How How To Build Self Esteem — Activities That Will Make You Love Yourself

Published by P M Harrison on

exercises for self esteem

If you want to know how to build self esteem, start by having self compassion.

It’s about self-respect, about valuing your own person.

Problem is most people get their are depend on others to create their self esteem . The feel good about themselves based on Facebook likes, on Twitter, on other people, on external factors.

External factors.

Huge mistake.

Self esteem should come from within, not from without.

If you want to know how to build self esteem, you’ve got to get it from within yourself.

In a moment I’ll share with you my top tips for creating self worth. But first, here are some interesting facts about self worth that you need to know.

 

10 Facts about self esteem

  1. One of the main causes of low self esteem is negative people, like Gaslighters, who emotionally abuse you.
  2. There are two main kinds of self worth. A general or global sense of our own worth. And a sense of our worth in specific ways. That’s why you might feel good about yourself in general but bad about yourself in specific ways.
  3. Scientific research shows that people with too high self worth are more likely to commit crime.
  4. Your overall sense of self worth is mostly made up of how you value yourself in ways that are important to you. If you think (as I do) that family is everything, and you are a good family person, you will have high self esteem even if you are shockingly bad in other areas (as I am, ha ha)
  5. If you’ve ever wondered why your self esteem is high sometimes and low other times, it’s because self worth changes throughout the day.
  6. It is just as bad to have too high self worth as it is to have too low self worth. Narcissism is a problem for many people (I’m looking at you, Trump).
  7. Even if you have problems with self image, your self esteem has nothing to do with your looks. It is entirely psychological.
  8. People with low self worth tend to ignore compliments.
  9. People with high self esteem are less sensitive to insults. If you have ever wondered why insults do not upset you, it’s because you have high self worth.
  10. If you have low self esteem, reciting positive affirmations of mantras will make you feel worse, not better.

 

 

 

Everyone suffers from low self esteem at times. Life occasionally turns sour, we make mistakes, and it’s all part of the grand roller-coaster ride of this thing called life.

As Cognitive Behavioural Therapist Alice Boyes Ph.D states, “People tend to feel good when they’re having success and then feel awful when they’re not getting the response they desire from the world.”

Right now your self esteem is in transition. It’s simply human nature that at times our self esteem will be high, and at other times low. What goes up… eh, I’ll save you the cliché. Needless to say, at times we all suffer from low self esteem.

If you’re in need of a bit of a touch-up at the moment, in need of an injection of good feeling, then these ten exercises for self esteem are precisely what the councillor ordered.

 

 

What are the symptoms of low self esteem?

If you want to know why it’s so important to build self esteem, the symptoms say it all. Check how many of them you have. And use the suggested materials to help alleviate the any problems you may have. 

 

Fear: The basic foundation of low self esteem is a lot of fear. If you have low self esteem you will find that you are very prone to fear and anxiety. You may fear that there is something wrong with you (without any evidence thereof). And you may fear that something bad is going to happen, even though there is no reason for such thinking. Because people with low self esteem are often afraid, they may withdraw from situations because they fear something bad will happen.

The Cure: Read our guide to overcoming fear in life.

 

Self Esteem Attacks: Many people who suffer from low self esteem often think they have panic attacks. But actually, what you think is a panic attack is often a self esteem attack. These are related to feelings of depression.  Self Esteem Attacks usually occur when you think you have done something wrong. For instance, you may feel that you have said something stupid or that you have behaved in an inappropriate way. This then leads to feelings of self loathing. You may try to remove yourself from other people and to be quiet for abnormal periods of time, or you may choose to stay in either a bad relationship or a bad job because you think it is what you deserve.

The Cure: Make us of these psychological exercises for self esteem today.

 

Putting Up With Unfair, Abusive, Or Negative Relationships Or Situations

Do you put up with abuse like gaslighting?

We all have that one friend who is in a negative job or a negative relationship. And we just do not understand why they don’t change the situation. But the reason that they don’t change is because they believe that they do not deserve to be better. Many people with low self esteem believe that they do not deserve to be happy. And if they believe that they do not deserve to be happy, then they believe that they deserve to suffer negative situations. That is why they stay in bad relationships and bad jobs. So if you are in a bad relationship or a bad job and you think you should leave but do not, then it may be a symptom of low self esteem.

The Cure: Read my guide to developing self worth right away.

 

Depression: One of the most common low self esteem symptoms is depression. In fact, one of the most common causes of depression is low self esteem. If you are constantly telling yourself that you are not good enough, then inevitably you are going to end up feeling depressed. Low self esteem can also make it feel like you have depression for no reason.

The Cure: Start to feel good about yourself. And change negative self beliefs that are holding you back.

 

Materialism: One symptom of low self esteem that is often missed is materialism. People with low self esteem often base their opinions of themselves on the amount of money they make or the amount of money they spend. That’s why people with low self esteem symptoms are sometimes addicted to shopping and also may measure success on money.

Cure: Develop a sense of self worth that is based on you, your personality, your personal values, rather than on money and materialism.

 

Lack of Assertiveness: Because people with low self esteem lac confidence they also lack assertiveness. They may be deeply afraid of upsetting others or of doing something that is inappropriate or offensive. Because they lack assertiveness they are likely to keep their emotions inside, which causes their emotions to grow out of control. This can then lead to a blow-up.

Cure: The way to become more assertive is to take control of your emotions so that you know when and how to release your anger and other emotions in a healthy way. And try reading my article on How To Become Super Confident.

 

 

Overly Sensitive: People with low self esteem genuinely feel badly about themselves. So whenever somebody says something negative to them, they take it as a validation of their negative thoughts. For instance, if a friend is momentarily angry at them and say, “Oh, you’re so stupid”, a person with low self esteem will take it seriously and will presume that the offense is meant and is warranted. In other words, they take everything too seriously, which leads them to being easily upset.

Cure: Take our test for overly sensitive people. And learn why being a highly sensitive person can be a good thing, when you know how to handle it.

 

Low Self Confidence: One of the most common low self esteem symptoms is a lack of self confidence. This lack of self confidence can manifest in aggression and in underachievers.  Again, because people with low self esteem have low confidence they are far more likely to stay in bad jobs or in bad relationships.

The Cure: Use our guide to developing self confidence.

 

 

Negative Thoughts:  One of the most common symptoms of low self esteem is negative thoughts. This is also one of the easiest symptoms to spot. Essentially, a person with low self esteem is always thinking negative things about themselves. But this does not mean that all negative thoughts are related to self esteem. Many negative thoughts are entirely healthy. It is natural to thing negatively about yourself when you make a grievous error. However, dwelling on negativity is not normal. People with low self esteem may obsess over one or two negative thoughts. For instance, a person who is overweight may dwell on their weight and may obsessively think about how fat they are. They will then downplay all their successes because “I’m still fat”. Such obsessive negative thinking is a key symptoms of low self esteem.

Cure: Read my guide to Negative Self Talk so you know when your thinking negatively. And you can also use these techniques to silence negative thoughts.

 

 

 

 

How To Build Self Esteem—24 Activities

Try these exercises for self esteem one at a time. Some will be more effective than others. They will eliminate the symptoms of low self esteem.

 

 1. Meditation for self esteem

One of the best ways to build self esteem is with meditation. Low self worth is often caused by negative views and negative thoughts about ourselves. One way to change those bad thoughts about ourselves is to meditate.

Many people claim that Loving Kindness Meditation is the best meditation for self worth.

Loving kindness is a technique in which we think good things about ourselves and others.

Loving kindness is helpful. But there is a better technique. It’s called Karuna.

Karuna is the best meditation for self worth. This is a Buddhist technique in which we increase self compassion (as well as increasing compassion for others).

 

2. Practice the Karana Mudra

Mudras are body and hand gestures used in yoga and Buddhism.

Studies show that different mudras create different psychological effects.

One way to use mudras is to improve self esteem.

The Karana mudra is the best mudra for self esteem. This hand position removes negative energy and negative thoughts from the mind. This naturally reduces the symptoms of low self worth.

 

3. Practice Yoga For Self Esteem

There are many psychological benefits of yoga. Self worth being one of them.

Yoga opens the body, heart and mind to a more positive state of being.

The best yoga poses for self esteem are the large, open, whole-body asanas, such as Warrior, Half-Moon, Chair Pose, and Reverse Triangle.

Here’s how to use yoga for positivity.

 

4. Buddhist tips on how to build self esteem

You, yourself, as much as anyone in the universe, deserve your love and affection Click To Tweet

There are many Buddhist tips for self esteem. These tips train us to see the world (and ourselves) in healthier ways.

The best Buddhist tips for self worth are:

Practice self acceptance

Recognise that it change is inevitable (if for instance, you feel badly because you have put on weight, realise that weight fluctuations are a part of life, and that your weight will change again for the better)

Realise that your sense of self is actually just a thought or idea in your mind, and that those thoughts do not reflect reality.

 

 

5. Learn what gives you self esteen

It is a fact of low self esteem that we judge ourselves based on things we think are important.

What matters to you probably isn’t what matters to me. We’re all wonderfully unique individuals. Whatever matters to you, that is what you should focus on. 

If you care about animals, volunteer at an animal rescue.

If you think you’re worthless because you don’t have any money, focus on that. Incidentally, I’ve been there!

Whatever it is that you think makes a person valuable, achieve that thing in yourself.

Decide how you personally measure success and focus on that.

 

6. Build self esteem by being true to yourself

The world is full of fakers. Just take a look around. People are wearing the same fashion labels. Why? Because that’s what everyone else is doing.

People are watching the same TV shows (as though we’re completely oblivious to the benefits of giving up TV). Why? Because they don’t want to be that one person in the office who didn’t catch the show.

We’re spending half our time trying to be someone else.

We should be spending 100% of our time being true to ourselves.  

 

 

7. Have the guts to follow your heart, despite what everyone says

It takes courage to follow your heart. (Read: How to be more courageous)

Your heart leads you to an individual place, a place where a lot of other people won’t be able to follow.

When I finished university all my friends immediately got jobs. I went a different route. I took to the stage and toured England. That was a scary time because I was going against the mould, but I’m glad I did it. It made me me. It made me different, unique. And even though fame and fortune didn’t land at my feet, I did it my way (Frank Sinatra, anyone?).

 

 

8. Don’t even think about being “normal” 

Why is everyone so hell bent on being normal and fitting in?

We are all unique and beautiful people.

We’re all splashes of colour on a grand canvas called Earth.

Don’t deprive Earth of your colour. Light up the world with your individuality.

 

 

9. Never let anyone tell you you can’t

People have good intentions. Most people won’t intentionally try to set you back. But people are full of fear.

When your friends or family say “You can’t do that it’s too risky” take it with a pinch of salt. Remember: that’s their fear talking, not yours.  Just because someone else thinks you can’t doesn’t mean you can’t.

 

10. Say no

Saying no takes courage.

It’s pretty easy to let yourself be pushed around.

We’re all worried about being disliked and the easiest way to avoid being disliked is to be agreeable.

Reality is that if you just say yes to everything no one will respect you, and you’ll pretty much destroy your self esteem too. Say no.

 

 

 

11. Don’t date someone who isn’t sure about you

I’m constantly meeting people who are truly beautiful inside and who could give so much to the right person, but they’re stuck in dead-end relationships.

  • 60% of people stay in bad relationships, studies show
  • 23% of people stay in relationships despite being lied to
  • 37% of people stay in relationships when their feelings are ignored
  • More men tolerate bad behaviour than women. 57% of men say they would break up with someone over infidelity, compared to 73% of women.

If your relationship isn’t working now then honestly I’m sorry but look it’s just not working and it’s never going to work. Get out. Have enough self esteem to say “I deserve better than this”.

 

12. One of the best ways how to build self esteem is to forgive yourself

You’ve messed up in the past. You’ve done things you never thought you would do. You’ve hurt people. You’ve done harm. You wish you hadn’t but you have.

Guess what? That’s life.

It’s an unfortunate and painful but ultimately unavoidable reality. At times you mess up. It’s just that simple.

You have to be able to forgive yourself.

Accept all the times you messed up. Say “I forgive myself for that”. You’re not perfect. You were never meant to be.

If God had wanted me differently, he would have made me differently Click To Tweet

 

 

13. What you achieve today is enough for today

Having good levels of self worth means not being so darn hard on yourself and not berating yourself just because you didn’t achieve everything you wanted to achieve today.

How about showing yourself some self compassion instead?

How about saying, “Hey. I didn’t do everything. But I did enough, and I’m pleased with what I accomplished”. Not only will that make you feel better about yourself, it will motivate you to get more done tomorrow too.

Hey, I was imperfect today. And I'm cool with that, okay? Click To Tweet

 

14. You are not your genes

You could spend the rest of your life trying to make amends for things that happened in the past, but you have to realise that a lot of your past was not your fault. If your parents made mistakes your parents made mistakes. You’re not your parents. You’re you.

You deserve to have a healthy degree of self worth. You’re a unique and valuable individual.

Treat yourself the way you’d want other people to treat you. When you focus on your flaws, you put your flaws up for all else to see. Focus on the good instead. Let your brilliance shine.

 

 

15. To build self esteem quickly, compliment yourself

You know precisely what you would do if a friend were feeling bad about  themselves, right? You would pay them a compliment. Say something nice and from the heart to make them feel better. At times, try turning those compliments inward. Say something nice about yourself.

Motivational speaker Louise Hay teaches a concept called “Mirror Work.” It’s a simple system. You simply walk up to a mirror and compliment yourself. For instance, say to yourself, “Hey, you’re looking good today” or  “I’m really happy with all the hard work I’ve done recently.”  As Louise Hay says, “Look into your eyes in the mirror, and love yourself within.” 

 

16. Build self esteem by respecting yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others

Spiritual leader Daisaku Ikeda said, “Don’t compare yourself to anyone. Be true to who you are.”

Every petal in a garden is unique in its construction and form. You too are one beautifully unique part of this grand canvas of a universe. Not to get all Chesney Hawkes, but you really are the one and only.

In reality it is easy to tell yourself not to compare yourself to others, but much harder to pull it off. The problem is that we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others in order to get an idea of our place in the world. “Without others, we have no way of knowing how we ‘measure up,” says clinical psychologist Christina G. Hibbert, P.hD. The key is to recognise that those thoughts that take place in your mind are not real. “Listen as your mind comments, judges [and] compares,” says Hibbert. “When we realize we are not our thoughts — that we are so much more than our constantly thinking mind— we begin to see others as the same.

Here’s a great mind hack. When you notice that you’re about to compare yourself to someone else, stop and say to yourself, “I’m happy I am my own unique individual, and I’m happy that everyone else is a unique individual too.”

Celebrate the beautiful individuality of existence.  Your composition is as priceless as an original Picasso—and probably a lot less messed up.

17. An easy self esteem activity is just to smile

One of the most natural exercises for your self esteem is simply to smile. Studies have proven that smiling doesn’t just make you look happy, it actually activates the parts of the brain corresponding to positivity and happiness.

Scientists at the University of Cardiff Wales researched the effects of cosmetic botox injections on emotions. Their tests showed that people who have had botox injections that prevent them from being able to frown are actually happier than the average person. Conversely,  fMRI studies conducted by scientists at the Technical University of Munich in Germany showed that people whose botox injections prevent them from smiling have much lower activity in the brain circuits involved in emotional processing and responses—in the amygdala, hypothal­amus and parts of the brain stem.

Smiling is the easiest and quickest way to boost your self esteem. You’d be crazy not to use that natural blessing.

18. Build self esteem by being good to yourself

Give yourself a break. Sure, you want to force yourself to move mountains and transcend worlds, but really you are just one person out of six billion. A little perspective goes a long long way. The more you burden yourself with ideas of what you must be and what you must achieve the more you wear down your mind until it’s too battered and beaten to even think straight. Give yourself a break. You wouldn’t go around damning other people, so don’t do it to yourself.

One of the best ways to be kind to yourself is to practice a technique called Loving Kindness. It’s a meditation technique that boosts both self compassion and external compassion. Positive psychologist Barbara Frederickson researched the effects of loving kindness in a benchmark study in 2008. She and her team of researchers had participants practice loving kindness meditation for seven weeks. The results showed a significant rise in positive emotions like mindfulness, social well-being, and compassion.

Always bear in mind, it is a psychological fact that self compassion is the key to self esteem.

 

19. Build self esteem by focusing on your achievements, not your shortcomings

If you need to move a mountain you first have to chop it into smaller pieces. So you want to be a New York Times Bestselling author, maybe first you need to get a short story published. And when you do, be proud of that achievement. It’s one step on the road. And, not to flog a dead horse, but life really is about the journey and not the destination.

Look back. Think of all the things you’ve accomplished. Probably quite a lot, right? Smile. Tell yourself, “I’m so proud of all the great things I’ve done.”

If you tend to focus on your weaknesses, read my guide to stopping self criticism.

 

 

20. Realise that Support comes in lots of difference shapes and sizes

Everyone needs support. There are many professional support groups around the world, and they can be very helpful. But some of the best support comes closer to home. Maybe you’ve got a loving family, or a good group of friends, or maybe you just have the cutest and cuddliest cat in the world. Or maybe you have a sense of support from a higher power. There are many different forms of support. Who’s there for you in your life? Rely on those people. They could rely on you, I’m sure. And know that by allowing them to help you, you’l be helping them too.  Studies show that one of the times that people are at their happiest is when they are able to help others.

Back in 2010, the Do Good Live Well Survey researched the effects of giving. They took 4500 American adults and asked them to volunteer 100 hours a year to a cause. The results were clear.  68 percent reported that the act of giving made them feel physically healthier; 89 percent stated that it “improved my sense of happiness,” and 73 percent that it “lowered my stress levels.”

So, when you need help, let others help you, because the experience will make both them and you happy. Everyone’s a winner.

 

21. Appreciate beauty and excellence

Positive psychologists have proven that the ability to perceive and to appreciate beauty and excellence is one of the core components of happiness. In the positive psychology world this concept is called “Appreciation of Beauty And Excellence.”

Dr Claire Weeler M.D Ph.D says, “Appreciation of beauty and excellence is a highly individual thing. What inspires me may leave you cold, and vice versa. It’s not the object that matters. What matters is this – being able to have feelings of awe, admiration, or wonder in response to the world around you. Those feelings will make you happier and more connected.

 

 

22. Eat healthy, organic foods.

Happiness is produced by the brain, and the brain is dependent on chemical balance. By eating healthy you allow your brain to operate properly, naturally balancing your moods and emotions. It can be difficult to appreciate the fact that something physical, like food, can directly influence something as intangible as happiness and other emotions.  As “Recipe Doctor” Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, states, “Dietary changes can bring about changes in our brain structure (chemically and physiologically), which can lead to altered behavior and moods.”

Eating healthy, organic foods and cutting out on chemical-laden packaged products will help to ensure balanced brain chemistry

 

 

23. Live active, live strong

If you want to feel your best you have to put in the effort. Physical, mental, and spiritual activities help to activate regions of the brain that control emotions and mood. Do, do a little exercise today, maybe try yoga, tai chi, or dance, and keep your brain active too. Incidentally, if you do dance, you’ll be fascinated by our recent article about why dancing makes you happy.

Whenever I’m not active enough, I always watch inspiring movies to give myself a boost.

 

24. To build self esteem, follow your passion

The number one way to boost your self esteem is to make your life about your passion. When you live with a sense of purpose, with a passion, you have a reason to get out of bed, a reason to work hard, a sense of direction, and the knowledge that everything you do has meaning. If you’re not certain what your purpose and passion is you’ll find this article very elucidating.

 

Use these exercises for self esteem and you will very quickly boost your confidence. And guys, let’s always remember the truth: We’re not perfect. But we are  unique, beautiful, amazing individuals that the world simply wouldn’t be the same without.

 

 

 

 

Empower Yourself With The Self-Worth Mindset

What do you believe is in control of your life?

Are you at the mercy of external circumstances or are you master of your own destiny?

In order to succeed in life you need to believe that what you do is ultimately what controls your destiny.

As the famous William Shakespeare quote goes:

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.” Click To Tweet

 

When we are self empowered we:

  • Find the motivation to work hard
  • Are able to deal with challenges better
  • Have less anxiety because we are in control
  • Are less prone to stress and depression for the same reason
  • Take control of our own lives

 

When we lack self empowerment we:  

  • Find it hard to be true to ourselves
  • suffer from anxiety, stress and depression because they believe they have no control
  • don’t bother working because “What’s the point?”
  • blame other people for everything
  • feel zero motivation
  • lose control of their own lives

 

Build self esteem by achieving self efficacy

Self efficacy is your belief in your self, your belief that you will be able to success even in difficult situations.

Do you believe that you will conquer even the hardest times? Then you have a high degree of self efficacy.

But many people lack self efficacy. Many people believe they are not equipped to cope.

You must be able to believe in yourself and your ability to succeed. We need to believe we’ll meet our targets, overcome our obstacles and achieve success.

It really does all come down to that Henry Ford quote: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right”

And if you ever think I can’t, if you find it hard to have self esteem, do yourself a favor and read my story about how I fought through depression to regain my self confidence.

 

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