By E.C. LaMeaux
Do you want to build your self-esteem or boost your self-confidence? Do you find that you often pick yourself apart and only notice your flaws? Do you feel like you are insufficient? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be dealing with low self-esteem. Check out these simple, easy ways to build self-esteem and boost your self-confidence.
Focus on positive self-traits
When you wake up in the morning and head to the mirror, don’t pick yourself apart to find flaws. Concentrate on the things that make you beautiful and unique, like the color of your skin, your pretty eyes or the shape of your nose. Rather than focusing on failures, make a list of your accomplishments and things that you do well. According to the Mayo Clinic, when you take the time to look at yourself in a positive light, it can help with raising self-esteem.
Do away with negative self-talk
What good can possibly come from telling yourself that you’re not good enough, you’re stupid or otherwise putting yourself down? If you beat yourself up mentally or verbally, chances are that you aren’t going to feel very good about yourself. But, when you use self-encouragement, hopeful statements — while avoiding telling yourself what you “should” or “must” do or be — the Mayo Clinic suggests that you’re more likely to raise your self-esteem.
Realize that feelings are not facts
When difficult situations prompt you to experience strong, negative feelings about yourself, it’s easy to give into the temptation to believe that these feelings are the facts of the situation. For example, if you’ve recently been dumped by a boyfriend or girlfriend, you may feel unattractive, unworthy of love or hopeless. The temptation would be to convert these feelings into thoughts or statements such as: “I am ugly,” “No one will ever love me” or “I’m a hopeless case.”
In order to boost your self-esteem, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you recognize that your negative feelings are not the truth, and refuse to internalize them as such. Mastering the skill of discerning feelings from facts will go a long way to maintaining higher levels of self-confidence and self-esteem.
Build a sense of mastery
Dr. Marsha Linehan, psychological researcher from the University of Washington, recommends building a sense of self-confidence, self-control and self-respect through the actions that you take every day. According to Linehan, by choosing behaviors that line up with your values and moral beliefs, and engaging in daily activities that foster a sense of accomplishment, it is possible to raise your self-esteem.
Show off those pearly whites
A 1989 study by psychologist Robert Zajonc shows that people who frequently smile feel happier and better about themselves than people who don’t. Smiling is an excellent confidence booster, in addition to helping with self-esteem. So go ahead — smile!