yourself, relationships and tasks
- Be kind to yourself when you make a mistake
- Acknowledge your successes!
- Focus on looking at yourself and others without judgment
- Embrace mono-tasking by focusing on one task at a time
2. Avoid Comparisons
- There is only 1 you and only 1 of all the other people on the planet
- There is nothing wrong with goal setting or taking on new challenges
- But do not focus on comparing yourself to anyone else
3. Baby Steps on things you can change
- Any challenge we undertake can potentially be overwhelming
- Thus we need to first identify a goal we want to get to
- Then we need to break down the individual steps involved to get there
- Make those individual steps small, achievable baby steps
- Our body has an uncanny ability to heal itself, mentally, physically and emotionally
- The primary things our body needs to conduct that healing are proper nutrition, plenty of clean water, breath and movement.
- A study by the University of Bristol was conducted by Dr. Kenneth R Fox
- He found that the “results indicate that in order to achieve high levels of psychological well-being, individuals should engage in physical activity on a regular basis, at least four times a week.”
5. Spend time outdoors
- Another study was conducted by the National Institutes of Health
- The study looked at “the synergistic combination of exercise and exposure to nature”
- They found that “All types of green exercise activities also improve self-esteem and negative mood subscales, such as tension, anger and depression”
6. Get plenty of sleep
- Yet another recent study was conducted by the US National Library of Medicine
- The study looked at the effects of sleep on optimism and self-esteem
- They found that “Good and sufficient sleep is associated with positive personality characteristics” such as boosting self-esteem
7. Help or give to others
- Mahatma Gandhi once said that “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
- It might seem counter-productive to give to others when you feel down, depressed or low in self-esteem, but the facts say otherwise
- According to the Do Good. Live Well Survey conducted by United Healthcare, they found that those who volunteer their time in the service of others had:
- Healthier Body Mass Index
- 31% less likely to be obese
- 70% who volunteered noted improved physical health
- 40% more likely to have a “very good” sense of purpose in life
If you struggle with low self-esteem, you owe it to your friends and family, but most importantly to yourself to find ways to boost self-confidence.
You may have ideas I haven’t thought of or you may find not all of these work for you. That’s OK! Keep pressing, keep working.
Don’t give up. You’re worth it!
Do you struggle in boosting self-esteem?
In this article, we took a look at self-esteem and the challenges many kids and adults face with it every day.
But we also looked at some simple, actionable solutions for boosting self-esteem. Having high feelings of self-worth and self-esteem are so crucial in life, especially when others are depending on us.
But ultimately, you deserve to be happy!
Have you found ways to boost self-confidence? How can I help?