Figuring out how to build self esteem can be a very hard task, especially if it is so low that you feel like you can’t boost it. Despite the challenges you face, you are obviously reading this because you want to try, and that is a step in the right direction. Here are eight easy tips that, with practice, can teach you how to build self esteem.

1. Fake it till you make it.

Fake it till you make it means to pretend that a variety of things are bringing you joy. Start small. Practice laughing at jokes on your favorite sitcom. Practice smiling at babies even if you don’t feel like smiling. Go to a pond on a beautiful day, enjoy the breeze, and feed the birds. It takes 21 days to develop a habit so eventually (after all of the forced smiling and laughing) you will find that it starts to come more naturally and that you actually feel good when doing these things. Feeling happy automatically raises your self esteem because it helps you feel more comfortable in your own skin.

2. Volunteer to help less fortunate people.

This almost sounds a little bit selfish. You are supposed to selflessly help people because they need help, not help them to make yourself feel good, right? Well, here is the truth: less fortunate people are appreciative of your help no matter what fueled you to help them.

Helping the less fortunate can boost your self esteem in a couple of different ways. First you will begin to see that your circumstances could be much worse than they are, which will help you to appreciate your circumstances more. Secondly, helping others is an instant happiness boost. Studies show that people who regularly help others are 12% to 16% happier than if they didn’t. Being happier equals higher self esteem.

3. Learn to separate yourself from your circumstances.

Your circumstances are not who you are. Maybe you live in a crappy apartment, but that doesn’t make you a crappy person. Circumstances can change. All it takes is some effort and hard work. Separate your personal self from your circumstances and you will begin to feel a little better.

4. Don’t focus on things that you can’t change.

There are just some things about yourself that you will never be able to change. If you are constantly worried about things you can’t change, then you will always be worried because you can’t change them. Over time, this can be a major hit to your self esteem. Instead, focus on things you can change. It is okay to long for self-improvement. As you pursue your self-improvement goals, you will start feeling better about yourself. Remember, don’t pursue things that you can’t change.

5. Stop trying to control other people.

If you are always trying to gain everyone’s approval, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of misery. You can’t control how other people feel, think, or speak. What you can control is yourself, so you practice being positive and nice to yourself. Being nice to yourself can do wonders for your self esteem.

self esteem

6. Set yourself up for success.

Consistently missing goals is a reason that many people suffer from low self esteem. A lot of times people set themselves up for failure by setting unattainable goals or by setting goals that are too large, broad, or vague. Change this dynamic by breaking goals down into smaller, easier tasks or mini-goals. This way when you achieve them, you feel great.

7. Celebrate the small victories.

After you achieve your mini-goals, a great way to build self esteem even more is to celebrate the win. This doesn’t necessarily mean to throw a party (unless that’s what you really want) but do something nice for yourself that motivates you to achieve the next goal.

8. Exercise.

Research has shown that exercise releases “feel-good” chemicals called endorphins. This instantly puts you in a good mood and being in a good mood is essential to building self esteem. Not only will you have the benefits of endorphins but you will be healthier, which can also build your self-esteem.

Boost self esteem

Overall, Just Appreciate Yourself.

High self esteem is greatly influenced by self-appearance. It is also correlated with positive and negative thinking. If you see yourself in a positive manner, your self-esteem will increase. So always find reasons to genuinely praise yourself.

This is easier said than done; many people with low self-esteem frequently feel overwhelmed. It’s okay if you have to start small; maybe start with one step and work your way up (remember those mini-goals!). As you get comfortable with one step, incorporate more and soon your self-esteem will be at a solid high.