A Complete Guide in 14 Simple Steps on how to boost your Self-Esteem. I think you’ll agree with me that strong self-esteem is the foundation for a happy life.
“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” ~ Malcolm S. Forbes
In this article, I will show you a complete guide in 14 simple steps on how to boost your self-esteem. So that you go from being your biggest critic back to being your best friend.
You will learn:
- What weakens self-esteem (and how you can avoid such behaviors).
- Why you, of all people, may have low self-esteem.
How low self-esteem can develop (and why you are often not to blame for it).
and of course my 14 tips and exercises on how to improve your self-esteem.
Sound good to you? Then let’s get right to the complete guide in 14 simple steps on how to boost your self-esteem.
What really weakens your self-esteem
Maybe you know this: Your inner critic has nothing better to do all day than to tell you what you can’t do and why you are inferior. This is exhausting and makes life difficult.
Can you hear it right now, this inner voice?
Maybe it is commenting on this article. It is responsible for the fact that you sometimes can’t see your value as a human being clearly.
But between you and me, that voice is nothing more than a voice. It babbles endlessly.
When we believe everything it says – we feel bad. High self-esteem arises automatically when we get more distance from this voice.
“Here I am – there is the voice.”
“She is a voice and not my voice.”
A Complete Guide in 14 Simple Steps on how to boost your Self-Esteem.
What it means for your life to have low self-esteem
How your self-esteem is pronounced determines, whether you live with ease and joy, or with stress, anxiety, and feelings of inferiority.
It determines whether you live in a fulfilling relationship, and you can speak authentically with people. And whether you can calmly master all of life’s challenges.
Above all, people with high self-esteem know that they deserve happiness and success. This belief gives energy and motivation.
The equation is simple: if you don’t give yourself a happy life, success, and good feelings (subconsciously), you won’t get any of them.
At the same time, if you strengthen your self-esteem, many problems will almost solve themselves.
Imagine what effect it would have on your life if you learn to accept and love yourself and always be your own best friend!
Why you maybe have a bad self-esteem
But it is exactly this loving attitude towards oneself that many people lack. They are overly critical of themselves.
In addition, they assume that they will fail anyway (and all people will reject them directly).
Unfortunately, many people had experiences in their childhood where they were belittled. They got little attention and always had to perform for love.
If they showed themselves vulnerable, there was rejection instead of compassion.
Even though these experiences may date back decades, they continue to shape many people’s entire lives.
A Complete Guide in 14 Simple Steps on how to boost your Self-Esteem.
Lack of self-esteem – the inner critic is to blame
Such experiences then give rise to thoughts such as:
“You can’t do anything.”
“Nothing will come of you.”
“Why do you always have to do everything wrong?”
“Why do you always have to act so strangely?”
“You can’t handle it anyway.”
What’s particularly interesting is that those words like these rarely come out of the mouths of others. They come out of our (mental) mouths.
This has drifted so deeply into our subconscious that we no longer consciously notice it and therefore cannot question it.
However, we notice the effects very clearly. We feel inferior, shy, and simply wrong.
Why it never really works out with being happy.
No matter how intensively we try to live happily – there is this unconscious voice inside us that doesn’t want us to succeed and sooner or later sabotages us.
It makes us feel extremely uncomfortable in our skin and often tense and insecure.
Great, (often social) anxiety is our constant companion and life feels like a long, exhausting struggle with no prospect of reward.
Therefore, there is only one way to strengthen your self-esteem: start with yourself and improve your relationship with yourself. Sure, we want to work with the outside world, but the real world is inside.
Strengthening your self-esteem is a process
It won’t get you anywhere if you keep telling yourself that you’re a lovable person – as long as your subconscious mind has a completely different opinion, you’re screwed.
So, unfortunately, you won’t build your self-esteem in 5 minutes.
That is the bad news.
The good news is: You can do something – a lot (and even more than most people think).
Take this challenge now – it will have a positive impact on every area of your life.
You are the only person who can decide your worth
You are the only person who has the power to decide how you treat yourself now and in the future.
You can start today to treat yourself more lovingly and be more yourself. If you want to boost your self-esteem, you are the only person who can do that.
No other person can give you that. No professional success, dream partner, or vacation can do that either.
You have to start with yourself and gradually improve your relationship with yourself.
In the following, I will show you a complete guide in 14 simple steps on how to boost your self-esteem. And ways on how you can deal with yourself in a more loving and considerate way from now on.
Have fun with it – it can change your life.
“Of all the judgments we come to in life, none is as important as the one we make about ourselves.”~ Gerlinde Unverzagt
Tip #1: Respect yourself – stand by your wants and needs.
Life and other people will respect you to the exact degree that you respect yourself.
If we don’t give ourselves the respect we deserve, we won’t get it from others either.
True self-respect can only come from within. Start giving yourself respect.
From the act of self-respect comes the feeling of self-worth.
The only source of self-respect is to: Become your bigger fan and the most important person in your life. Learn to respect your needs as much as others.
Develop your own opinions and views – while always remaining open to constructive feedback.
Take some time to answer the following questions (preferably in writing):
What is important to me?
What are my limits (what are others allowed to do with me and what not)?
What are my wishes and dreams in life?
Again, you are the most important person in your life. Your needs matter, your desires are all worth realizing. Acknowledge and Honor that every day.
This is not an ego trip. It’s only when you pay attention to your needs that you can truly be a selfless advocate for others.
Tip #2: Self-compassion makes you happy
Self-compassion is recognizing that you are a valuable human being – no matter what you feel, do, or make.
Self-compassion helps us especially when something didn’t work out the way we thought it would.
First of all, making mistakes is normal. They are an inevitable part of life and personal development. But people with low self-esteem tend to relate mistakes to themselves as a person.
All of a sudden, we are bad as a whole because we didn’t make it to the gym this week.
Being self-compassionate means recognizing that everyone makes mistakes and that mistakes say nothing about our worth as a person.
Rather, we recognize that we are always valuable and we treat ourselves with leniency and benevolence – especially in difficult places. We build ourselves up instead of putting ourselves down.
What you can do now is to treat yourself the way you’d like others to treat you. How do you handle your friends when they make mistakes?
You build them up.
You support them.
You give them suggestions for solutions
Change the way you talk to yourself. Start talking to yourself more lovingly today.
Tip #3: Why complete self-acceptance will boost your self-esteem.
The more we try to “optimize” ourselves, the more we think there is something wrong with us. We would have to change ourselves first to be valuable.
Accepting yourself completely is the most important foundation for high self-esteem.
By the way, self-acceptance doesn’t mean finding everything about yourself great at once. It means allowing everything to be there in that moment.
Without this attitude, we are fighting a battle against ourselves that cannot be won.
Then we start trying to prove to ourselves that we are valuable by changing something about ourselves.
We believe we must first get rid of all fears or always be self-confident and open in order to be happy with ourselves.
This leads to nothing but enormous inner pressure and a whole lot of inauthenticity.
1. Accept your feelings for more self-esteem. Feelings are part of life. There is not a second when we do not feel anything.
But in the end, a feeling has never been able to touch a single hair on anyone’s head.
Nevertheless, we are at war with feelings. We can’t just leave them as they are. We frantically try to create more good feelings and keep negative feelings away from us.
Thus, we get caught up in a daily struggle, that is so really exhausting and destroys any joy in life.
What you can do now: Instead, allow all feelings to be with you. To do this, take a step back and observe your feelings as you notice them.
Be present with them, but not identified with them. Let go of any resistance to your feelings.
You can say to your feeling, “I allow you to be who you are. Welcome.”
The cool thing is: this will make your feelings much less stressful. They come and then they go. The only reason some feelings stay with you so stubbornly is because you hold on to them through your resistance.
When you accept them, you let them go at the same time.
2. Accept your actions
If I had known as much about online marketing 5 years ago as I know today, I would be in a completely different place. But I didn’t, and you know what? That’s a good thing too. I have accepted it.
I am firmly convinced: I am exactly at the place in my life right now where I am supposed to be. Here I can learn the lessons I am supposed to learn right now.
Five years ago, there were other lessons. Therefore, what I did 5 years ago was exactly right. It got me to where I am today and prepared me to learn what I am learning right now.
What you can do now is to accept everything you did (or didn’t do) in the past.
It made you the person you are. Allow yourself to acknowledge that you’ve always done your best to make yourself happy.
Sometimes it worked out better and sometimes it didn’t. But you’ve always tried. That is so freaking remarkable. Be proud of yourself for that!
3. Accept your weaknesses
Likewise, everyone has weaknesses. Nobody is perfect.
But you will glide through your life 10x as relaxed if you can accept that you will probably never be as good a dancer as Fred Astaire or as confident as James Bond.
There will always be things in your life that you really suck at. That’s perfectly fine and normal.
What you can do now: The sooner you accept it, the happier you’ll live.
No one in the whole world has only strengths. Everyone has their weaknesses – and so do you.
It’s how you deal with your weaknesses that make the difference.
From a state of acceptance, you can work much more effectively on turning your weaknesses into strengths.
Tip #4: With this trick, you don’t have to compare yourself with others anymore
Our society is superficial. It’s all about Instagram likes and the coolest vacation photos on social media.
Why do so many people tear themselves half a leg out just to have others look at their lives, be envious, and think “wow does he have a cool life”?
Quite simply, they want recognition from others.
And if nobody is interested in us? Then we are sad and blame everything on ourselves.
- “I’m not successful enough.”
- “I’m not beautiful enough.”
- “I’m not smart enough.”
- “…and a failure anyway.”
We can only feel good about ourselves when others allow us to do so through their approval. But this race cannot be won. We are always on hot coals because it is out of our control how other people react to us.
What you can do: Give yourself validation. Decide for yourself whether you can feel good about yourself. Set your own standards for when to praise yourself.
Celebrate your successes, no matter if others are 100x more successful. Be happy about your vacation, no matter if others give you “likes” for it.
Set the bar for what constitutes success for you as low as possible in the future. You won’t believe it, but there are people for whom the day is already a full success when they wake up and breathe.
Tip #5: Celebrate success – success attracts more success
Another huge step to more self-esteem – celebrate your successes! By that, I don’t mean once in a blue moon pay raises or graduating from college – but the daily, small successes.
You got up with the first alarm clock – do a jump and celebrate yourself.
You pushed through your fitness program – party time.
You wrote that email you’ve been avoiding for 3 days – “YESSSSS!”
A mentor of mine once said that this habit will determine whether you become “successful” or not.
Even if it feels a little weird at first – get into the habit and watch your life change for the better.
Tip #6: Gratitude: Your Prime Happiness Order.
Living gratitude is one of the keys to greater self-esteem.
Being grateful daily for what you already have and what’s going well makes you happy – and attracts more of what makes you happy. It’s kind of like an Amazon order on life that says, “More of this.”
But unfortunately, far too many people order more of what they already have every day. Bad feelings, failure, money problems, lousy relationships, and eternal failure.
What are they doing wrong? They focus way too much on what is not yet going their best.
As a result, they not only feel bad but produce more of the same. With daily gratitude, we change our focus to the things we want more of in our lives.
This feels good and leads to more joy in life.
What you can do now: Take 3-4 minutes each morning and write down at least five small things that you are grateful for from the bottom of your heart.
Just let it bubble out of you and don’t censor anything. I am grateful for the beautiful sunshine, my coffee, my body therapy, being able to make my day what I want it to be.
Tip #7: Be more self-respectful in interpersonal relationships.
If you’re afraid of conflict or arguing, that’s going to keep you unhappy in the long run. Sure, for now, the “head in the sand” tactic is more comfortable.
You get around a confrontation for now.
You will keep swallowing these emotions. This will cause you to be tense inside and lose all respect for yourself. Eventually, you let your values get trampled on without doing anything about it.
But for your self-esteem, this is the death blow.
What you can do now: You don’t have to directly address the biggest conflicts of your life. Start small. Address small things.
If it bothers you that someone always forgets to wash his plate – talk to him about it. Relax beforehand, take a deep breath, and above all, stay friendly.
Nothing is worse than slamming the energy of 5 years of suppressed charge at someone’s head all at once.
Tip #8: Forgive your parents
Forgive your parents. Assume that they took care of you as best they could. They were probably dealing with their own issues just as you are now. Just without the help and support of the internet.
With all of these in place, they certainly did their best to manage life and also parenting. They simply couldn’t do any better.
Remember, everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect. Honor that and be grateful to your parents for giving their best.
Tip #9: Accept compliments for more self-esteem
People with low self-esteem in particular have trouble accepting compliments.
They assume directly, their counterpart “says that only, so that it does not go me completely so badly”.
Fun fact: At least 95% of all compliments come from the heart. Another person notices something about you that they really admire – and shares it with you.
Just say “thank you” and savor it fully. Accept your inner resistance and insecurities, too – but still, stick to a simple “thank you.”
No complimenting back, no arguing – just enjoy.
Tip #10: What makes you realize the real you
Consciousness is on everyone’s lips. We are supposed to eat consciously, be conscious about packaging and the environment.
But what does it mean to live consciously?
Consciousness means that you are aware of what is happening right now – instead of flying around in the past or future.
It means that you are aware of your thoughts and feelings at this moment – but at the same time realize that you are not those thoughts and feelings (you are just noticing them).
When you are conscious like this, then you can consciously decide how and if you want to react to them – instead of being alienated by them.
Many people are 100% identified with their feelings and thoughts.
“I’m sad right now” for many people means withdrawing.
“I’m shy” means they need to hide.
If you are conscious, then you can observe your thoughts and feelings- that is the first step to high self-esteem.
You can then see that there is just the thought “I am not enough”, but it is just a thought that does not have to rule your whole life.
Eventually, you will see behind your limiting thoughts, feelings, and blockages and realize there what you really are – a lovable person exactly as you are.
What you can do now: Become more aware by living more mindfully. The less we let thoughts or the Facebook newsfeed pull us out of the here and now – the better we get ourselves.
So build mindfulness practices into your life. When you do one thing, do only that thing.
When you walk – walk.
When you do the dishes – do the dishes.
Be present with everything you notice as you do it.
Tip #11: More self-esteem in work, relationship, and health
The more choices we consciously align with our values and goals, the more fulfilling our lives will be.
If an important value is your health, but you rarely walk past a McDonalds’, then you are not living in alignment with your values.
Our self-respect increases the more we live in alignment with our values. Therefore, the first step to high self-esteem is to figure out your values.
What you can do now: Take your five most important areas of life and write down what is important to you in them.
Profession: freedom, security, creativity or…?
Relationship: loyalty, openness, freedom, trust, …?
Add to this list values that are important to you.
Also, ask yourself:
- “What exactly does this value look like for me in real life?”
- “How could I integrate these values even more into my life?
Tip #12: Follow your passion to strengthen your self-esteem.
The more you engage with yourself, the deeper your connection with yourself becomes. Especially when you really look deeply at what it is you want in this life.
Just allowing yourself the right to create your life the way you want shows you that you value yourself.
What you can do now: Ask yourself what your life would look like if it were perfect.
Don’t censor anything, don’t dismiss anything as “unrealistic.” Be the director of your life for a moment. You can freely decide how it should go.
- How would you live?
- How would you behave?
- What job would you do?
- What people would you surround yourself with?
- Where would you live?
I can tell you from personal experience how powerful these exercises are. The moment we roll all the bullshit aside and say to ourselves, “What if it were possible?” – these things come into our lives.
Because now we allow ourselves and also indulge ourselves.
Tip #13: How your fear of rejection slowly destroys your self-esteem
Often we don’t express our personality because we’re afraid others will be offended by us. Then we put on masks and try to figure out what we should do or say so that other people will like us.
This is very exhausting in the long run. Sometimes we are so busy pretending that we don’t really know who we are anymore.
But honestly, why would you want to be recognized by people who only like you when you’re pretending?
A little secret: Often people would accept us much more if we showed more of ourselves – but we don’t allow ourselves to. Most of all, we keep ourselves from being who we are.
Often it’s just a small leap. Deciding to just put yourself out there can make or break your self-esteem in the long run.
Pro tip: The trick here is not to expect any reaction from other people. Be who you want to be and accept any reaction from others.
Tip #14: Help others (from the heart)
A Complete Guide In 14 Simple Steps On How To Boost Your Self-Esteem. Helping other people is the ultimate development tool.
You experience that you are needed and can bring about change.
You also feel reconnected to others. This connectedness has a strong impact on your self-esteem because we humans are pack animals and this kind of connection is in our DNA – and is rewarded with good feelings.
Important: Don’t help other people because you expect something in return. Help them just for the sake of helping.
Start small. Mow the lawn of the retiree next door or carry an elderly lady’s groceries home.
I believe with determination and perseverance, this complete guide in 14 simple steps will help boost your self-esteem for a happier life.