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How to Improve Self Esteem?

Updated on February 6, 2018
Jewels profile image

Julie has been undertaking spiritual work for 18 years and imparts her knowledge of meditation and inner experiences through her writing.

The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.”
Mark Twain

Self Esteem or lack of it has many causes which usually stems from your childhood upbringing at home and at school. When you go through your adult years, it is easy to blame your parents for your lack of courage and fortitude because you were not taught how to stand up for yourself or you now lack the ability to overcome difficulties you face day to day.

Parents are the easy targets for blame and it may or may not be warranted. Whether your parents are the true culprits of your low-value barometer, it becomes irrelevant at a certain point in your life because it is only you who can change how you face the world.

You are likely living with the belief that you are a lesser person, and not living up to what you think are the expectations of other people. In reality, it is very likely that your own expectations of yourself are the prime culprit.

There are social implications to low self-esteem which include the inability to interact with people, becoming a recluse or to generally being introverted. Loneliness is often the end result.



Another result of low self-value is the tendency to continually defend yourself. Even if you're not being attacked or confronted, you will think you are the target of jokes. Your paranoid inner voice is convinced that any negative conversation has you as its center. All you hear is that you are not good enough or something to be laughed at. You are likely to take personally any jibe made by obnoxious people, or worse - you become an obnoxious person who dumps on people to cover up your own feelings of not being good enough.

Low self-esteem directly affects your ability to achieve. The critical voice inside your head often puts the brakes on your will. This can lead to procrastination which stops you from moving forward with projects and being creative.

Self-doubt and the expectation of trouble can steal your will and you become frozen from moving into your desires. The feeling of defeat before beginning is common with self-esteem issue. It's like you are in a cycle of hope and loss, wantings and then disappointments. You have ideas but you don't follow through with manifesting them.

Self Esteem Poll

What is the most dominant negative thought circling in your head?

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Lack of self-esteem can be a vicious circle unless you do something about it. That circle will not break unless you want it to and you become willing to do something about climbing out of the malaise it has created for you.

Start small. Find something that you have an interest in and start a project. Starting something on your own may be too difficult depending on how much confidence and knowhow you have. So join a group. You will be amazed at how many people LOVE to help you and LOVE to teach you skills that they have. And perhaps you have the knowledge to share with other people. It is helpful to know that passing knowledge is a human social skill. You don't need a degree to be good at something.

A big DON'T. In the beginning of this breakout, don't do something that is too difficult and that you are likely to fail at. That will just prove to your incessant mind that you are a failure. Start small and grow from there.

When you have mastered one thing, build on it and try something a little more difficult. It is likely you will make mistakes and feel like you're failing. We all make mistakes and we are all not masters of everything. Don't be afraid to admit you are vulnerable.

Gaining confidence and self-esteem is gauged by how much you start to like yourself, and eventually love yourself. Achieving is not about being better than others, it's about being the best you can be despite the hurdles life presents you. If you never begin anything you are by default failing. Healthy self-respect comes from knowing you are trying no matter what the outcome.

Start small and become awesome. Start big and you miss the journey.

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    • Jewels profile imageAUTHOR

      Jewels 

      3 years ago from Australia

      You're welcome Charito. Acknowledge mistakes and limitations and have compassion for ourselves. When we can do that we have made a huge step in allowing our human frailties, instead of demanding self perfection. Being hard on ourselves can also destroy our self esteem if we never stack up.

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

      3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      There were times in the past when my late mother would make me feel I were second best, as compared to 2 of my siblings who were achievers.

      But you're right. We can't always blame our parents. It's just all within us!

      And you're right in saying that we just have to start small and do the best that we can in something that interests us.

      I guess what also helps boost my confidence is learning to acknowledge my mistakes/limitations, and asking others for help. I am grateful when they help me improve.

      Thank you so much for your sound advice, Jewels!

    • Jewels profile imageAUTHOR

      Jewels 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Definitely. Confidence building in the formative years is so important.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 

      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      getting family support and comfort helps to improve a child self esteem

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 

      7 years ago from Lagos

      You re indeed a JEWEL. You ve motivated me and have boosted my self esteem. I am pleased

    • Jewels profile imageAUTHOR

      Jewels 

      7 years ago from Australia

      Hello epigramman. You're always welcome.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 

      7 years ago

      ....I just did ... I came here to your hubs mate - and I don't mean it in the way it sounds ..... lol lol

    • Jewels profile imageAUTHOR

      Jewels 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Thanks Nick. Glad you dropped in.

    • NickSimpson profile image

      NickSimpson 

      8 years ago from Jacksonville, Illinois

      Great hub and I am loving you sense of humor as well. I look forward to reading many more of your hubpages soon.

      Thanks,

      Nick

    • profile image

      jon 

      8 years ago

      cool hub

    • Jewels profile imageAUTHOR

      Jewels 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Thanks rv for your input there, bravado can help.

      Steven, hope you succeed. And don't believe those voices in your head - they tell lies!

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      wow, this is some good advice. i'll be sure to try that. to be honest, i lost all my confidence after i got discharged from the air force a couple of years ago. i've been trying to get my life back on track, but nothing ever seems to go right as everything i've done since then ended in disaster.

      even my own family lost faith in me. although i can't say i blame them. since i did make a lot of mistakes since getting discharged. the point is i've been having a lot of self esteem and depression issues since. however, im hoping things will get better soon.

      i'll definitely try out your advice. thanks jewels. i appreciate it.

    • rvsource profile image

      rvsource 

      8 years ago

      You are right Jewels. I found that having belief in yourself helps with others seeing your self confidence. When you come across as being confident, then others begin treating you the way you expect them to.

      There is a good ole saying, "fake it till you make it." Act as if and it will become reality.

      Jeff

    • Jewels profile imageAUTHOR

      Jewels 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Glad that worked for you Jeff. Having the belief in yourself is key. Helps too to have people around you that will lift you up and not bash you down. Needs to be more of that.

    • rvsource profile image

      rvsource 

      8 years ago

      What a great topic for a hub!

      I can recall many years ago when I first started in sales. I was young and almost gave up. I felt inferior to the other salesmen. Then one day someone handed me a cassette tape, remember those? This tape was a recording by "Shad Helmstetter."

      I forget the name of the tape, but it has to do with self esteem. This tape was nothing more than a replication of statements that said things like "I like myself, I am a great salesperson." and etc. There were only a few sentences in that recording but he used voice inflection to change the meaning of each sentence.

      The bottom line is this. Our subconscious is nothing more than a recording of everything that's been played over and over in our lives. We are conditioned to believe the things we believe. All you have to do is replace that garbage with statements that change your self esteem for the better.

      It worked for me!

      Jeff

    • Jewels profile imageAUTHOR

      Jewels 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Good advice DeBorrah, as the saying goes "Be yourself, everyone else is taken." :D

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      8 years ago

      Jewels,

      This is a great hub!

      You are right it is important to build self esteem. Self esteem is learning to trust your ability to achieve a goal;

      or having confidence and compassion for yourself and valuing others!

      No matter how hard you try you will never be able to please everyone. It is better and healthier to just make it a goal to be the best you can be. No one can be a better you than you!

      Blessings

    • Jewels profile imageAUTHOR

      Jewels 

      9 years ago from Australia

      Thanks guys. I'm following my own words here too. Two steps forward one step back sometimes.

    • profile image

      Raggits 

      9 years ago

      Great hub, motivating. At 52 I'm just starting to revitalize my thinking. :)

    • profile image

      L. Andrew Marr 

      9 years ago

      Very, very wise words here =]

      Cheers for all the advice.

    • profile image

      Innovator820 

      9 years ago

      Very inspirational and powerful for the ones lacking in self-esteem.

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 

      9 years ago from Washington, USA

      It is always a pleasure to visit an enlightened soul :D

    • Jewels profile imageAUTHOR

      Jewels 

      9 years ago from Australia

      Thanks CW, I appreciate your visit.

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 

      9 years ago from Washington, USA

      Jewels- This hub really is a "jewel" rather gem of a hub. Self esteem is something that one should have a strong belief is one's own ability and sometimes it is good to be insulated by others beliefs about us to achieve it. Thumbs up for this wonderful hub.

    • Jewels profile imageAUTHOR

      Jewels 

      9 years ago from Australia

      Ahhhh, thankyou dayzeebee, that makes me feel good. Love feeling good!

    • dayzeebee profile image

      dayzeebee 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Great guide for everyone. Your hubs are those that help many uncover the beauty that resides in all of us. Thank you for empowering us.:)

    • Jewels profile imageAUTHOR

      Jewels 

      9 years ago from Australia

      Not way too long Amanda, you should see some of my responses. I read them and think I should have started a hub myself!

      It feels like having to change a belief system which is not an easy thing to do. Getting compliments is often responded to by dismissing it, thinking it's not true. I know for myself it's like taking baby steps in accepting my own accomplishments, my own positive traits. Yet it is exactly what I need to address in order to feel good about myself.

      Nice to read you and get more angles on this subject.

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 

      9 years ago from UK

      Every single one of us is awesome if we did but know it. We all have our talents and our triumphs. I've worked a great deal with clients who have low self-esteem, and hypnotherapy and NLP are great in this regard. Those lists can be very therapeutic. I ask clients to tell me five positive things that people have recently said about them. Sometimes finding these five things can be as difficult as pulling teeth without anaesthetic! Once they have the list we then go through it, and analyse it, then re-enforce the great things that have been said (why do you think your friend said you were looking well/ admired your hair/enjoyed the cake you baked/laughed at your joke/dropped by to visit? and so on) All positive actions and comments from those around us are in response to positive feelings that we have somehow engendered in others. Once we start getting our heads around this then we can start look outward instead of persisting on looking inward!

      Sorry Jewels, that was way too long, I got my therapists hat on for a moment there!

    • Jewels profile imageAUTHOR

      Jewels 

      9 years ago from Australia

      It's been a hard year it seems, I'm not doing well this year either. Must be something in the air, the planets in the wrong alignment I suspect!

      Well I think you're awesome, but I'm not the one who counts - you are. The best possible feeling is when you know yourself how awesome you are. Then unfortunately you fall back into humble mode (well I do anyway). The key is to not drop below humble mode I'm learning.

      The voices in the head can be so damaging. Someone wrote a hub about self esteem and getting a friend to write a list of all the good things about you was a good project. I've asked a friend to do it, haven't received the list yet. Maybe she's having trouble thinking of the good things! LOL. Has to be only good things, nothing negative. I must remind her.

    • hot dorkage profile image

      hot dorkage 

      9 years ago from Oregon, USA

      well my self esteem bottomed out earlier this year. It is slowly coming back to where it was, always on the low side compared to what other people thought. No one is going to know how truly awesome I really am until after I am dead. :)

    • Jewels profile imageAUTHOR

      Jewels 

      10 years ago from Australia

      Thank you Earl.

      Hi Jim10 - It is often observed how mothers come into themselves after having children - the role of protector comes to the forefront and it does wonders for confidence and self esteem. And to some guys, they are out of their comfort zone with the precious little bundles. The tiger is perhaps a little humbled by parenthood but could still roar in a crisis.

    • jim10 profile image

      jim10 

      10 years ago from ma

      I always had very high self esteem. Unfortunately my wife's was very low. After getting married and having kids I think hers is much higher now and mine is a little bit lower.

    • Earl S. Wynn profile image

      Earl S. Wynn 

      10 years ago from California

      Very nice! I've struggled with depression and self esteem issues here and there in the past, so I can definitely appreciate this hub. Thank you for putting it together!

    • manoharv2001 profile image

      Manoharan 

      10 years ago from Bangalore - 560097, Karnataka, India

      great postings

    • Tom Higgins profile image

      Tom Higgins 

      10 years ago

      Great hub. Very motivating!

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 

      10 years ago

      Start small and become awesome - love it!

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