Improving Your Self-esteem: How Is This Possible?

The way you communicate with yourself is a key factor in improving your self-image. Being too hard on yourself will only weaken your self-concept and self-love. Is it really possible to improve your self-image?
Improving your self-esteem: how is this possible?

Improving your self-esteem is a goal we could all accept as our own. As we grow, we build our identity and strengthen our self-concept. This process of self-knowledge and personal growth is indispensable to communicate in a healthy way with the world around us and with ourselves.

Self-esteem is deeply related to self-concept. On the one hand, self-concept refers to one’s belief about oneself. On the other hand , self-esteem would be the emotional echo of self-concept: how we feel towards the image we have of ourselves.

Thus, self-concept and self-esteem are associated to the point where they somehow feed off each other. What happens when your self-esteem and self-concept are so low that they affect our lives? More specifically, is it possible to improve self-esteem? If so, how can you do this? Below we give you some useful tips.

Improving self-esteem through self-care

The way you take care of yourself is a result of your self-esteem. On the other hand, the decision to take care of yourself does not depend on your self-esteem. Let’s look at this from an outside perspective.

Taking care of others can make you feel better. Well, the same goes for yourself. Sometimes it’s easy to forget to put yourself first. However, that is the most important part of self-love.

That said, you can start improving your self-esteem by being more realistic about your performance or your real responsibility for certain mistakes or missed goals.

It is also important to ask yourself what you really want and need. Take some time for yourself and try to find the answers to these questions. Love yourself first and everything else will fall into place.

Identify your strengths

Improving your self-esteem is only possible when you trust your strengths. Everyone has a list of strengths that they can improve even more if they give themselves the chance. Now it’s your turn to do that for yourself and not waste your potential.

If you’re stuck in an “I don’t have any strengths” mentality, take a look back at your past accomplishments. Don’t deny your strengths, you probably have many. Do some self-reflection and think about the things you enjoy doing. Look for honest answers or this tip won’t work.

Love yourself to improve your self-esteem

Change your internal dialogue

The way you communicate with yourself is a key factor in improving your self-esteem. If your internal dialogue is constantly based on negative criticism, self-censorship, or punishment, your self-esteem will be one of the first to pay for the consequences.

Think about it for a moment. If you spend your time criticizing someone and saying things like “you can’t do it,” “you’re worthless,” or “you’re no good at anything,”  how will that person feel? Do you think he likes it? The answer is no. So why would you tell yourself such things?

In a sense, this internal dialogue is irrational. Sometimes we interpret situations in the worst possible way, even when the evidence supporting our conclusion is weak. Given these negative thoughts, it is important to:

  • Identify them. Is what you tell yourself rational or irrational? Does it help you become a better person or weigh you down?
  • Implement strategies that undermine the power of these thoughts.

One of the ways to make changes in internal communication is to ask questions such as, “should I say this to a friend?” “Would this encourage him to get better?” If the answer is no, it’s time to change the dialog. Remember to be a friend to yourself.

Forgive and accept yourself

Improving self-esteem is about acceptance and forgiveness

It’s hard to like everything about ourselves, which makes self-acceptance a long journey. Drowning in guilt can do a lot of damage to your self-esteem. However, by not forgiving and accepting yourself, you only feed self-pity and self-contempt.

In that sense, Kristin Neff, in her research on self-esteem at the University of Texas, argues that if you can treat yourself with more kindness, you can improve your self-esteem in a healthier way.

It is therefore possible to improve your self-esteem. To do this, however, you must forgive yourself by accepting that you are only human and that making mistakes is part of life. Don’t belittle yourself because of past mistakes.

Treat yourself with the same love and respect you would treat someone you love. Support yourself, and most importantly, understand your feelings and thoughts instead of constantly criticizing them. Stop punishing yourself every time you make a mistake.

Finally, one obstacle to improving your self-esteem is setting goals that are too difficult for you to achieve. Doing this will only frustrate you and feed a negative self-image.

It is important to combine different goals in your planning. Big challenges help you grow, but it’s also essential to keep smaller goals in mind that will make you feel like you’re on the right track.

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