Publication date September 6, 2023

How to Raise Your Self-Esteem So You Can Live a Happier Life

Dr. Carol Morgan

Carol has a Ph.D. in communication, and is a professor, writer, speaker, and coach.

How do you feel about yourself? Do you love yourself or do you loathe yourself? Or maybe somewhere in between?

Many people struggle with their self-esteem and self-worth. So, if you do too, just know that you are not alone. 

We live in a very negative world. Just turning on the news can depress anyone these days. And then we have social media. Watching everyone else “living their best life” doesn’t help with how we feel about ourselves either.

But just because you don’t feel perfect about yourself doesn’t mean you can’t change that. It can be done – you can love yourself a lot more than you do right now! 

But how can you do it? Well, it won’t be easy. And it will take a lot of effort. But in the long run, it is worth it.

Here are the steps you can take.

Don’t compare yourself to other people

As I just mentioned, so many people always compare themselves and their lives to other people’s. But when you do that, you only feel worse about yourself. That’s because most people compare themselves to others who they think are “better” than them. 

So, you have to stop doing that. Just because you see someone on social media who has a “perfect” life doesn’t mean that they are actually happy. It could all be fake. Instead of comparing yourself to those people, look around at those who are less fortunate than you and be grateful for who you are and what you have.

Find out what triggers your negative feelings about yourself 

Maybe you grew up with a sibling (or more than one) who was very attractive, the “favorite” one, or who is an overachiever. Because of this, you were always negatively comparing yourself to them. As a result, whenever you are in their presence, your self-esteem plummets. 

It could be any other kind of trigger like that which sets off your negative feelings about yourself. Identify how you got to feeling this way and try to find a way to stop those triggers from happening.

Remember that your feelings aren’t facts 

You might think that you’re unsuccessful compared to a lot of other people, but that is probably not true. Most people in the world live on less than $700 per year. So, if you have a roof over your head and food on the table, you are actually quite rich compared to most of the world’s population.

Another example would be if you think you’re fat. Maybe you look in the mirror and you don’t like what you see. But if, according to the scale, your doctor, and your BMI, you’re perfectly fine, then your feelings about your body aren’t facts.

Write down all of your good qualities 

When we don’t feel good about ourselves, all we can focus on is our bad qualities – or at least what we perceive to be our bad qualities. So, sit down and write out all the reasons why you are a good person. 

For example, e you might be a great mom or friend. You might be very kind to strangers. You might be very smart. What is it about yourself that you like? Whatever it is, write it down so you can review it every day to remind yourself how you’re an awesome person.

Monitor your self-talk

Most people have a lot of negative thoughts about themselves all the time. The average person has about 50,000 thoughts a day, so imagine how many bad things run through your mind without you even being aware of it! 

Even if it’s something “simple” or “insignificant” like “I don’t think my hair looks good today,” it’s still negative. So, you need to monitor and control your thoughts. When you catch yourself saying something negative to yourself about yourself, stop. Change that thought and make it positive.

Self Esteem

Source: Qiriness

Forgive yourself

We’ve all done things in the past that we regret. Whether we meant to do it or not, we might still be ashamed of some things we did. Sure, you can’t go back in time and erase what you did. But you can forgive yourself.

Once you forgive yourself, then just decide to do better in the future and move on with your life. As Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.” Everyone has made mistakes, so don’t punish yourself for them.

Step outside of yourself and see yourself from a different perspective

Most people judge themselves much more harshly than other people judge them. So, try to imagine that you aren’t yourself. Instead, imagine that you are your best friend who loves you and try to see yourself through “their” eyes, not yours.

Good friends try to lift you up, not tear you down. So, you need to try to act like one of those kinds of friends. Be your own best friend, be kind to yourself, and give yourself compliments. You don’t need others to make you feel good about yourself! 

When people compliment you, believe them

It seems like anyone would love to get a compliment, right? But not everyone likes them, believe it or not. And so, if you’re one of those people, try to become more comfortable accepting and believing other people’s compliments.

The reason you might feel uneasy about compliments is because you think they are not telling you the truth, or you don’t see yourself that way. Don’t come up with reasons why the compliment isn’t true. Just say thank you and be happy because of it! 

Self Esteem

Source: Goalcast

Try using visualization and affirmations

Using affirmations such as “I am beautiful” or “I am smart” or “I am lovable” will help re-program your mind so you can love yourself more. Make it a habit to repeat these affirmations on a regular basis as many times a day as you can.

Visualization has also been proven to be a powerful tool. Visualize yourself the way you want to be. Visualize loving yourself. Even professional sports players and Olympic athletes use these visualization strategies to be successful. They use it because it works! 

Try hypnosis 

Hypnosis is also a very powerful tool that can be used to re-program your subconscious mind for the better. When you listen to positive messages over and over, it will re-write your negative beliefs about yourself that are stuck in your psyche.

There are many websites where you can find some mp3 downloads, or you can find them on YouTube. Listen to them on a regular basis so you can raise your self-esteem. Using them will help you feel much better about yourself.

Take action

There is one saying that is everything you need to know: “Don’t talk about it, be about it.” In other words, you have to take action if you want your self-esteem to be better. You can’t just wish it into existence.

You have to do something! Nothing will change unless you do. Everything starts with a decision and a commitment. So, promise yourself that you are going to make these changes.

Final thoughts

Changing any bad habit takes effort. You’re not going to lose weight if you don’t reduce your caloric intake and get some exercise. While everyone knows this, they don’t apply the same logic to their self-esteem. Feeling negatively about yourself is simply a bad habit, and you have the power to change it if you want to badly enough. 

Author: Dr. Carol Morgan

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