Self-esteem is an important part of our mental and emotional well-being. It affects the way we think about ourselves, the way we interact with others, and the way we approach life’s challenges. Unfortunately, many people struggle with low self-esteem, which can hold them back from achieving their goals and living a happy, fulfilling life. Here are four keys to building self-esteem.
1. Practice self-acceptance
Self-acceptance is an important part of building self-esteem. When we accept ourselves, flaws and all, we can stop comparing ourselves to others and focus on our own unique strengths and abilities. Self-acceptance means acknowledging that we’re not perfect and that we make mistakes, but also recognizing that we’re worthy of love and respect.
To practice self-acceptance, try to focus on your strengths and accomplishments instead of your weaknesses and failures. Be kind and gentle with yourself, and treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding you would offer to a good friend. Recognize that no one is perfect and that it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them.
2. Set realistic goals
Setting realistic goals is an important part of building self-esteem. When we set achievable goals and work towards them, it can help us feel more competent and capable. However, it’s important to set goals that are challenging but also attainable. If we set our goals too high, we may become discouraged when we can’t reach them, which can damage our self-esteem.
To set realistic goals, think about what you want to achieve and break them down into smaller, achievable steps. Celebrate your progress along the way, and be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Remember that every step towards your goal is a step in the right direction.
3. Practice self-care
“You can’t pour from an empty cup” is a known saying that embodies the idea and importance of self-care. Taking care of ourselves is an important part of building self-esteem. When we prioritize our physical and emotional well-being, it can help us feel more confident and positive about ourselves. Self-care can take many forms, such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. It can also include activities that bring us joy and relaxation, such as reading, meditating, or spending time in nature.
To practice self-care, think about the things that make you feel good and make time for them. Prioritize your physical and emotional health, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or support when you need it. Taking care of yourself is not selfish, it’s essential for your well-being and happiness.
4. Surround yourself with positivity
The people that surround us can have a big impact on our self-esteem. When we spend time with people who are supportive, positive, and uplifting, it can help us feel better about ourselves. On the other hand, spending time with people who are negative, critical, or unsupportive can be damaging to our self-esteem.
To surround yourself with positivity, think about the relationships in your life and evaluate whether they’re helping or hurting your self-esteem. If you find that some relationships are draining or toxic, it may be time to distance yourself or set boundaries. Seek out relationships with people who are positive, kind, and supportive, and don’t be afraid to reach out to new people who share your interests and values. Adding a daily practice of gratitude has also been scientifically proven to boost your positivity.
Building self-esteem is a journey and a process that takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. When we have a positive view of ourselves, it can help us feel more confident and capable, which can lead to greater happiness and success. Jewish wisdom tells us that “a wealthy man is someone who is happy with their life portion”. Our sages are not referring to physical wealth, but rather the internal satisfaction that comes from strong self-esteem and the knowledge that everything we’ve been given in life is perfectly imperfect and good. This attitude creates the inner wealth they are speaking of. By practicing self-acceptance, setting realistic goals, practicing self-care, and surrounding ourselves with positivity, we can build a strong foundation for our self-esteem and create a more fulfilling life.
photo credit: Pawel Czerwinski