Something that holds us all back at one point or another in our lives is lack of self esteem. Poor self-concept can keep us from taking risks, realizing our dreams, and even taking care of ourselves in ways that would move us forward in life.
Working on your confidence is key to creating the life that you desire. Healthy self esteem contributes to better relationships, more successes achieved, and more satisfaction with life in general.
Is higher self esteem and self-confidence within our reach? No matter what life has thrown at you, or what circumstances you have had to overcome on your pathway, there are some things that you can do right now, today, to begin feeling better about yourself. Start building up that reservoir of love and care for yourself that will propel you forward toward some of your hopes and dreams. By taking small but consistent steps daily to increase your belief in yourself and your abilities, you’ll soon find that there is no need to obtain approval from anyone else; you’ve established a deep reservoir of respect and reverence for yourself, one that you can draw on at any time.
Here are 12 killer actions that you can take to improve your self esteem:
1. Groom that body
It may seem like such a small thing to do, but it does make a world of difference. When you are happy with what you see in the mirror, you feel motivated to take care of yourself in all areas of your life. Never underestimate the power of a nice hot shower and some fresh clothing; take delight in fine-tuning your appearance by maintaining a nice haircut, grooming your eyebrows, and taking care of nails, hair, and skin. When you look your best, you feel better. You’ll be motivated to do much more just by having confidence in your look.
2. Dress for success
While it takes a strong and confident person to pull off a pair of sweatpants on a daily basis, over time you’ll find that this isn’t the way to reach for the stars. If your goals are somewhat loftier than finding solace at the gym or becoming a personal trainer that would justify that style of clothing, consider putting on the tailored look from time to time. Most offices have a dress code for a reason; people tend to be more productive if they are dressed for success. While there is no need to parade around in a tuxedo or cocktail dress on a regular basis, there is no harm in donning fine attire for a casual night on the town once in a while. You never know who you might connect within a chance meeting, and where these opportunities might take you as you build confidence.
3. Visualize your self-concept
If you’ve been living in Frumpville for awhile, your mental self-image is not doing you any favors. In order to bolster your confidence, it will be necessary to change your concept of who you are and what you deserve. What defines you? What kind of person do you wish to be? In order to move toward your best self, what must you let go of or change? Answering these questions and then learning to visualize the new you will move you forward toward that which you desire, rather than where you currently are.
4. Train that brain
Accentuate the positive … eliminate the negative. We are all somewhat conditioned to think in limited and negative terms, and it takes time to turn the mental boat around. Spend time in “meditation” each day. Sending yourself loving, affirmative, and positive thoughts may initially seem like you are telling yourself lies, but rest assured, your words are powerful beyond measure. The more you speak to yourself this way, the more you will begin to believe, and then act on, the suggestions you are giving yourself. Spend time each day in gratitude for where you currently are, and even more so for where you are headed. You are rewriting your destiny through your thoughts, so it’s time to take charge!
5. Phase out the negative
With this new trend in positive thinking, it will be necessary to kill negative thinking when it does arise, and it will. Simply being aware of the thoughts that move through your consciousness will show you what you need to change and replace with your new habit of positive thinking. The more you observe your old patterns without judgment, the easier it will be to replace this stinking thinking with a more positive and gentle way of dealing with yourself. Be consistent, and keep going. Things will change.
6. Get to know yourself
Sun Tzu once said, “Know yourself well and you will win all battles.” Wiser words are hard to come by. A person who knows himself inside and out and is aware of strengths, weaknesses, struggles, and triumphs knows what needs to be worked on. He is accepting of both strengths and faults, and he works toward self-realization by loving himself enough to make necessary changes. Dig deep, find out what your beliefs and motivations are, and work with them to create a life, both inner and outer, that you are proud of.
7. A little less talk, a lot more action
Thinking positive is one thing; acting in positive and proactive ways is a more concrete step toward success with self esteem. When you begin to act on these positive promptings, you change yourself one action at a time. Channel your energy in positive ways and look for ways to build other people up, and it will become easier to talk to yourself in this manner as well. Take consistent steps in this new positive direction, and your efforts will be compounded and your life dramatically improved.
8. Treat others as you are learning to treat yourself
With this newfound self-respect comes a desire to help others feel better about themselves as well. Practicing the Golden Rule will improve the lives of others, and as you act in kind and loving ways for the good of all involved, you will start to feel really, really good about yourself. Pay it forward, and you will build self esteem that you didn’t believe was possible.
9. Prepare yourself
Whether you are preparing for the next big exam, prepping for an interview, or you have a big presentation coming due for your boss and the board, it’s hard to feel good about yourself if you don’t meet life’s challenges with adequate preparation. Build self esteem by preparing for whatever life is placing before you, and you’ll feel better as you navigate through the unique challenges that you are offered. Carpe Diem!
10. Live with integrity
What things are most important to you? What drives you to get out of bed in the morning? Which key principles do you live your life by, and what gives you passion and purpose as you move through your day? Knowing what drives you will allow you to live and act with integrity, dealing with others in ways that makes them feel honored and that makes you feel good. Living in accordance with the Golden Rule, for example, will ensure that you leave behind a clean karmic slate, and that others must ultimately be responsible for their thoughts, words, and actions. Live and act in such a way that your conscience is clear when your head hits the pillow at night, and you’ll wake up bursting with a healthy dose of self esteem.
11. Speak slowly and with purpose
It may sound funny, but if listen to an authoritative person speak, you realize they do so slowly, and with purpose. Your words will hold more weight, and therefore more credibility, with those who choose to listen to you. Build self esteem by speaking both to people that you know and people that you don’t know. Over time, your audience and your confidence will grow as you realize that you do have important things to say, and that others want to hear your words of wisdom.
12. Be grateful
This practice is a game changer in life. The more you can be grateful for what is already transpiring in your world, the more it will inspire you to do things and become the person you truly want to be. Nothing builds self esteem like looking around at all the goodness that surrounds you, even the little things in life, and realizing that you have had a hand in bringing about all of this goodness. Practice a daily attitude of gratitude and build self esteem by continuing to bring more joy and more goodness into your already amazing life. You truly do have much to be grateful for.
Walt Disney, an amazing icon who knew the secrets of making manifest his own dreams, summarized it perfectly when he talked about the secrets to making dreams come true. He says, “I can’t believe there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making his dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C’s. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.”
The process of growth and self-development is a lifelong journey, but one that is filled with joy and discovery as you learn new things about yourself and foster unshakable self esteem. You must do the work, but the payoff is enormous and life changing. What are you waiting for? Start on the pathway today to a stronger, more confident you!