3 Fast Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is basically about having a positive and realistic sense of who you are. For StrongBlackWomen in need of healing, that sense of who you are is colored in part by your tendency to lose sight of YOUR gifts and needs, and confusion in your identity. You may also be burying your goals in favor of helping others reach theirs.
Analyze your work and life patterns – are you seeing stress-related health behaviors like lack of sleep, emotional and / or binge eating, or excessive smoking? These negative health consequences limit your effectiveness and prevent you from being your best.
Ideally, you would be convinced of your abundant strengths and your abilities, and at the same time, recognize the areas where you could use a little more work.
While your childhood experiences can influence your level of self-esteem for better or worse, there’s a lot you can do – intentionally – as an adult to boost your confidence. Study these tips for building up your sense of self-worth, and apply them to your own circumstances.
Prioritize an Organized Faith or Spiritual Practice
For many of us, our faith – or for some a spiritual practice – defines who we are and informs our purpose in life. Let your choice show you how valuable you are, and how precious your life is.
Meditate and pray. Set aside time each day to connect with the divine, the spiritual, the positive – however YOU define it. Create a quiet space – a sanctuary – where you can sit down and still your mind.
Read inspirational messages. Pick up a few books by a spiritual or religious leader you admire and relate to. If you’re looking for new ideas, browse online and ask your friends what they’re reading.
Discuss your beliefs. Clarify your thinking and challenge your assumptions by talking with others who do not share your path in addition to those who do. You’ll deepen your understanding of your faith, your spiritual path, and discover how to put your beliefs into action.
Embrace your individuality. Your faith will help you to respect your unique gifts and give you the courage to be yourself. Authenticity is the basis of true confidence, and a path to empowerment.
Appreciate Your Accomplishments
Each action we take – each thought we dwell on, each sentence we speak out loud – reinforces our self-esteem or tears it down. Learn to make choices that will help you to take care of yourself.
Make a list. Think about your past victories and accomplishments and the patterns that they suggest. Maybe you perform well when you collaborate with others or narrow your focus to a few top priorities.
Align your actions with your values. Think about what you value and how your actions support your core beliefs. Examine which choices cause stress or create peace of mind for you. Reduce the number of negative stress-causers wherever possible.
Take risks. Feeling confident and capable helps you to reach beyond your comfort zone and lean into your potential. Audition for a part in the next production at your local community theater or volunteer for a tough assignment at work.
Persevere through obstacles. It’s easy to say you have a goal, but tougher to see it through the rough patches to completion. High self-esteem helps you to overcome setbacks because you will KNOW that you’re worth the effort.
Cultivate Social Support
While we’re ultimately responsible for developing our own self-esteem, interactions with others can play a powerful role. Use your relationships to strengthen your belief in yourself.
Turn to supportive friends and family. Rely on family rituals that contribute to your sense of self-worth, and work on changing the dynamics that seem counterproductive. Sometimes you’ll find similar support among friends.
Deepen and add friendships. Are your daily interactions with others mostly about work? Try developing friendships that allow you to disclose your inner thoughts so that others can know you more fully and support you on a more profound level.
Evaluate your romantic life. How you perceive yourself has a powerful impact on how you handle dating and marriage. Talk with your current or potential romantic partners or with about what you can do to respect each other’s feelings.
Love and accept yourself for who you are. As you build your self-esteem, you’ll be more likely to make sound decisions and fulfill your goals. You’ll know that you are worthy of respect and dignity.