7 Secrets to Improve Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem is not a problem only faced by teenagers and youngsters.

There are many adults today – even in their golden years – who don’t have good self-esteem.

This is sad because low self-esteem can make our relationships suffer, we are constantly envying other people and make us feel… pretty much lousy about ourselves.

It’s time to change that!

Good Self-Esteem Will Make You Feel Great About Yourself

I’m sure you know a person or 2 who are comfortable in their own skin.

They don’t crumble when people criticise them unjustly. They are comfortable saying ‘I’m sorry’ when they are wrong. And they are confident of their own talents. They can laugh at themselves.

The wonderful thing about high self-esteem is that it gives us

more success at work

we seem more attractive to our partners

we don’t need others’ approval

life seems more bright and joyful and less gloomy

we feel great about ourselves

However, I don’t think it’s our fault entirely if we have low self-esteem.

That’s because the way our parents brought us up, had a HUGE impact on our confidence levels.

Were you expected to be ‘perfect’ when you were young?

Were you harshly criticised if you had a big dream or wanted something badly?

Were you constantly compared to other kids?

Have you ‘failed’ at achieving something (eg: losing a game, scoring a D in an exam) and made to feel as though you were a complete failure as a person?

The above are some examples of how our parents might have unknowingly stumped our self-esteem.

7 Ways to Re-build Our Self-Esteem


Accomplish more

I’m not referring to accomplishing something as big as winning an award or getting a medal at some sports event.

We can set small goals, pursue the small goals and achieve them. Once we’ve achieved our goals – be it small or big goals – we will have esteem-like feelings.

Make sure that the goals you set bring satisfaction to yourself. Don’t set goals to please another person or to get praise!

Do you know what’s interesting?

Bragging a little bit of our accomplishments on Facebook or Instagram can also boost our self-esteem. Just don’t overdo it or we will be a tad annoying 😉


Be Aware of Your Talents

This might seem obvious to some of us.

But low self-esteem people are not aware or choose to ignore their strengths.

If you put pen to paper and list your strengths and talents, you might be surprised that your list is longer than you thought.

Or, you can get a trusted person to list your strengths. You will get insight into your talents you were not aware of!


Treat yourself like a worthwhile person

This is where self-care comes in.

Pamper yourself with a massage, a warm bath, diffuse some essential oils (geranium essential oil evokes feelings of self-love if you are into the metaphysical), play with a pet or child, journal, exercise, dine at your favourite place… basically do activities which make you feel awesome.

These feel-good activities will send signals to your mind that you are a valuable person worthy of nice things in life.


Fake it till you make it

Is there a celebrity whom you admire because she is so confident of herself during interviews?

Or someone you know personally?

We can model their body language. Confident people tend to shake hands firmly, make eye contact, speak clearly and stand tall. When we adopt their body language, people will treat us with respect which in turn, makes us feel confident.

I personally admire Queen Rania of Jordan. She gently draws boundaries when meeting people in public places whilst maintaining a smile on her face and very polite body language even when unknown women rush to smother her with hugs at events.

Jennifer Lopez is another celebrity who is a master in people skills. She can answer awkward interview questions with jokes, she laughs at herself and effortlessly makes herself seem humble and approachable. It’s a well-honed skill.


Talk & spend time with high self-esteem people

I adore spending time with people who are positive.

They help me to reframe any problem I have as something that will pass.

High self-esteem people will make us feel energised and recharged after spending time with them.

They are open to admit any mistakes or ‘failures’ they’ve had and they will still be supportive of us when we make mistakes ourselves.

In short, they accept you for who you are, flaws and all.

Value these people tightly.


Be Kind to Yourself

I like a quote I came across recently: “You can’t get life wrong because there’s no such thing as getting life right.”

Everybody makes mistakes. Successful people make even more mistakes than the average person.

When we ‘fail’ at something, focus on tweaking our strategies. ‘Failures’ are feedback that our strategies need tweaking.

‘Failures’ have nothing to do with us as a person. So don’t beat ourselves up when we falter.


Tame the inner critic

All of us have inner critics. These pesky little things will negate our capabilities.

Inner critic example: “My superior praised my work today. I think he was just being polite. Or maybe he is in a good mood. I’m sure my work wasn’t that fantastic.”

We can reframe it with: “I feel good that my superior praised my work today. It may not be perfect, but I did the best I could. I feel proud for pushing myself.”

I’ve heard of a successful businessman who has an unorthodox approach to this. He visualises his inner critic as an iguana (of all things!). He said that all of us have these ‘iguanas’ living in our minds.

When negative self-talk starts in his mind, he will shrug it off as the ‘iguana’ blabbering (yet again).

This is one creative way we can separate our destructive self-talk from ourselves.

Please remember that changes in habit or mindset takes time. 🙂

We will not be a confident superstar immediately after applying all the 7 tips above. If we’ve been having low self-esteem for years, we can’t just switch to being a confident person in 1 day.

Be kind to yourself and give yourself time to change.

by Shikah Anuar

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