It’s easy to talk about rebuilding your self-esteem. But it’s hard to know where to start. There are so many suggestions and ideas out there already. What’s the first thing you should do? How about trying one of these exercises…
Argue with Your Inner Critic
The mean girl in your head is hard to live with. Instead of accepting everything she says as truth, start jotting down what she tells you. Spend a few days collecting these notes and it won’t be long before you have a few.
When you’re in a good head space, pull out these thoughts. Then write what’s really true underneath them. For example, the inner critic might say: “You’re so stupid!” You could write something like: “I taught myself how to change my bicycle tire from YouTube tutorials!”
If you have trouble with this exercise, ask a friend who’s supportive to join you. She may have more insights that will help you see yourself clearly.
Another option would be to make a list of all your accomplishments – all the things you did that you weren’t sure you would be able to or are just things you feel proud of. When your inner mean girl starts to take control pull out your list and see if you can’t put her back in her place.
Stop Comparing Yourself
Comparison steals your joy and your confidence. It’s not healthy to continually compare yourself to your friends, celebrities in the media, or even your past performance. You are enough right now. Remind yourself of this truth whenever you get caught up in the comparison trap.
Limit Your Time
Think about each person in your life. When you’ve finished a conversation on the phone or left a get-together with them, ponder how you feel afterwards.
Are you encouraged and energized? Are you pumped up and ready to face a new challenge? Or do you feel hopeless and blah? Are you questioning your life choices? Or doubting that you can improve your family/home/career/etc?
It’s not our friends’ jobs to make us feel upbeat all the time. But if you notice you always feel worse after talking to a particular family member or friend, try to limit your time together. You’ll be happier for it and your self-esteem will grow, too.
Make Time for What You Love
One of the best ways to improve your self-image is to do more of what makes you happy. Make a list of activities that feed your soul and make it a priority to do one thing from this list each day.
This list can include things like dancing, getting outside, spending time with loved ones, journaling, etc.
Tackle a New Challenge
Although it can be difficult, tackling a new challenge is a wonderful way to boost your self-esteem. You don’t have to dare yourself to climb Mt. Everest tomorrow but what if you tried the rock-climbing wall at your local gym?
You don’t have to create an entire self-learning course but what if you wrote a couple of articles that could be incorporated into the course later? Creating a series of small challenges and getting them done can inspire you and be a reminder of just how awesome you are. Every step forward is a step forward. It doesn’t have to be big it just needs to be moving in the right direction.
Building your self-esteem is a process. You won’t get it done in an hour or even in a day. That’s because you’re re-writing how you view yourself. There will be ups and downs on your journey toward better self-esteem but don’t give up. You can do this and you’ll be happier for it!