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How to Boost Your Self-Esteem

Mary-Lauren O’Crowley, MA, NCC

Put simply, self-esteem is the way that we view ourselves and our capabilities. For some, their opinion of themselves is very positive; however, for others, they may find that they are stuck in a pit hole of self-criticism. Falling victim to low self-esteem is not an age-related event, as it can happen throughout our lives and can even be a result of trauma, toxic relationships, work stress, or other difficult experiences that make us question our value. While pulling ourselves out of this dark space is not something that can happen overnight, there are ways to mitigate the thoughts and feelings that coincide with diminished self-esteem. Check out the list below for some tried and true ways to help boost self-confidence:

1)    Learn a new skill

 One of the most effective and helpful ways to combat low self-esteem is to learn a new skill, something you always wanted to but never got time for it. Be it cooking, painting, or dancing. Mastering a new skill will give you a surprising boost in self-confidence and self-worth.

2)    Make a list of your positive qualities and accomplishments

 This may seem absurd to many, but it does help. Take a piece of paper and make a list of all the things you have achieved in life. Moreover, write down all the positive things that you know about yourself or what your friends and family say. This list will be a good reminder of self-worth every time you look at it and will change your opinion about yourself in a positive way.

3)    Help someone in need

 One of the most rewarding things in life, helping someone in need will be a good step towards higher self-esteem. Help a friend feel good about themselves, help a sibling finish homework, or help an elderly at the grocery store. You will not only feel capable but also positive about yourself.

4)    Get out of your comfort zone

Many people having low self-esteem have a misconception that getting out of their comfort zone is not part of healing. But it is and makes a huge difference. Test your limitations, get out of the house and meet new people or start something new even if you don’t feel like doing so.

5)    Pay little attention to the opinion of others

 Paying heed to people’s opinions or affecting our own mental health is something that pulls our self-esteem down a great deal. When we agree with others’ negative opinions, we are doing only harm to ourselves. What others think about ourselves has nothing to do with us. So, next time someone makes a mean comment, just laugh it off and never think twice about it.

6)    Treat yourself like you would a friend

When things become difficult, always be nice to yourself. Motivating yourself with little rewarding sentences like “You’ve got this” or “You are a nice and kind human being” will keep you motivated and uplifted. 

It is human nature to struggle with self-confidence and self-esteem at some point or another, but if you find that you are feeling stuck in your negative opinion of yourself, it may be time to seek support. If you or someone you know would like help with self-confidence, it may be worth seeking the support of a professional counselor in Chicago. Please reach out to the intake specialists at Symmetry Counseling today!

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