Healthy self-esteem: how to get past what others think
At school or online, it can be all too easy to compare yourself to others and notice your own shortcomings.However, focusing on your imperfections (which everybody has!) and worrying too much about what others think can have a negative impact on your self-esteem and confidence.
If you’re the type to feel self-conscious—and, really, who isn’t?—here are some little changes you can make in your everyday life to boost your self-esteem.
Notice negative thoughts
The first step in changing the way you think about yourself is to notice when you’re thinking negatively. This takes a certain amount of self-awareness, but by noticing and taming your harsh inner voice, you can gradually replace your negative thoughts with positive ones.
Remember—just because you have negative thoughts doesn’t mean you have to listen to them. Start by recognizing that they’re there, and then actively choosing not to pay attention to them.
If it helps, you might even have a dialogue in your head. “You are a negative thought, and I refuse to let you control me.”
Accept what you can’t change
Aiming for perfection in every area of your life is a recipe for disaster because—let’s face it—nobody’s perfect. Learn to accept the things you can’t change about yourself and embrace your natural strengths.
For example, you might not be the fastest runner in your class, but maybe you can make people laugh, or your friends really like the way you sing. Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses!
Don’t be afraid to try new things
Never let your self-consciousness prevent you from trying new things. Even if you don’t succeed, you can learn from your mistakes work on them—or at least be proud that you tried.
And who knows? You just might discover a new talent or skill that you had no idea you had! (Beatboxing! Who knew?)
Make a difference
Here’s a surprising way to boost your self-esteem—give back to your community.
Maybe that means tutoring a friend or someone younger than you in your favorite subject after class, or volunteering at a local pet shelter, or donating clothes to somebody in need. Whatever you do, there’s nothing that will send your self-esteem through the roof faster than being reminded that you can make a positive difference in the world.
Giving back is a win-win for everyone involved—including you.
Get your daily exercise
Finally, get the energy flowing throughout your body by getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Endorphins—the natural, feel-good chemicals our bodies make when we do something physical like running or playing a sport—can boost your mood and confidence.
Interested in more self-esteem tips?
Improving your self-esteem can take some effort, but by following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to feeling more confident in no time.