Whether it’s positive or negative, your self-esteem colors your whole life.
Self-esteem governs how you see yourself, and your place in the world, and it influences how you interact with others, from holding your head high to standing up straight.
It’s the difference between going out and trying to get that new job or hanging back at the company holiday party because you’re sure that no one would want to talk to you.
It’s the difference between joining in that pick up game of basketball or avoiding social settings.
You might feel that your self-esteem is something you’re stuck with. After all, you might have been struggling with it for so long, it seems fixed.
Self esteem is not immutable, though. You, yes you, can build your own self-esteem (if you’re not careful with yourself, you can also tear it down). It doesn’t have to be an expensive, time consuming, or even dramatic process.
Small steps taken every day can go a long way in helping you to feel better about yourself and reclaim your self-esteem. You can start today, and you can start right now.
Long-term, positive change is truly within your reach.
Here’s a list of more than two dozen simple ways to build your own self-esteem.
1. Make a list of your positive qualities. Set a timer for 2 minutes and see how many you can list.
2. Spend extra time on your grooming. A few extra minutes getting a close shave, styling your hair, or applying makeup more carefully can make you feel like a million bucks.
3. Let go of perfectionism. You’ll always fall short and feel bad about yourself if you try to be perfect.
4. Remember your greatest triumphs. You’ll give a quick boost to your self-esteem.
5. Try something new. It’s hard to feel good when your life is 100% predictable. Do something new today.
6. Avoid comparing yourself to others. Everyone is better than you in one way or another. You’re better than everyone else, too.
7. Spend an hour only thinking positive thoughts. You might just enjoy it enough to continue for the entire day.
8. Do something that frightens you. You could go to the pet store and hold a snake or walk up to a stranger and strike up a conversation.
9. Be kind to someone you don’t have to be kind to. Show yourself that you’re a good person.
10. Get something done ahead of schedule. It feels bad to be late with a project or obligation. Be early!
11. Prepare the night before. Hit the ground running with a plan in place.
12. Do something you’re good at and enjoy doing. Excelling at something is comforting and confidence-building.
13. Stand up straight. Your physiology leads your psychology.
14. Set and achieve a small goal. It could be as simple as flossing each day.
15. Drop one, small, bad habit. It might be your morning triple latte or staying up past 11:00pm during the week.
16. Look everyone in the eye. Good eye contact will increase your confidence and self-esteem.
17. Exercise. When you’re taking care of yourself, you feel better about yourself.
18. Be grateful. Gratitude makes you feel better about your life.
19. Dress up a little. Take your clothing up a notch for today.
20. Make a list of the positive things in your life. Let go of the negative.
21. Start a new hobby you’ve been putting off. Go to the pawnshop and buy that guitar. Get the canvas, paints, and brushes you’ve been eyeing at the art store.
22. Say no. Say “no” to one optional activity that you don’t enjoy doing.
23. Create a vision for the future. What would your ideal life look like?
24. Give your opinion freely. Don’t tell the woman in the next cubicle that she looks fat in her new skirt. But speak up and voice your opinion when no one’s feelings are at stake.
25. Contribute. Volunteer or give of yourself in some other way.
Reclaiming your self-esteem after being cheated on is a process, and by working on it a little bit every day, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you might see progress.
Focus on one or two of the ideas presented here to get started, and add one or two more as you feel more comfortable. There’s no right or wrong way to do it; the important thing is to make the decision to work on your self-esteem, and then follow through.
There are bound to be slow downs or bumps in the road, but keep going. If one of these ways doesn’t feel like it’s helping you, try another.
It’s a journey. Your journey!