Tools to Develop Self esteem

Here are 25 steps for developing self-esteem:

  1. Figure out what your problem is. Realize your problem isn’t who you are, it’s what you have used to protect your physical and emotional well being. It’s hiding who you are: a beautiful human being, a wonderful source of awareness, knowledge, creativity, love and joy. If you practice self-esteem based on the faith that this is who you really are, then your problem will dissolve.

  2. Figure out who you are. Take self-evaluation quizzes. Learn as much as you can about who you are and why you think and feel the way you do. Self-knowledge is a key to success.

  3. Decide what you can and can’t control. Change and act on the things that are in your control and release the things that are out of your control.

  4. Accept responsibility. Finding self-confidence requires accepting responsibility for your own happiness, and recognizing that you are a product not only of your genetic code and your environment, but of the choices you make. Begin your day with the words “I am responsible.”

  5. Make anxiety your ally. Write down your worries for 30 days. Nagging concerns that loom so large in your imagination lose their power on paper. Amazingly, after writing them down the anxieties begin to fade.

  6. Recognize that mistakes are opportunities. Keep the setback in perspective. Most mistakes are not personal tragedies; rather they are problems you now have the opportunity to solve. “Success,” is often a string of failed attempts to get it right.

  7. Compete to improve yourself not to beat someone else.

  8. Be ambitious. When setting goals, remember that you are distinct from what you have and what you seem to be. If you let others define who you are, you may not find happiness. Pursue your own dreams — not your parent’s, mate’s, or your best friend’s.

  9. Be brave and take risks. Don’t be afraid of mistakes. Risk-taking builds confidence. When considering any risk: define a clear goal. Review the positive, practical and potential losses. Determine whether the risk is one of trust, identity or something larger. When you focus on risks that have a larger purpose, you can’t go wrong. Even if the risk doesn’t turn out as you hoped it would, you will gain from it. Act. Take a risk. Be confident — you have earned it.

  10. Think and speak positively. If you hear a compliment or positive statement about someone you know pass that compliment on to them. An Arabian proverb puts it neatly: Blessed is he who speaks a kindness; thrice blessed he who repeats it.

  11. Learn something new. Create a new hobby. Increase your vocabulary one word a week. Take on a new physical challenge or activity.

  12. Spend time investing in your personal growth. This enables joy to flourish amid the fears and difficulties of life. Read self-help books and act on the knowledge.

  13. Decisions: the next time you ponder a decision, think of everything that could go right and say to yourself, “What do I have to lose, really?

  14. Smile and be courteous. Use the words please and thank you consistently.

  15. Be aware of media’s messages. Their goal is to make you feel bad about yourself so you will buy what they are selling.

  16. Keep good company. Positive feeds positive and negative breeds negative. If you choose to be around positive people you in turn will become more positive.

  17. Reward yourself. Give yourself and others positive rewards for being and doing well.

  18. Don’t accept messages that damage your own self-esteem. It is much easier to improve or change your behavior when you believe you are lovable and capable.

  19. Be aware of the different messages that you hear in your head and remember to turn up the volume on the messages that contribute to your positive self-esteem and to turn down the volume on any message that encourages you to think negatively about your worth or ability.

  20. You can improve the quality of messages you have in your head about being lovable and capable. Use “how to” statements in your head and take action on the answers you receive. Repeat positive affirmations to yourself & out loud as much as possible.

  21. Negative messages can build esteem as long a they are not attacking your self worth or defining yourself as incapable. Properly delivered negative messages say “I care about myself. I am a worthwhile person and I can learn how to do things better.”

  22. Any thoughts that take us away from a positive feeling are not worth having or defending. If you want to be happy, follow your happy feelings, not your unhappy ones.

  23. The moment you hear a critical remark, ask yourself, “What’s on this person’s screen?” Assume that all critical remarks arise from some shortcoming. Remember that people can only criticize what’s on their screen and that their screens are not reliable. It’s very unlikely that any criticism is based on an accurate perception of you. It’s much more likely that the critic is reacting to emotions, memories, and behavior patterns that have almost nothing to do with you. Thinking poorly about yourself because of such critics is a mistake. When someone criticizes you do and say the following: Smile and say to yourself, “Boy, I wonder what’s on their screen to make them so critical of me?” Remember it’s about them not about you.

  24. Remember that all criticism shares one characteristic: it is unwelcome. You didn’t invite people to dump the distorted contents of their screen on you. You may feel that you owe some critics a response, but you never owe a critic your self-esteem.

  25. A small success can bring big feeling of competence. Small steps lead to more steps. Pat your self on the back every time you make a small success. Every step counts. Take one step at a time in a positive direction, this is the practice of self-esteem.

  26. NOTE: Many times when we have low self-esteem there is some overlooked forgiveness that needs to take place in order for us to move forward and feel better about ourselves.  See the article titled Self-esteem – Stopping Your Inner Critic.