Can self-esteem be improved?

Self-esteem refers to the way we view ourselves and our worth as individuals. It is a critical aspect of our mental and emotional well-being and can affect many areas of our lives, including our relationships, careers, and overall happiness. Low self-esteem can lead to negative self-talk, self-doubt, and a lack of confidence, while high self-esteem can lead to positive self-talk, self-assurance, and a sense of purpose. The question is, can self-esteem be improved? The short answer is yes, but it requires effort and a willingness to change. 


What is self-esteem? 

Self-esteem is a measure of our self-worth. It is the way we perceive ourselves and our abilities, and it can have a significant impact on our mental and emotional well-being. People with high self-esteem tend to have a positive outlook on life, are confident in their abilities, and are more likely to take risks and pursue their goals. On the other hand, people with low self-esteem tend to have a negative outlook on life, doubt their abilities, and are more likely to avoid challenges and opportunities. 

Ways to improve self-esteem 

Self-care, with the needs of others in mind

One of the ways to improve self-esteem is through self-care. Practising self-care involves taking care of our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. However, it's important to be mindful of others when we take care of ourselves, as it is easy to slip into selfishness when we are not intentional about our self-care. It's essential to find a balance between taking care of ourselves and being considerate of others' needs. This involves communicating with those around us and ensuring our self-care practices do not negatively impact them. By being mindful of others, we can build stronger relationships and improve our self-esteem. 

Surround yourself with encouraging people, even if it is not comfortable 

Surrounding ourselves with positive, supportive people can also help improve our self-esteem. However, it's important to note that sometimes encouragement is not initially pleasant, and we might not like what we hear. However, it is necessary to improve. Being around people who believe in us and encourage us can help us see ourselves more positively. These people can also challenge us to be better, to take risks, and to pursue our goals. While it may be uncomfortable, it's essential to surround ourselves with people who will push us to be our best selves. 

Understand and challenge negative thoughts

Negative self-talk is a common symptom of low self-esteem. We may tend to be overly critical of ourselves, focus on our weaknesses, and doubt our abilities. However, it's important to understand that these negative thoughts are not necessarily true. They may be a product of our fears and insecurities, rather than an accurate reflection of our abilities and worth. 

One way to understand and challenge negative thoughts is to practice cognitive restructuring. This involves identifying negative thoughts, examining the evidence for and against them, and replacing them with more positive and realistic thoughts. For example, if we have a negative thought like "I'm not good enough," we can challenge it by asking ourselves if there is any evidence to support this thought. We can also try to come up with more realistic and positive thoughts, such as "I have the skills and experience necessary to succeed." 

It's important to remember that challenging negative thoughts takes practice and patience. It's a skill that can be developed over time, and it may require the help of a life coach.

Set realistic goals

Setting realistic goals and achieving them can also help improve our self-esteem. When we set achievable goals, we build confidence in our abilities and feel a sense of accomplishment when we accomplish them. However, setting unrealistic goals can have the opposite effect, leading to frustration and disappointment. 

It's essential to set goals that are SMART - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Specific goals are clear and concise, with a defined outcome. Measurable goals allow us to track our progress and determine if we have achieved our desired outcome. Achievable goals are realistic and within our control. Relevant goals are aligned with our values, beliefs, and interests. Time-bound goals have a deadline, which gives us a sense of urgency and motivation.

It's also important to remember that setbacks and failures are a natural part of the goal-setting process. Instead of giving up when we face a setback, we can use it as an opportunity to learn and grow. By reflecting on what went wrong and how we can improve, we can build resilience and develop a growth mindset.

Practice self-compassion

Self-compassion involves treating ourselves with kindness and understanding, even when we make mistakes or face challenges. It's about extending the same compassion and empathy to ourselves that we would offer to a friend or loved one. By practising self-compassion, we can learn to be more forgiving and accepting of ourselves, which can improve our self-esteem. 

One way to practice self-compassion is to be mindful of our self-talk. Instead of being overly critical or judgmental, we can speak to ourselves with kindness and understanding. We can also remind ourselves that making mistakes and experiencing failures is a natural part of the human experience.

Self-esteem is a critical aspect of our mental and emotional well-being, and it can affect many areas of our lives. By practising mindful self-care, surrounding ourselves with positive and encouraging people, understanding and challenging negative thoughts, setting realistic goals, and practising self-compassion, we can build our self-esteem and lead happier, more fulfilling lives. It's important to remember that self-esteem can be improved, but it requires effort and a willingness to change.

I would love to be on your side on your journey towards increasing your self-esteem. Perhaps you might want to understand how the negative self-talk that now hinders your movement was created for protection purposes. Or you might want to explore practical ways to start healing past wounds. Either way, get in touch for a free consultation call to see how that would look for you. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Surbiton KT6 & London EC2R
Written by Madalina Galie, MAC, life coach with a therapeutic focus.
Surbiton KT6 & London EC2R

Hi, I'm Maddie. I work with people like you to claim a sense of power over their relationship dynamics. I help them understand what their life movement is so that they handle the next hurdle with courage and grace.

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