If you're looking to build up a positive sense of self-esteem try out some of these self-esteem building ideas. Increasing your self-confidence can lead to trying new things and feeling more capable of succeeding in making your dreams come true. With a good sense of self-esteem, you feel more confident. You might start your own business, go back to school, go after that dream job or land that dream date.
Say Nice Things to Yourself
Spend at least 10 minutes a day writing in a journal. Write down whatever is on your mind, good or bad, without judgment. Focus on identifying and changing the negative and critical self-talk (the mean things that you say to yourself, about yourself, your life or your actions) and creating positive things to say to yourself instead. For example, instead of judging yourself and thinking "You should have done this" you might replace this thought with something more positive, such as, "You did a good job with this."
Recognise the "Best" You
Make a list of all of the positive things about yourself and post it somewhere where you will see it everyday (such as on your bathroom mirror or on the steering wheel of your car). Spend a few minutes each day dwelling on your best qualities. People with low self-esteem tend to dwell on the negative and ignore their talents and successes. Purposely focusing the mind on the good instead of the bad will increase feelings of well-being and lead to increased self-confidence.
Create a Dream Book
Cut out pictures from magazines, draw pictures and collect poetry or other writing that speaks to you. Create a "dream book" representing the kind of life you want to have. Include what kind of work you'd like to be doing, the kind of people you want in your life, favourite hobbies and material things such as the type of home or car that you'd like to have in the future. Spend some time each week creating and adding to your dream book.
Make a "Grateful" List
Make a list of all the things for which you are grateful and read it daily. Focusing on gratitude and thankfulness can help create positive feelings, leading to an increased sense of self-esteem.
Create Positive Affirmations
An affirmation is a short statement that you say to yourself. For example, "Every day, and in every way, I am getting better and better" is a famous affirmation from Émile Coué. Other affirmations might have to do with areas of your life that you are trying to improve, such as saying, "I am calm," if you tend to be stressed, or "I can do this," if you feel like you are struggling to cope with a problem. Affirmations can be simple as long as the statement you repeat to yourself is positive and holds meaning for you.
Exercise to Release Endorphins
Exercise doesn't have to be brutal to increase self-esteem. Taking a daily walk or going swimming is enough to release endorphins into our system that help us feel good about ourselves and the world in a more positive light. If exercising daily also leads to maintaining a healthy weight or looking better in the mirror, then these results will also increase self-esteem.
Overcoming a Personal Fear
Overcoming something you fear releases all of the energy that was spent in thinking and worrying about what it was that you feared. This can be a powerful way to increase feelings of self-esteem. Overcoming a fear could be something small, such as giving a short speech in public if you are afraid of public speaking, or something large, such as driving on the freeway if you are afraid to drive, or speaking up during a conflict when you usually avoid conflict. The amount of energy released and the corresponding increased feelings of self-esteem are in proportion to the severity of the debilitating fear.
- Self-Esteem Activities: Self-Esteem Activities and Self-Esteem Building Tips
- University of Illinois Counseling Center: Self-Confidence
- The University of Queensland Student Center: Self-Confidence
- The Quotations Page: Emile Coue
- Lewis University Counseling Center: Self-Confidence
- Creations Magazine: "Exercise and Self-Esteem"; Robert D. Rice