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10 Tips to Improve Self-esteem

  • Have you been feeling unmotivated lately and doubting your ability to get things done?

  • Have you noticed yourself being critical, focusing on your negative qualities and the things you need to fix or improve?

  • Do you struggle to speak up about your needs?

  • Is it hard for you to accept compliments or do you think others are better than you?

If you have noticed any of these, you may be suffering from low self-esteem.

Self-esteem represents the thoughts and beliefs that we have about ourselves. Our self-esteem is shaped by what we think we are worth and how much value we place on ourselves. Our self-esteem develops based on the meaning we make about ourselves throughout the experiences we lived growing up.

Having healthy self-esteem means we are living according to our values, love and accept ourselves for who we are, recognize our strengths, take initiative and accomplish goals, exercise our creativity, and are confidant in our abilities to do anything we want. On the other hand, low self-esteem has consequences including but not limited to impaired performance, procrastination, increased stress, anxiety, depression, cynicism, problems in relationships, and increased susceptibility to alcohol and drug use. In other words, low self-esteem deteriorates the quality of life.

Today I will walk you through 10 tips to improve your self-esteem.

Tip #1 - Do not say negative things about yourself

When you say negative things about yourself or others, you are enforcing your belief that they are true. Pay extra attention to that voice inside your head, what is it telling you day-to-day? Do you hear, “I can never do it right” or “I knew it wouldn’t work?” If so, how does that influence the way you feel about yourself? Most likely you won't feel so good about yourself. Practice positive self-talk instead and see how it influences the way you feel!

Tip #2 – Be assertive about your needs

In many cases, if we are not being assertive about our needs, we are either being passive or aggressive in our communication. Neither one of those is an effective way to communicate or gets us what we need. Being passive is when we don’t say anything at all, we keep holding in our frustrations and unmet needs, suppressing our emotions hoping they would go away. Until eventually we realize they are not going anywhere. The more we keep them in, the more they build up until we explode and communicate aggressively. Communicating our needs in a passive or aggressive way may leave us unfulfilled and unsatisfied. Communicating our needs assertively means being honest, clear, direct, respectful, and considerate of ourselves and others. Communicating assertively has much more success in leaving us feeling fulfilled and satisfied.

Tip #3 – Accept compliments

Do you notice yourself shy away when someone gives you a compliment? Struggling to accept a compliment is a sign of low self-esteem. It is a sign that our opinion of ourselves is not good and we are not worthy of being complimented. For example, if someone says, “You are beautiful” or “You did a great job man,” don’t reply with “Oh, I look like crap” or “I did so bad dude did you see that?” Instead, reply, “Thank you.” Let yourself experience what it feels like to believe the compliments that come your way.

Tip #4 – Reward yourself often

The more you reward yourself for doing what you want to do, the more your brain associates that behavior with a reward. This builds motivation in keeping consistency and accomplishing your goals. Rewarding yourself is more likely to get you to instill new habits than punishing yourself for not sticking to them. Remember when you were a kid and when you did something good or right you got a sticker or candy? Now, think of a reward system for yourself to keep it going.

Tip # 5 - Stop comparing yourself to others

Usually, when we compare ourselves to others, it is because we think the other person has something better than what we have or we want something they have that we don’t have. In either circumstance, we are thinking negatively about ourselves which is detrimental to our self-esteem.

Tip #6 – Recognize your accomplishments

Remind yourself of all the things you accomplished, all the things you are proud of and identify with. Maybe you just graduated or decided to go back to school, maybe you are starting your own business or got a new job. Whatever you view in your life as an accomplishment, make a list of them so you can see how much you have accomplished.

Tip #7 – Look your best

Dressing up and wearing your favorite outfit is a great way to boost your self-esteem. Put on your favorite shirt and pants or your favorite dress. Go get a fresh haircut or trim. Notice how you feel and how your mood changes.

Tip #8 – Improve your personal living space

Decluttering is one way to improve your living space. As well, make your home a comfortable place for you—have comfortable furniture, decorations that you like, a piece of you to make it home, colors that influence your calmness, and smells that leave you feeling refreshed.

Tip #9 - Try new experiences

Trying new experiences is the best way to grow because it gets you out of your comfort zone. The more you get out of your comfort zone the more you grow and expand your level of comfort. Trying new experiences equips you to handle uncertainty with confidence.

Tip #10 - Have realistic expectations for yourself

Slow down and reflect on how much you are doing—for work, your family, friends, and yourself. Are you taking on too much work or responsibilities? Could you be expecting a lot from yourself that you are setting yourself up for failure? Try to rethink your expectations in a more realistic way; a way to set yourself up for success.

There you have it. Those are the top 10 tips to improve self-esteem. If you notice yourself struggling, a Mental Health Professional can be helpful in guiding you through exploring the roots of low self-esteem further and learn healthier ways to improve it.

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About Sam Nabil

Sam Nabil is the founder of Naya Clinics and is a Boston therapist and a Boston Marriage Counselor.

Sam offers therapy in Boston and Boston Marriage Counseling for adults suffering from relationship challenges, life transitions and anxiety. Sam Nabil was featured in many prestigious publications. Check out his interview with Aljazeera English, The Washington post, The Boston Globe, Fatherly magazine, Women's health magazine, Cornell university, Yahoo News, USA Today,

Naya Clinics is a top-rated Marriage Counseling, therapy and Life coaching practice.

Naya Clinics offers Marriage Counselors near me, individual therapy near me, and life coaching near me in various locations across the USA and the world. Naya Clinics also offers Online marriage counseling, online therapy, and online life coaching.

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