5 Ways To Grow Your Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is a buzzword that is thrown around a lot, but what does it really mean? Self-esteem refers to how highly we regard or value ourselves. Many young people these days struggle with this concept, as the messages that they may receive from media and their peers tell them that they’re not good enough. Here are some strategies to help grow self-esteem:

Acknowledge Your Strengths

Why is it that we’re usually much more likely to focus on our shortcomings or imperfections than we are the admirable qualities or talents we have? If you struggle with low confidence, I encourage you to think about what it is that you do well (and everyone has good characteristics, so don’t think that you don’t!). Don’t be afraid to give yourself compliments, such as, “I handled that work conflict really well,” or, “nice job helping your family today!”

Honor Your Body

So many problems with self-esteem and confidence are rooted in issues we have with our bodies. Sure, it may not look exactly how you’d like (or what the magazines say it should look like), but your body enables you to live and love, so why not think about all the amazing things it does for you? Let’s try to think of our bodies as gifts instead of hating them for all of their perceived imperfections.

Accept What You Can’t Change

There are things about yourself that you can work on, and there are also things that you can’t. We can spend a lot of emotional energy dwelling on what we can’t change, but this can lead to unhappiness and a sense of hopelessness. Try instead to accept the reality of what you can’t change and then focus on what you can improve.

Challenge Negative Self-Talk

We’re sometimes our own worst critics, aren’t we? Pay attention to the negative thoughts that go through your head, and then when they come, don’t automatically believe them, but instead push back a little. For example, if you get a bad grade on a test and find yourself thinking that you’re dumb, counter that thought with something like, “am I really dumb? I didn’t do so well this time, but remember how I rocked that last test?” There’s a difference between legitimate self-criticism and simply trashing yourself, so work to get rid of thoughts that don’t do anything except bring you down.

Surround Yourself With People Who See Your Value

The individuals with whom we associate play a big part in how we feel about ourselves. Make sure you’re spending time with people who lift you up (instead of tearing you down). I’m not suggesting that everyone around you needs to always be telling you how amazing you are-true friends will encourage you to improve yourself! However, make sure that your company is bringing out the best in you and encouraging you to see the value in yourself, even when you may make mistakes.

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