If you lack self-esteem, this can be reflected in destructive behavior. People with poor self-esteem can also sometimes find it difficult to build healthy interpersonal relationships. This is because those who do not like themselves often reflect this in social situations. These feelings can then take the form of shyness or insecurity.
In addition, a lack of self-love usually lacks self-confidence, which can have a negative impact not only on relationships but also on your job and other areas of life. But how can self-esteem be increased? That's exactly what we're talking about today! In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about self-worth. With the following tips, you can build up your self-worth and thus give your life a completely different quality.
What is self-esteem?
Your opinion of yourself and how you see yourself is reflected in your self-worth. If you think you are great, you have good self-esteem. If you have a bad opinion of yourself, it inevitably leads to a lack of self-love and insecurity.
The following questions will give you clarity about your self-esteem:
- How do you see yourself?
- What emotions do you feel when you think about yourself?
- Do you love yourself?
Self-worth and self-confidence
Even though self-worth and self-confidence are not the same thing, they often have the same effect on your everyday life. While self-worth has to do with how you see yourself and what you think of yourself, self-confidence often has more to do with your abilities. How do you value your abilities and skills? Do you believe in yourself?
People with strong self-confidence often approach certain situations more directly and courageously, without hesitating for a long time. That is why they are often more successful. On the other hand, people with poor self-confidence often suffer from self-doubt about their abilities and skills. If you lack self-confidence, you should specifically build up your self-worth. Because this sits from a psychological point of view one layer deeper and affects your self-confidence.
How do self-esteem problems arise?
Let's get right to the point. This is not about finding someone to blame and condemning them for your lack of self-worth. It's about gaining awareness of how poor self-esteem arises in order to eventually get rid of the problems in this regard.
Self-esteem problems are self-inflicted
Of course, this sounds hard at first, but on closer inspection, it is a blessing. Because just as you lowered it yourself, you can also increase your self-worth again. Understanding this and really internalizing it gives you incredible power. You may think to yourself: "Nonsense! That wasn't me. That was my partner, my parents, my boss...".
These people were the trigger for your negative thoughts about yourself. But eventually, these thoughts have manifested themselves in you and have pushed you more and more into the foreground. This is totally normal because we all have this inner critical voice that sometimes pulls us down and can also build us up again. For this, we just have to slowly steer it in a positive direction.
Still not convinced?
Then you will get an example here. Please imagine the following situation.
You are called in for a meeting with the boss. The boss tells you that he is not satisfied with your performance and that is why you are being dismissed. Whether this scenario has a negative impact on your self-worth depends solely on your reaction to it.
You doubt yourself and think as a result of things like:
- I am not good enough.
- I have failed.
- I will never be successful.
You stand by yourself and think as a result of things like:
- I know I did a good job.
- I may have made a few mistakes, but I can work on them. Those mistakes don't define my worth.
- I will continue to work on myself, I guess this work relationship just wasn't right for me.
Self-esteem problems are triggered from the outside but ultimately arise solely due to your thoughts. So you literally have it in your hand!
How can you boost your self-esteem? - 6 tips
Now it's time to get down to business. With the following self-esteem tips, you can actively do something for your self-image which brings us to the keyword – active! Because only if you actively change something about your current behavior and your current thought patterns, you can expect an improvement in your self-image.
Please do not take on too much at the beginning. Be good to yourself and listen to yourself and your body. It's totally normal to need a break or to be insecure, but don't let it demotivate you. Each self-esteem tip is effective in itself and it is simply utopian to integrate everything into your everyday life at once. We humans also love our routines and your current behavior patterns are deeply anchored in your brain. Therefore, don't expect everything to change overnight. Work slowly from one day to the next. Little by little you will notice a positive change, even if it may take a while.
1. Take full responsibility
You, and only you, control your emotional world. Of course, we like to be influenced or dragged down by others, but try to regain control over your feelings and thoughts about yourself. Instead of relinquishing responsibility for your situation, fully embrace it. No matter what the triggers were for your negative self-image – realize that you can get yourself out of it. Remember, however, that you are not alone. Just because the process is an internal one within you doesn't mean that others, as well as friends and family, can't help you.
2. Be aware of your thoughts
Everything starts with your thoughts. That's why the first thing to do is to start here. Become aware of unhealthy thought processes and negative beliefs. Positive thoughts can turn into positive appreciation in the long run. That is, if you actively think positively about yourself, this will also transfer into your esteem or self-worth.
Here it is advisable if you praise yourself. Listen to yourself in appropriate situations and when you feel bad while thinking. Imagine that you are eavesdropping on another person. Would you talk or think about others in the same way? You can either do this internally, but we would recommend you to write down all positive thoughts. This way you can always access your thoughts. At first, you will probably find this difficult, but eventually, you will recognize the negative thoughts shortly after they arise. This is the foundation for change.
3. Replace negative thought patterns
Once you have identified your negative beliefs, you need to actively replace them with positive beliefs. This is a very effective self-esteem exercise. These thought patterns are also called pre-programmed thoughts. Every one of us has built up and trained pre-programmed thoughts since childhood. An example is a situation when you first touched a hot stove as a child and got burned. Then the next time you see a hot plate, the pre-programmed thought is "don't touch it, it can be hot and it hurts!"
These short circuits in the mind happen often and help us a lot in everyday life. But pre-programmed thoughts can also work against us and lead to poor self-esteem. In terms of self-worth, an pre-programmed thought might be that if you ever meet new people, you tell yourself, "Oh no, they won't like me anyway." A pre-programmed thought like this not only holds us back but can also greatly hurt our self-esteem. That's why it's very important that you take specific action against your pre-programmed thoughts. Even though it may feel strange at first, your subconscious mind can gradually accept the new thought patterns. Once this is done, your mind will finally work for you instead of against you. Here are a few examples.
"I can't do it!" - "I can do anything I want!"
"I am not good enough!" - "I am more than enough!"
"I'm not attractive enough!" - "I like the way I look!"
4. Forget about perfection
This self-esteem exercise is great to use while implementing the other tips. Realize that no human being is perfect. Learn to accept and appreciate your mistakes, because they are what make you an interesting person. So every time you feel yourself to be bad or not so good, try to realize that this is normal and human. Every mistake and every flaw makes you the unique person you are. Even if you are sometimes listless in the implementation, do not put yourself down. On the contrary – be proud of yourself!
5. Say goodbye to negative people
There are certain people who always talk down to you and make it difficult for you to strengthen your self-esteem. Point this out to them in a friendly but firm manner. If this does not change their behavior, say goodbye to them. This negative energy can have an incredible impact on you and limit you in your everyday life.
In the long run, you have to decide for yourself which people in your life are good for you and which ones limit your quality of life. There is nothing wrong with saying goodbye to negative influences. If for some reason this is not possible for the time being, please remember that it is still only you who decides how you deal with external influences.
6. Be a good person
If you do things that you yourself consider morally questionable, it will have a negative effect on your self-esteem. Therefore, ask yourself, "What makes a good person?" Write down the answers and live by them. Of course, no one is perfect and it is totally normal to make mistakes. But just try to be aware when you make a mistake. Insight is the first step in the right direction. Learn from your mistakes and build up good self-confidence.
In the following you will get three effective self-esteem exercises to recognize and strengthen your true self-worth.
Self-esteem exercise 1 – Build self-esteem through affirmations
Affirmations are positive beliefs that influence your subconscious. They have been used successfully in self-esteem coaching for many years. Start by taking a piece of paper and pen and writing down a list of positive affirmations. Then make a second list where you go into more detail. For example, if your positive affirmation is "I like me!", write on the second list a few specific points or characteristics that you like about yourself. When you have finished both lists, read them again carefully and try to really internalize and accept all the points. It is important that you say the sentences to yourself regularly and preferably out loud. It is advisable to make a routine out of it. In the morning after brushing your teeth, for example, is a good time.
The following affirmations are especially good for strengthening self-worth:
- I like me!
- I'm not perfect and that's perfectly fine!
- I am a gift for the people around me!
- I am worth being loved!
- I am good the way I am!
Tip: The weirder these statements sound to you, the more important they are.
Self-esteem exercise 2 – Meditation for self-love
More and more people are meditating regularly and for good reason. What was considered pure esotericism in the West a few decades ago has now been scientifically proven. To increase your self-worth, guided meditation for more self-love is recommended. You can find a selection of well-known channels for audio and video material.
Self-esteem exercise 3 – Learning self-esteem through friends
The third self-esteem exercise is also incredibly effective. Maybe you can apply it directly today. It's best to make a note now for later before going to bed. It will take you just 10 minutes. The exercise works as follows.
Pick up your phone and send the following message to your closest friends and family.
"I am doing a personal development exercise right now. Please answer the following 3 questions for me."
- What do you particularly appreciate about me?
- What are my strengths?
- What are my weaknesses?
Do you have a queasy feeling when you think about it? You will be surprised with which eyes the people around you perceive you. If someone suggests giving you the answers in a personal conversation, please accept with thanks. You will get free self-esteem coaching.
Professional self-esteem coaching
Especially if your low self-esteem comes from early childhood or was caused by trauma, it can be very difficult to get out of it yourself. Therefore, do not be too proud to accept help.
Targeted psychotherapy to increase self-esteem is almost always helpful. A specially trained therapist can provide you with the self-esteem coaching tools that best help in your individual case.