Self-esteem refers to how we view ourselves; our perceptions and beliefs in who we are and what we are capable of. It means appreciating yourself for who you are- faults and all.
It is normal for someone to feel down about himself from time to time but when this happens all the time, and such a person constantly has negative ideas about their own value and self-worth, it is usually an indication of low self-esteem. Low self-esteem can be caused by poor academic performance, abuse, loneliness, bullying, and failing at something repeatedly, etc.
The first step to take if you want to improve your self-esteem is to change how you see yourself. Cultivate a positive attitude towards yourself. It might not be easy at first but it will go a long way towards helping you build your self-esteem. Anytime you catch yourself being critical or negative about yourself, stop! If you keep telling yourself you’re not good for anything, you might just start to believe it even though it’s not true.
The next step is to make a list of the things you’re good at, and focus on these things.
Make an inventory of your accomplishments. It might not seem much to you, but they are your accomplishments and you should be proud of them. It might be big or small; whether it’s learning a craft or getting good grade in an exam. When you feel down, take this list and use it to remind yourself of how great you are. This will also help you in being more positive towards yourself.
Furthermore, take something you’re good at, develop it and make yourself very good in that area. In fact, be the best you can be in that area. This will definitely give your self-esteem a big boost.
Also, don’t compare yourself to others. Accept yourself for who you are.
Whatever you do, try not to measure your own worth against other people. If you do this, you might feel yourself falling short every time. Take pride in your own accomplishments. Don’t put yourself down and don’t allow others to put you down. In addition, surround yourself with people that will encourage you. Distance yourself from people that delight in putting others down to make themselves feel important.
Finally, always remember that you’re human and you’re not perfect. Nobody is.
You are never going to have the perfect life where your body is perfect, you have the perfect IQ, and your family and friends are perfect and everything is what and where you want it to be; no one will ever have that life. You are going to make mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up because of it. Even if life isn’t what you want it to be, take joy in what you have achieved.
In conclusion, taking the steps above should help you improve your self-esteem.
But if you try them and you feel there’s no improvement, it’s better to talk to someone; preferably a professional that can help you get through whatever it is you’re going through so as to avoid slipping into depression.