How to Improve Self-Esteem and Why It Matters


How to Improve Self-Esteem and Why It Matters

What is Self-esteem?

Self-esteem refers to a person’s belief about their own worth and value. How we value ourselves affects the way we think, feel and act, and it influences our choices and decisions. Self-esteem is not only how you feel about yourself, but it is also respecting yourself as a whole. It is believing that you and your beliefs, ideas and feelings have worth. This can be a motivational factor in whether we take care of ourselves or not and explore our full potential. 

Why Self-esteem is Important

High self-esteem boosts mental well-being, helps you to handle adversity in a positive manner, and helps to develop healthy coping skills. People with high self-esteem are people who are motivated to take care of themselves and strive towards their personal goals and aspirations. People with lower self-esteem don’t tend to regard themselves as worthy of happy outcomes or capable of achieving them.

They may have the same kinds of goals as people with higher self-esteem, but they are generally less motivated to pursue them and consequently less resilient in terms of overcoming adversity. Low self-esteem can make you more vulnerable to depression, make it more difficult to have positive relationships and increase the possibility of risky behaviors.

Tips to Improve Self-esteem 

We are all in favor of positive self-esteem but fostering and improving it seems to be surprisingly tough. Let’s take a look at some actionable steps to feel good about ourselves. 

  • Stop and Question Your Negative Thinking — Don’t immediately believe all the thoughts you have; they are not always facts or rules! Question if your thoughts are catastrophic, overly illogical, judgmental, or unrealistic. 
  • Do a Social Media Cleanse — Determine who you can unfollow and get rid of accounts that don’t make you feel good. We’re all guilty of aimlessly scrolling through posts and losing sense of time. Instead, set a timer and determine when you want to purposefully check social media. 
  • Clean Your Environment — Your environment is a reflection of how you feel about yourself. The physical act of cleaning and housekeeping can reduce stress, depression and anxiety. 
  • Cut Out Toxic Friendships — Do you have friends that you don’t actually like spending time with or relationships that don’t serve you? Try weaning them from your life and replacing them with higher quality friendships. If you’re stuck with a toxic family member or colleague, try creating boundaries that help you feel comfortable. 
  • Identify Your Strengths — When we focus on our strengths, we become acutely aware of our skills, talents, and good qualities which increases our confidence. Try not to compare yourself to others, but rather approach people who inspire or challenge you. 

The need for positive self-esteem comes with psychological growth and the desire to trust ourselves, something we can all work on. Building up self-esteem takes time and determination, but it is absolutely possible! 

Authored by: Ilana Sancha, LMSW