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How to Build Self Esteem and Your Positive Self Worth

A high self esteems gives you the power to be yourself and speak your mind. You live the way you want and not easily being influenced by other people's views, values or behaviour. You stay true to yourself and not feel like an impostor.

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What is Self Esteem?

For most people, self esteem is how they feel about and view themselves in relation to others. A person may feel good about themselves, for example, if they have a better education, job, house or car than a sibling or old school friend.

This is an unhealthy reality of today’s materialistic world. True self esteem is very closely related to self respect, but has become warped as we lose sight of what really matters in favor of having the latest and greatest possessions. True self esteem should come from realizing your gifts, talents and other non-financial assets. 

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.” ― August Wilson

Signs of Low Self Esteem

Be Aware Of The 3 Signs of Low Self Esteem Below

We all have a basic concept of what it means to have low self esteem. Walking through life with constant self criticism can reduce your quality of living in many ways and it also affects your family and close friends. Constant negative self talk can lead to feelings of worthlessness, depression, fear, anxiety, anger or shame. By knowing the signs can be beneficial to your health and well-being. Do you know, however, what the signs are which indicate low self esteem in yourself or others? Realizing there’s a problem is a huge part of finding a solution, so read on to learn how to recognize this debilitating sense of self-worth.

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” ― Frederick Douglass

Allowing Others to Walk All Over You

While it’s a natural impulse to want to please the people around us, those with low self esteem often take this impulse to an unhealthy and unnatural extreme. You may notice them (or yourself) taking on way too much work simply because a colleague asked you do cover their duties. While this is a nice thing to do, a person with a poor self image will do it even if it results in their working insane amounts of overtime or neglecting their own work. Their desire to please their colleagues – and therefore, hopefully, ensure that colleague likes them – overwhelms their desire to get their own work done.

As you can imagine, this type of scenario can play out in virtually any setting. Each potential example, however, has the same factors. A person with low self esteem goes out of their way – to the point of sacrificing their own health, finances, job security or other vital life components – to get something done for another person.

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to seek help. Allowing people to walk all over you is not the way to build or maintain healthy friendships.

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ― Sharon Salzberg

Inappropriate Sexual Conduct

For some individuals with low self esteem, their need for approval becomes connected with sex. They may have sex with many different people in a short amount of time, or submit to things which make them uncomfortable simply to please their partner. This particular “brand” of low self esteem is extremely dangerous due to the potential for disease. If you or a friend shows these symptoms of poor self image, it’s time to realize that sex does not create love or even true affection.

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” ― Edward Everett Hale

Lack of Personal Style or Personality

You probably know at least one person who never seems to have an opinion on anything. They don’t care which restaurant you go to for lunch – they might even order the same thing a friend orders. They ask – constantly – for opinions on what they should buy or wear. They don’t listen to new bands or artists unless they’ve been “approved” by their friends. When asked to offer an actual opinion, they may even look to their friends for hints on what to say.

These are classic signs of low self esteem. People who act this way have such a low opinion of themselves that they’re convinced nothing they come up with or choose on their own is going to be good enough for others.

If this sounds like you or a friend, there are many routes you can take. Perhaps the most traditional is simply building up self esteem, step by step, until a healthier self image is formed. For some people, this requires professional therapy sessions. For others, the realization is enough, and still others find it helpful to involve their closest friends. Whatever feels best is the right way.

As you can see, low self esteem can have some very serious consequences. If you or a friend is dealing with these or any other signs of low self esteem, finding help is the only logical choice.

3 Exercises to Eliminate Low Self Esteem

3 Simple Exercises To Bring You Out Of Negativity

How we feel about ourselves has a great deal to do with how we function on a daily basis. Our social interactions, jobs, intimate relationships and friendships all rest on self esteem. Even our time spent alone is influenced! People with healthy levels of self esteem are healthier, happier and, in general, are more satisfied with their lives. If you’re interested in learning how to fix low self esteem, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for exercises which will help you do just that.

“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” ― Shannon L. Alder

Write It Down

As a supplemental exercise to help you learn how to fix low self esteem, you might try writing down all the things you like about yourself. If you truly can’t think of any, ask friends, family and loved ones for what they would say are your best qualities.

Keep this list near your bed, and read it each night before you go to sleep. Try to see yourself the way others do – not through the negative lens you’ve unwittingly cultivated over the years. Chances are, you’ll learn that you have many more admirable qualities than you thought!

Use Affirmations Daily

While you’ve probably heard of affirmations, you may not understand how they work. This is very common, and a big part of why people often claim that they don’t work. In reality, when used correctly, they can play a huge role in learning how to fix low self esteem, as well as learning how to build self esteem back up.

Affirmations are simple phrases. They are always phrased in the present tense: “I am” instead of “I will be.” They are always positive, containing no negative language whatsoever. Instead of “I won’t look down on myself,” use “I will view myself in a positive light.”

Affirmations can be found online, or you can write your own. If you’re working on learning how to fix low self esteem, it may be more helpful to seek out pre-written affirmations, since they will force you to say things about yourself which you may not believe just yet.

Say your affirmations out loud, and preferably in front of a mirror. Use a firm, strong tone – you must trick your subconscious into thinking that these statements are reality. Use this technique daily and with dedication, and you’ll soon see incredible changes in your self esteem and self worth!

“There will always be someone willing to hurt you, put you down, gossip about you, belittle your accomplishments and judge your soul. It is a fact that we all must face. However, if you realize that God is a best friend that stands beside you when others cast stones you will never be afraid, never feel worthless and never feel alone.” ― Shannon Alder

Take a Look in the Mirror

While your self esteem should always be based on inner qualities, one of the most common causes of low self esteem is a poor view of your own appearance. While you’re internally building up your self esteem, there’s nothing wrong with working a bit on the exterior as well. It can be something as simple as a haircut or as extravagant as a new wardrobe – let your budget and common sense be your guide.

As you can see, the steps toward a healthier sense of self esteem and self worth are not difficult ones. With a bit of dedication and belief that you’re worth the effort, you can create incredible changes that will spill over into every aspect of your life.


Integrate Self Acceptance Into Your Life

Solidify Your High Self Esteem By Accepting The Person You Are

What is Self Acceptance?

A useful way to look at and understand self acceptance is by choosing an activity at which you’re not very good, but which you enjoy. Perhaps you can barely carry a tune, but you love to bang out your frustrations on the drums. You might have horrible hand-eye coordination, but enjoy the excitement and team spirit of playing sports. You may be a slow reader, but adore books and spending time reading.

You get the idea – we all have something we’re not great at but which we enjoy. We’ve accepted that we’re not very good at this thing, but we do it anyway.

Self acceptance can be broken down into many more complex illustrations, but at its core, it refers to taking an honest look at who you are as a person and accepting that reality.

Bring Self Esteem and Self Acceptance Together

By now you know what unhealthy self esteem can look like, it’s time to consider how healthy self esteem and self acceptance can work together to change your life.

Healthy self esteem is the result of valuing ourselves (literally placing ourselves in high esteem) for things which are not materialistic. We can value our talents, abilities, gifts and other natural attributes, as well as learned skills. When viewed this way, self esteem looks a lot like self acceptance. The key is keeping things firmly grounded in a non-materialistic view of ourselves.

When combined, a healthy sense of self esteem (valuing yourself for your abilities) and self acceptance (realizing that you are great just the way you are and seeing your value as a human being) can create incredible changes in your life. They can literally change the way you see yourself – and therefore the world – in everyday life. A person with healthy self esteem and self acceptance doesn’t worry about material possessions, beyond what’s necessary for regular living. They don’t get caught up in jealousy over a friend’s promotion or new car. They can appreciate the little things in life, which materialistic people often ignore or literally don’t see. Simply put, they have more fun!

Now that you know the difference between the two and the key points of each, it’s time to start taking a long, hard look at yourself. Create the changes necessary to cultivate healthy self esteem and self acceptance. You’ll be doing yourself a life-long favour!

“There is a magnificent, beautiful, wonderful painting in front of you! It is intricate, detailed, a painstaking labor of devotion and love! The colors are like no other, they swim and leap, they trickle and embellish! And yet you choose to fixate your eyes on the small fly which has landed on it! Why do you do such a thing?” ― C. JoyBell C

Give Yourself More Self Respect

When You Respect Yourself Others Will Respect You

Integrating self respect into your life is more than just knowing your worth, it is about the value you place on yourself and the value you bring to others. Respecting yourself allows you to make meaningful decisions that can impact your life and can make a difference in the lives of others connected to you. The terms self esteem and self respect are often used interchangeably. Many in today’s society believe that they represent the very same thing. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.” ― Lao Tzu

What is Self Respect?

A very simple way to think of self respect is to think about somebody you hold in high esteem. This may be a leader, either religious, political or otherwise. It might be a celebrity, or a well-known mind in fields of complex research.

While you hold this person in high esteem, you may know things about them which make you lose respect. Perhaps a high-ranking political official – whose political agenda you completely agree with – cheated in their marriage. You still agree with their policies, but you don’t respect their personal actions. The possibilities are endless, but the idea is simple. You don’t have to respect a person in order to hold them in high esteem. The two are not necessarily linked.

Now, put that logic to work on yourself. Ideally, we should all respect ourselves. Unfortunately, however, we’re often our own worst critics. We tell ourselves each day that we’re not good enough. This negative type of thinking is often linked to poor self esteem. We have poor self esteem, for example, because many of our college peers currently have better jobs than we do. Our self respect, in turn, takes a hit because we’re placing our ideas of self worth on financial achievement instead of our basic personalities.

Self respect is, simply put, how we feel about ourselves when all achievements are stripped away. Do we like ourselves? Would we want to sit down and have lunch with ourselves? If the answer is no, it’s time to do some searching into what and who we are as people.

“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.” ― Adrienne Rich

Increasing Self Respect

Psychologists have devoted entire careers to this subject, but there are some quick exercises you can do to slowly and steadily increase your self respect.

Start by assessing your natural talents, gifts and abilities. Avoid anything related to power, money or finances. Instead, focus on who you are. Can you sing beautifully? Are you always quick to comfort a grieving friend? Do others come to you for an understanding ear when they’re having trouble? These are all inner qualities – ones which can’t be bought with all the money in the world.

Once you’ve assessed and identified your best qualities, remind yourself of them on a daily basis. This may feel silly at first, but keep at it. Lastly, eliminate any negative self-talk as well as negative friends and acquaintances. It’s difficult to rebuild a lifetime of broken self respect – you don’t need anybody holding you back!

“You are not an option, a choice or a soft place to land after a long battle. You were meant to be the one. If you can wrap yourself around the idea that you are something incredible, then you will stop excusing behavior that rapes your very soul. You were never meant to teach someone to love you. You were meant to be loved.” ― Shannon L. Alder

Positive Self Worth And Reject Negativity

Let Go Of Negative Self Talk In Your Life Today For A Happier Tomorrow

You’ve probably heard the term self worth many times. If you’re like many, however, you probably think that it’s just another way of saying self esteem. In reality, the two are different. Self worth is thought of by those in the field of psychology as your inherent value as a human being, while self esteem is usually more tied to a person’s outward appearance and accomplishments.

The enemy of both self worth and self esteem is self deprecation. This is, simply put, our way of putting ourselves down. One of the most classic examples is the person who receives a compliment and immediately denies it. We are “trained” from a very young age that acknowledging our own worth is somehow vain, conceited or otherwise wrong. Our parents and other teachers didn’t know they were instilling these negative values in us – in fact, they were raised the very same way!

Thankfully, once you realize this, you’re well on your way to optimizing your self worth while, at the same time, eliminating self-deprecation. Below are three practical ways to do this.

“Strong people have a strong sense of self-worth and self-awareness; they don’t need the approval of others.” ― Roy T. Bennett

Stop Each Self Deprecating Statement and Thought

You already know the example of the poorly-taken compliment. You can probably think up loads more examples from your own life of times when somebody brought you into a positive light and you shut them down.

Eliminating these statements – both internal and verbal – is a big step toward increasing your feelings of self worth. Don’t worry about slipping up. Remember that this is a system of thinking which has been ingrained in you since a very early age. Simply take a step back and rephrase each self-deprecating statement or thought as soon as you recognize it. This is a hard process, but with dedication it can be done, and the results are well worth the time and effort.


Realizing Who You Are

This is a deceptively simple statement when it comes to self worth. You may think that you know who you are. However, if you were asked, you’d probably give an answer that has something to do with your accomplishments. Many people, for example, identify themselves as their occupation: “I’m a doctor,” or “I’m a waitress.” While these statements are true, they ignore what a person truly is, without labels or other factors.

Realizing that you are a unique human being with valuable traits is one of the first steps to increasing your self worth. What are your best qualities? Are you honest? Caring? Intelligent? Spend some time thinking about this question. If necessary, ask friends and family for honest answers. Each day, remind yourself of these things. In time, you’ll see that what you do for a living is nothing compared to who you truly are inside.


Surround Yourself with Positive People

We all have friends who build us up and make us feel good about ourselves. We also have those friends who, somehow, always manage to make us feel bad. These people are, quite literally, toxic to our sense of self worth. Talk with them about their negative thoughts and conversation patterns. If this doesn’t work, distance yourself from them as much as possible. They bring everybody around them down, and you simply don’t need that added stress on your journey toward a healthy sense of self worth.