9 Strategies to Improve Your Self-Esteem

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Your self-esteem determines how others perceive you — and sometimes, how they treat you. Plus, navigating through life when you feel down on yourself can lead to depression and other mental health issues. 

You owe it to yourself to give your ego a boost. Try these nine strategies to improve your self-esteem and move more confidently through your day. 

1. Groom Yourself

You don’t technically need to shower and shampoo every day unless you perform manual labor that leaves you filthy. However, one strategy to improve your self-esteem involves putting your best face forward, which may require extra time in the bathroom. 

Pay attention if your grooming habits start to fall to the wayside. Many people who struggle with depression and substance abuse neglect these habits. If your lack of self-esteem impacts your ability to do your daily tasks, it’s time to seek outside help. 

2. Phone a Friend 

When was the last time you spoke with your best buddy from your undergrad years? Why don’t you pick up the phone and give them a call? 

Human beings are social by nature, and you often need others to help you process challenging emotions. It enables you to resolve the conflict between how you feel inside and how society judges your resultant behavior. Chatting with a friend can improve your self-esteem by reassuring you that your responses are human and understandable. 

3. Get More Comfortable in Your Body

Part of self-esteem means feeling comfortable in your skin. Incorporating more movement into your life isn’t about sculpting the perfect body. It’s more to do with moving through the world freely in the one you inhabit. 

Exercise boosts your self-esteem by inspiring confidence in your physical abilities. When you add an extra ten minutes to your daily walk, you get a sense of accomplishment that you did something positive for your health. You also produce feel-good endorphins that encourage your brain to think self-affirming thoughts. 

strategies to improve self-esteem

4. Smile at Strangers 

People see strangers in two distinct ways. One group sees everyone as a potential threat, and the other, possible friends. Guess which folks have the highest self-esteem — it isn’t those with suspicious minds. 

When you smile, you make yourself feel more positive. When others return the emotion, you give their ego a boost, too — talk about a win-win. 

5. Make Small Talk

If you have a severe social anxiety disorder, you might want to try this strategy to improve your self-esteem with a therapist or friend’s help. Such individuals might avoid all contact with others, even going so far as to order necessities delivered to avoid going to the store. 

Otherwise, if you want to boost your ego, strike up a conversation with that pleasant stranger stuck behind you in the checkout line. You have the advantage of a shared predicament, and sharing an eye-roll over yet another price-check makes the wait more bearable. 

6. Lend a Hand

You often don’t realize all the advantages you have until you help someone less fortunate. One strategy to improve your self-esteem is to sign up on that volunteer roster. 

You’ll build confidence by making a positive difference in your world. You’ll also meet others who feel as passionately about helping others as you do, restoring your faith in humanity and making you feel less alone. 

6-Active-Listening-Activities-for-Couples

7. Ask One Question 

Is your modus operandi in work meetings to take the seat closest to the back and stay mum until it’s over? Doing so might not make any waves, but it won’t net you a coveted promotion, either. 

Instead, treat your next conference like a job interview and speak up when the presenter asks if you have any questions. Challenge yourself to ask one question. The clarification can help your colleagues, and your insight will grab your supervisor’s attention. 

8. Learn Self-Defense

If you have had traumatic experiences where you felt defenseless, it’s natural for your self-esteem to take a similar hit. Restore your confidence with a self-defense class. 

You can choose from multiple martial arts forms or seek a group like IMPACT. In the latter, your assailant wears heavy padding, allowing you to kick and punch with full force. 

9. Practice Mindfulness

Have you joined the mindfulness movement yet? Learning how to observe your thoughts as a neutral observer can alert you to those ideas that destroy your self-esteem. 

For example, you might notice that your response to spilled tea isn’t, “Oh, no,” but “you’re such a clumsy loser. Why can’t you ever do anything right?” If you notice yourself thinking some variation of the former, don’t judge — doing so only creates more stress. However, immediately try to reframe that idea more positively. 

Maybe you aren’t neurotypical, and you do spill things a lot. Instead of focusing on your lack of coordination, commend yourself for powering through despite your challenges. You are a warrior!

Use These 9 Strategies to Improve Your Self-Esteem

Your sense of who you are influences how you move through the world and impacts other people’s perceptions of you. Use these nine strategies to improve your self-esteem and feel more comfortable with yourself. 

This is a guest post by Ava Roman. Managing Editor of Revivalist. Ava writes about lifestyle and wellness topics. When she is not writing you’ll find Ava in a yoga class, advocating for body positivity, whipping up something delicious in the kitchen, or smashing the patriarchy.

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