You will increase self esteem by consciously making an effort to think of yourself in a positive way. Stop negative self-talk in its tracks and replace it with a mind-grenade of beneficial, self supporting and transformative thoughts and ideas about yourself. The following ideas and principles will prime your mind for an explosion of self-esteem that will propel you beyond what 99% of people believe is possible.
Remember what you have already done
You might start this by listing all your past achievements and accomplishments. Don’t give me that “but I don’t have any”. Just by being alive everyone has accomplished something.
You might have finished school or university. Perhaps passed courses or tests. Survived something, completed something, built something. Maybe you’ve learned a skill such as playing an instrument, or skateboarding or playing a certain computer game to ridiculous levels of mastery. Write it all down if you like but you don’t have to. Just make sure you remember your own awesomeness in the things that you have done up until now.
Keep these achievements at the forefront of your mind to recall easily at any time, so that you will be able to say to yourself “I did that!” and get a boost of self esteem.
Help someone else out
Some people are just all about “me, me, me”. Nobody likes to be around that. So the advice here is to be less like that and more attentive to other’s challenges and needs. If you see that someone could benefit from something you know how to do well, or something that you have that you could lend them, then help them!
If you are able to give something; time, money, skill, talent, whatever it may be, then you are a de-facto source of value. Being a source of value and knowing it means that you have an elevated sense of self-worth. Doing this regularly will put you at a high level of trust and credibility and will also help people out. Thus the world becomes a better place because you are in it, giving you reason to feel good about yourself.
Be smart about positive affirmations to yourself
Some of the advice out there says that if you just keep repeating “I am rich, I am happy, I am healthy” then those things will eventually come true. If you are not at least close to those states already, then you might feel like you are lying to yourself.
That might make you feel worse.
I think that if you kept repeating those affirmations, through thick and thin, whether you feel bad, worse or hellish, for months, years, possibly decades, then maybe in the end you’ll actually start to believe it and it will come true. But that is an uphill battle.
You can use affirmations in a more sensible, pragmatic way. If you want, let’s say, more money in your life and you self-affirm: “I am a multi-millionaire!” while not actually being one, that’s where things get counter-productive. Try something more believable such as: “I see myself having more money in my life” or “I have the ability to make more money”. These statements will be more acceptable to your rational mind and you can begin to deliberately move towards making them come true.
Focus in on what you are good at and quadruple down on it
This is one of the key pieces of advice given by the successful entrepreneur, business guru and all round positive bean Gary V. Why attempt to re-invent your own wheel? You already spent years learning to play guitar or fix motorcycles or train cats or hold your breath for a long time.
Let your skill be your central focus and build around that. It doesn’t have to be a business or an income generating endeavor. It could just be part of your lifestyle. Your own self-esteem will go through the roof when you become so good at your chosen skill that people actively seek you out for coaching, advice or help.
Ignore what you cannot control
“Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change,-Reinhold Niebuhr
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.”
There is really nothing else to add to that. It’s a famous quote and rightly so as it sums up the idea in the sub-heading. There is a slight difference in semantics, however, in that I wrote ignore what you cannot control. To be more precise, if you cannot control something that lowers your self-esteem, ignore it. If you cannot control something yet it makes you feel great, give it your attention.
Read works that inspire you
There exists a veritable abundance of inspirational, uplifting, life-affirming and soul-satisfying written works by authors from all over the world. Not only that, but these writings go back almost as far as writing was developed by humankind.
The concepts and ideas presented in a good book can and do stay with you for the rest of your life after you have read it. Books have an incredible power to mold the minds (and the collective mind) of men and women and have done so throughout the ages.
I will not recommend any books here, as there are about as many book recommendation lists out there as there are books. I can only encourage you to look through those lists, find something that attracts you or you find interesting and get stuck in.