Building high self-esteem isn’t like building muscles.
There are no exercises or specific routines to get you started. You don’t necessarily need to read more books or know more (though this can help).
Instead, what you need is a better understanding of who you are and what you are capable of as a full-fledged human being.
You are a powerful creature. The president of the United States and a top celebrity in Hollywood have just the same potential as you.
But what sets them apart is that they built a mindset that made them able to harness their potential to the fullest.
When you have your mind in the right place, it becomes natural to live in a flourishing manner. It’s not rocket science, it’s about understanding yourself and seeing life through the proper lens.
That said, here are 7 things you can do to boost your self-esteem and confidence.
1. Take On The Responsibility Of Meaningful Living
There’s something undeniably remarkable about responsibility: It transforms us.
The thing is, every human being has the freedom to choose to behave in whatever way they see fit.
But the downside of this freedom is that we often choose the path of least resistance, and it’s no wonder why.
And the price we pay for this of course is that we remain emotional infants. Why? It is not age that makes us grow, it’s responsibility. Biological growth happens naturally, whether we like it or not. And it’s irreversible.
Emotional growth, on the other hand, has a price. It has to be deliberately chosen by those who are ready to handle the burden of transformation.
What does this have to do with self-esteem?
Here’s the thing: The more responsibility you handle, the more meaningful your life will feel. In fact, without a burden of some sort, you cannot grow, and life doesn’t have meaning.
2. Develop Yourself
What does it mean to develop yourself?
Look at it this way:
Every human being has infinite potential. Meaning, there’s a probability of you becoming just about anything.
But as exciting as this may seem, it is a bad thing. Why? Well, everything means nothing.
You, therefore, have to cut down your infinite potential into something tangible that you can actually work on. This is where self-improvement comes in.
Self-improvement has to do with you discovering and building yourself in a deliberate and well-informed manner. It means that you look at your life as honestly as possible and pick out those things that need reshaping in your life.
It means you stop sweeping dirt under the carpet. It means you stop doing the things you know you shouldn’t do.
It means you have an aim and a direction so that you don’t dart around aimlessly and become angry, resentful, bitter, and depressed when you are 40.
When you develop yourself, your worth will increase both in your own eyes and in the eyes of others. The process of transformation alone is enough to alter your perception of yourself and boost your self-esteem.
3. Master A Skill
It is impossible to master any skill and not experience a significant boost in your self-evaluation.
Why? A skill is undeniable evidence that you are a valuable person. When you have one, it means people can depend on you for something.
Look at it this way.
Learning a skill goes beyond the skill itself. Before you can master anything like painting, writing, the piano, guitar, selling, public speaking, etc., you have to go through a process.
There, you’ll learn to fail and rise. You’ll take criticisms, you’ll learn patience, and you’ll have a more realistic evaluation of your abilities. You’ll learn to go through drudgery and sometimes boredom.
This process will transform and toughen your mind.
No one learns a difficult skill and comes out at the other end the same. Why? You are not just mastering the skill, you are mastering yourself.
4. Find the Right Company
The wrong circle of friends will ruin your self-esteem.
Here’s the hard truth:
We all like to think that our evaluation of ourselves can be totally independent of how others see us, but this is an illusion.
Of course, the effect can be very low in some people who have conquered their need for approval. ut to totally ignore what others think of you is impractical.
We will always care to an extent (consciously or subconsciously) about what others think of us. Hence, the need to have the right company.
You need to hang around sincere, honest, and — most importantly — secure friends.
Why? When your friends are insecure, they are going to quickly exploit your weaknesses. They’ll playfully give off comments that will poke holes in your self-evaluation.
If you want to build your self-esteem, hang around people who will understand and empathize with you especially in your bad days, not those who will use it against you.
5. Build the “Grass Isn’t Greener” Mindset
If you have low self-esteem, chances are, you compare yourself to an unrealistic image of others a lot. This is called “The grass is greener syndrome.”
Low self-esteem by definition means you feel lesser in comparison to others. And the reason people usually feel this way is because they think others have it more together than they do.
And maybe you’re right. But one thing that is also true is that no one is perfect. Everyone has a dark aspect to their life.
Hence, learn to look at the things you have that others don’t.
Bring out the great aspect of your nature that makes you stand out in some way and make it shine. It’s that simple. Make yourself enviable as well.
Understand that you’ll never be enough until you start to deliberately find out reasons within yourself to prove that you are in fact more than enough.
We all have great aspects to our nature that we can brush up and glow from. But we often ignore it. Why? It is an unfortunate law of human nature that we will disregard what’s easily available.
We think the perfect image of a celebrity on Instagram makes them better than us. Meanwhile, if you look deeply, you’ll see that we are hardworking, honest, valuable, and beautiful souls.
If you want to build your self-esteem, stop being unfair to yourself. The grass isn’t always greener.
6. Stop Pursuing Positive Emotions
Pursuing positive emotions will only create a loop of negative emotions.
Sometimes, when we think we are depressed or miserable, we are merely just exaggerating a negative emotion that everyone goes through once in a while.
The thing is, you’ve gotten too used to the idea that if you don’t feel good about yourself, there’s something wrong with you.
The average person wants to be excited all the time, or at least, not be depressed.
But this is simply unrealistic. Life is hard and full of suffering.
It’s okay to feel down when you hit a wall with your goals and aspiration.
It doesn’t mean your life is bad, it only means you’re going through a down moment that will pass eventually.
When you feel bad, don’t try to suppress. Instead, try and understand why you feel the way you do. Maybe something terrible just happened. Maybe you’re undergoing a transition into adulthood. Or getting used to living alone in college.
Understand yourself and see your situation for what it is.
Trying to fight every negative emotion off as something bad will only reinforce it and lead t0 something worse.
7. Embrace Human Nature
When you see your flaws as a sign of weakness, you’ll feel like a failure whenever you make even the thinnest inconsequential mistakes.
But what people with low self-esteem often forget is that human nature itself is fundamentally flawed. In fact, the only thing we all certainly have in common is our imperfectness.
High self-esteem doesn’t come from never making any mistakes, it comes from embracing yourself in your totality, warts and all.
You must understand that you are not your mistakes. Having a weakness doesn’t make you a weak person, it makes you human. Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes.
See your flaws and weakness as a chance for gr0wth. See them as undiscovered territories which you will carefully explore to grow and become a better version of yourself.
Building high self-esteem depends largely on changing how you see yourself and others.
In a general sense, people with low self-esteem think there’s something about others that makes them so different.
They think they are not good-looking or social enough. They measure themselves up against the most pleasant thing about others.
And without knowing, they are comparing themselves to an image that doesn’t exist.
Therefore, if you want to build high self-esteem, learn to build a more positive evaluation of yourself. Understand that we are all humans and nothing really makes anyone above the other.
We all have our weaknesses which we are ever so skilled as concealing from others.
Therefore, be more trusting and loving of who you are. Be grateful for where you are right now, and support yourself to be the best version of yourself possible.