5 Tips to raise your self-esteem

I have seen many people on here say that they have a low self-esteem or don't know how to raise their self-esteem. I recently answered a question about it so I thought I would write about it here also in the hopes that maybe it would help other people.

I have struggled with a low self-esteem for the majority of my life. I was bullied relentlessly in school which caused me to feel quite low about myself. It wasn't until my senior year of high school that I realized I shouldn't care about what other people say and that I should love myself regardless of what other people think of me. It was at this time that I began taking steps to raise my self-esteem and learn to love myself. After all, you have to love yourself before you can expect anyone else to love you, right? When reading this, keep in mind that everyone is different and as such, what worked for me may not necessarily work for everyone else. Sometimes, you just have to try different things to see what works for you. I am not an expert by any means, I just thought it might help others if I shared my personal experiences.

1) Self-esteem comes from within

Many times I have seen people look for outside reassurance in order to raise their self-esteem. This can often be observed in the many "rate me" questions so often seen on here. In my experience, this rarely ever works and in most cases, it backfires. Sure, hearing compliments from others can make anyone temporarily feel good about themselves, however, it is much easier to lose self-esteem than it is to build it. One negative comment can overshadow hundreds of positive ones. This is why people should never put their self-esteem or self-worth in the hands of other people. Instead, people need to find ways to make themselves happy rather than expecting it to come from other people.

2) Do things that make you happy

In many cases, finding a sense of accomplishment can make people feel better about themselves. For me, it has always been helpful to take time to do the things I love and things that make me feel good such as being active and working out, finding creative outlets for my mind, and just generally doing things that make me happy. In my life, this includes hiking, canoeing, reading, playing volleyball, etc. These are things that I genuinely enjoy and it makes me feel inwardly confident to do things that I know I'm good at.

3) Find the things you like about yourself

It can be helpful to make a list of the things you like about yourself. This could include physical features you like, your positive personality traits, listing the things you're good at, and just various little things that are unique to "you." This might be seen as "cliché" but if it works, then who cares? For many people it can really help to write it out in order to physically see the positive things about themselves. Focusing on the positive is a good way to push out the negative thoughts.

4) Change your thought process

Many people with a low self-esteem tend to have negative thoughts about themselves. It is important to realize that no one is perfect and we need to either accept our flaws or take steps to change them. However, simply dwelling on your negative traits or features can hinder the process of boosting your self-esteem. Also, in many cases, people critique themselves much harsher than others critique them. You are your worst critic. For instance, I have always absolutely hated my nose. It was a constant source of negativity for me becuase I always thought it made me ugly. However, I have managed to change the way I think about myself. Now, I realize that while I don't have a perfectly small and straight nose, that's okay because no one is perfect and everyone has flaws. I used to desperately want surgery to change it but now I have accepted it and it's not something I feel needs to be changed anymore.

5) Get rid of the negative influences in your life

If there are negative people in your life, that can take a toll on you. Surround yourself with positivity and people who you know love you and care about you. As I mentioned in point number 1, self-esteem comes from within, which is very true, but that doesn't mean we have to accept negative people in our lives. The people we surround ourselves with inevitably have a big impact on us, it can sometimes help to distance yourself from people who are only bringing negative energy to your life. For example, if you have a friend who is constantly complaining or making negative comments to you and just overall sparking drama in your life, then this is not someone who is bringing anything positive to your life. I once had a "friend" who would always gossip about other people and when she wasn't gossiping TO me, she was gossiping to other people ABOUT me. When I realized this, I decided that this was not someone I wanted to remain friends with because I did not want that negativity in my life. When I distanced myself from people like that and focused on the positive people in my life, it helped me in the process of feeling better about myself.

Thank you for reading and I hope it was helpful. Of course, as I said before, everyone is different so while the things I listed greatly helped me, it's possible that it may not work for everyone. It's important to try different things to see what works for you :)


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What Guys Said 17

  • I just answered a similar question a couple of minutes ago where I said loving yourself was a right not a privilege.
    (1) "Self Esteem Comes From Within" such an important thought process to introduce to yourself. Forget about what you physically look like to other people and consider how you look in the mirror in the philosophical sense, think about your personality. One of the most liberating moments is when I decided not to care what other people think not in a rude way but in the sense that the only person I have to impress is me. If you are happy with yourself there is a very good chance other people are happy with you.
    (2) Find things you love - If you feel happy , there is a good chance you will be happy which will lead to more self belief which I think is a self perpetuating ascending cycle.
    (3)(4)(5) I was very fortunate in life that I was surrounded by hugely positive influences. To this day I don't know why I am just one of those people that get on with people not in the popular sense but I could talk to the jock, emo, nerd, popular person and once they were okay with me, I was okay with them.
    I think a lot of why I am like that is I attach so little importance to looks and it is all about the personality. I approach everyone as a blank slate.
    Plus I am a bit of a head in the clouds person, I honestly wouldn't notice if I was inside or outside the clique.
    Also I am very forthright I say it as it is and always did - What you see is what you get - It has worked quite well for 46 years so why change now.

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  • aww this is nice & informative :)

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  • This is really good, I totally agree with it. I'm rebuilding my self esteem and I'm doing every one of these steps.
    But I have one question: what do you do when one of those people that bring negative to your life is your mother? I can't remove her from my life, I love her and she loves me, but almost every time we talk is like in a fight mode and it's just negativity. I'm now living in another country and I know I'm much happy because that negativity has gone, but still, she's my mother and I don't wanna feel like that every time I talk with her.

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    • Yeah, that's understandable and I have never had to deal with that because my parents are always supportive and I generally get alone well with them. In my personal experiences, it has always been "friends" bringing me down. At the end of the day, she is your mother. How does the conversation usually go when you talk to her? I mean, what exactly does she do to cause negativity?

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    • Again, thanks for your help :)

    • No problem! I wish you the best of luck :)

  • EVERY single word written here is true... though i just went through the subtopics... but i am confident that you are confident about your selfesteem..
    Keep up the good work! :)

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  • Nice! Actually makes perfect sense. Positive reinforcement in doing things you're good at definitely makes a difference.

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  • While it all makes logical sense...
    the issue is that your brain still understands that your basically lying to it or trying to trick it. It kinda falls under the "fake it til you make it" category but your brain knows your faking it. So unless the person is not that deep of a thinker or maybe uneducated, it really doesn't help.

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    • I never once mentioned "faking" anything and I don't consider anything I said to be "faking" either. These are actions I took to help myself. Working out and doing activities I enjoyed and limiting the negativity in my life is not "lying" about anything. It's real actions that people can do to help themselves. Of course, I never once said that these points would help everyone. Obviously everyone is different so different things will work on different people. But really, when someone has a low self-esteem, sitting around and doing nothing at all obviously isn't going to help anything.

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    • my point exactly

    • you are not faking anything if you are actually believing what you are. you could call it faking to say to have no confidence. stop with the glass is half empty shit. the glass is filled with the brim with your awesomeness

  • Makes sense! I approve!

    I also learned, that ignoring the negative influences REGARDLESS OF ANY SOURCE is the foundation of creating a high self-esteem! Some people are even attempting to drive you nuts if they see, that you don't even care anyway "Hey! What I just said you WILL reconsider and you WILL regret, that you didn't listen to me you useless scum!"! In these cases, be more positive and think about THEIR flaws and then COMPARE where you are better than they are. In this case, they are desperately crying at you and you are THE BETTER ONE, not reacting about it at all ;-) ! Well done I must say! Well done!

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  • workout, have someothing that others want in their lover. its not all mental... that only goes so far.

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  • Yeah, this is actually really unhealthy.

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    • What exactly is unhealthy?

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    • Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Again, have a nice day :)

    • Hush.

  • Good take, I've followed you because of this. :)

    Worth noting that your last point is often used by sects to make women feel like they need to leave their husband/family in order to achieve true happiness. It's dangerous because anyone can manipulate someone into believing that a loved one is a negative source of energy.

    It also kind of implies that we shouldn't support victims of depression or other mental illness/disorders which I don't really agree with. I mean if one of my friend is depressive, I'm not going to cut contact with her just because I don't want her sadness to affect me. I think we should only cut contact with people who treat us badly/disrespectfully and contribute to lower our self-esteem. And I think that's what you meant. But I read it like we have to stay away from anyone who isn't pathologically optimistic.

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    • I understand that how it could have been taken that way but obviously I didn't mean it in that context and I think you were reading too much into it. Using your example, if I had a friend who was depressed, I would want to help him/her because simply being depressed doesn't mean they are causing negativity directly on MY life.

      In my situation, I have had "friends" who were directly causing ME stress and making it difficult to raise my self-esteem because they were people who liked putting me down (for example, backhanded compliments and talking about me behind my back). To me, true friends don't do that so I made the decision to end those friendships. However, I appreciate your comment and I hope I cleared up any confusion :)

    • Ok cool, that's what I figured. I'm glad you cleared that out and I completely agree with you then. :)

    • Great! I'm glad you understand what I meant now :)

  • Bingo, spot on, well said! Couldn't say it better myself!

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  • I would add something else to that, have supportive people around you whether that be family or a friend or a girlfriend. I didn't have that when I was younger, no matter how hard I worked and got As in school I still felt like a loser.

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    • Yes! That's a great suggestion as well. It's always good to have a support system when dealing with things like this.

  • This was very well written. self esteem is something i still struggle with. this guide will be something ill probably come back to from time to time. :)

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    • Thank you! I hope it's somewhat helpful. Of course, self-esteem can't be built overnight but doing these things certainly helped me a lot :)

  • I've had trouble finding ways to explain this sort of stuff to people on here, so I think this article hits the nail on straight on the head. This stuff seems like common sense, but I suppose with people wanting to protect themselves rather than to expose themselves to new things in order to improve, it's easy to understand that this sort of stuff isn't what people think of first.

    I understand this is a general list and speaking from personal experience (and halfway referencing what @ThatBritishLad mentioned), I never was one for overly cliche motivational ideas. The "make a list about yourself", "compliment yourself in the mirror", or "fake it 'til you make it"... I never was affected or moved by those sort of things. To me (and I imagine many others), I need solid, realistic ideas and challenges for myself.

    So for things like "make lists about yourself", I'd suggest an alternative of having heroes that you strive to emulate. That doesn't mean copy, but trying to live up to how they live their lives. My 'idols' went from friends I knew that were stable and carried themselves how I'd only ever wished I could, to outgoing and confident people, to incredibly strong and admirable idols for my current bodybuilding hobby (Leonidas/"The 300", fictional superheroes, etc.)

    But just to note, I'm definitely not criticizing your article here. It was very well written and captured the (seemingly) simple and straightforward steps to improving a person's self-image and self-confidence :)

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    • Thank you for your response! :) I understand what you're saying. I even mentioned in that point that it was cliché but, as I also mentioned several times, these were just little things I personally did to help myself. This whole thing stemmed form my personal battle with self-esteem issues and the things that helped me, so I'm fully aware that different things work for different people and that's okay. I'm very glad you were able to find something that worked for you and I really appreciate your comment here. I'm fully open to discussion about it :)

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    • Not to mention that you are the one that is around you 100% of the time, so why not make yourself self-sufficient? That's always been my take on these kinds of topics.

    • Exactly! I couldn't agree more :)

  • Loved it! Cheers love (:

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  • Well written, but this sort of motivational nonsense just makes me - and most other cynical people - cringe with disgust and disdain naturally :l

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    • That's fine. As I said, I have struggled with a low self-esteem for a long time so it isn't "nonsense" to me because it actually helped me so I just thought I would share. No one else has to read it though :)

    • Bah, just my view :P (One of the biggest issues with people with low self-esteem, at least in my experience, is that generally they don't like being helped D: )

    • Of course, that's true also. And if someone doesn't want to be helped, then it would be pointless to even read anything I wrote. No one is being forced to read it or agree with it. It's only my personal experiences in case there ARE any people who would like to read it and see what worked for me.

  • Thank you, very nicely written. Hope to see you write more

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What Girls Said 3

  • Great! I'm gonna take up some of these tips! Thanks for sharing this with everyone :) its appreciated!

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  • Thank you for sharing this!! Much needed :)

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  • I'm so impressed! You couldn't have said it better in my opinion. You seem like a really good person (becoming hard to find) this happened to have put so many things into perspective for me so thanks! I'm trying to help a kid I know with major self esteem issues you just made my life 10x easier

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    • Aww thank you! Good luck with what you're doing, that's really great that you're trying to help someone :)

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    • Oh awesome! My moms a social worker I was convinced I wanted to be a social worker till like last year then I just got more interested in other professions. Anyways best of luck to you!!

    • Oh cool! And thank you, best of luck to you also :)

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