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Most of us face a time in our lives where we hit a rough patch and may not be as confident as we would like to be.And even though personality we have developed through life may contribute to the development of lower self esteem,we can increase confidence.

There are many different techniques we can practice to improve the beliefs we have about ourselves.  

Sometimes there are certain life events that can influence the development of low self esteem. When having low self esteem begins to affect the life of an individual in a negative way that is when they can take control of the situation and learn how to improve self esteem.

According to the University of Texas at Austin, “People with low self-esteem often don't ask for help because they feel they don't deserve it. But since low self-esteem is often caused by how other people treated you in the past, you may need the help of other people in the present to challenge the critical messages that come from negative past experiences.”

Learning how to improve self esteem can be done in a number of ways. People can educate themselves and learn techniques to help them feel more confident and believe in themselves. This can be done by taking time to look at why they have low self esteem. Once they pinpoint the reasons for having low self esteem they can determine which methods can help them adopt a healthier outlook and stronger belief about the self.

Having a strong sense of who you are and where you are going can have a profound effect on self esteem. This is why so many people set goals for themselves on a continuous basis. Without goals people tend to lose motivation and they can often feel like they are stuck in a rut.

Make a List

By making a list of desired goals and taking proactive steps towards achieving those goals are necessary to build confidence.  It also makes you feel as though many of your endeavors are being accomplished. This can be as easy as making a to do list for the day, and once each task is complete, mark off each task. By the end of the day you can refer to the list and feel good knowing that you were able to complete all of these tasks within a day’s time.

Practice Positive Thinking

Many of us from time to time can feel a little down in the dumps. Why not focus on what you are able to do to get yourself out of a rut, instead of focusing on what you are not able to do? When you focus too much on things that you have no control over, this can make you feel helpless and you play the victim. This type of thinking is self defeating and does not help the situation. When you think positive, more can be accomplished and there is a good boost to the self esteem and mood.

Take Time Out for Yourself

Often we are caught up in taking care of others and we can lose sight of our own needs. Don’t worry about looking as though you are selfish. Everyone needs time for themselves, so don’t be afraid to get a new haircut, dye your hair, or get a massage. Sometimes by just taking time out to do something nice for the self can do wonders for the self esteem and well being.

Don’t Worry too much About what Other People Think

When you worry too much about what other people think you are putting your own happiness on the line. Of course most of us want acceptance and approval from others which is natural, but being caught up with trying to please everyone consumes too much time and adds unnecessary stress to your life. When you have enough confidence in the self less approval is needed from others.

Socialize with Others

Sometimes being around people and talking with others can help boost self esteem. When you share common interests with people and can share stories it does wonders for the self esteem. This also helps you to direct your attention elsewhere other then on yourself.  Allowing yourself time to connect with others can help you to feel better about yourself and create common ground with others.

Keep Busy

Sometimes when you have too much time on your hands the mind tends to wonder and focus on aspects of your life that you may not be happy with. When you keep busy you are staying active, the mind is engaged and your productivity flourishes. All of these are great self esteem boosters.

Don’t Be too Hard on Yourself

Of course many people, especially those with type A personalities want everything to go a certain way, but focusing more on imperfections creates stress and is detrimental to self esteem.  According to the guide for “Three Steps to Better Self Esteem,” at the University of Texas at Austin website, “The first important step in improving self-esteem is to begin to challenge the negative messages of the critical inner voice.” Instead try focusing more on the positive aspects of what you have accomplished and take note of what didn’t turn out right, but do not dwell on it.

Change Environment

When you change the environment there are many changes that occur. It may be stressful in the beginning, but after a while people learn to adapt and become stronger because of this. “Change will be there forever, we must be susceptible to it.”(Holmes, 2005).

Take Active Steps Toward Believing in Yourself

Fox and Sokol state that confidence comes from belief that the greatest resource is you. When you believe in yourself you realize that you have what it takes to know that you can handle anything that comes your way. If you do not have the knowledge or resources to solve your problems you know of ways to find them. You have a good sense of competency and give yourself credit for a job well done.

Invest in A Self Help Book

Read up on qualities you would like to change about yourself. There are many choices to choose from, but books that are written by life coaches or psychiatrists usually have the most helpful information. This is because many studies have been performed to show the benefits of making these changes.

Leonard Holmes states that self improvement will flourish once we build self esteem. This is accomplished by taking responsibility for our negative actions, as well as taking a look at what we have and what we do. He describes it as a wildfire that spreads from the inside out.

“When we develop self esteem, we take control of our mission, values and discipline. Self esteem brings about self improvement, true assessment, and determination.”

In conclusion

Making changes to improve who we are is not an easy task; otherwise people would be more apt to change. Some of the hardest decisions in life might not be the easiest choice, but often they are the best and most healthy choices we can make for ourselves. And although the effects change may not be immediate, the long term benefits make changing a worthwhile process.  When people want to learn ways on how to improve self esteem they will begin to feel more comfortable in their skin. This can be made possible by following some or all of these suggestions within this article. When you build self esteem it makes you feel more confident about what you have to offer yourself and the world around you.

  • Holmes, Leonard. “Build Your Self Esteem, a Guide to Self Improvement,”
  • University of Texas at Austin, “Three Steps to Better Self Esteem,”
  • Marci G. Fox, PHD and Leslie Sokol, PHD.“Believe in You,” PsychCentral website.
  • Photo courtesy of Stephen G. Barr by Flickr :