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Tips to boost your self-esteem

Exercises and thought processes to help you

Getting to know yourself; recognizing your successes, mistakes, and differences; setting realistic challenges; and learning to ask for help are some ideas to help you develop your self-esteem.

Do you know yourself well?

Do this short exercise to develop a clear view of yourself. Are you ready?

Is your view of your qualities and defects an accurate one?

Is your view of your qualities and defects an accurate one?
To help you accept your defects and limitations and recognize your strengths and competences, download this list of adjectives and choose the ones that fit you best.

What are you proud of?

Keeping a journal of your personal successes is a good way of increasing your self-esteem. Here’s how to do it!

Keep a journal of your big and small successes

To maintain good self-esteem, you can write down reasons for being proud in a notebook. They don’t need to be huge or extraordinary! It might be speaking to a group even though you’re shy, starting a new activity, successfully managing a situation, or taking action despite your fears or doubts. The important thing is to have a positive view of yourself, focusing on your qualities, strengths, talents, and successes. When you’re going through a bad time, reread your journal to remember your successes! It will give you a good dose of positive energy.

What activities are you good at?

To discover your strengths, set yourself small daily challenges, try new activities, and force yourself to get out of your comfort zone!

Are you setting realistic challenges for yourself?

Realistic goals will give you more chance of success and increase your motivation to take up new challenges. Go for it!

Setting realistic challenges is the key to good self-esteem

It’s easier to climb a staircase one step at a time than in a single bound! Every step you climb is a success. By setting realistic goals, you feel proud of yourself at every step, and that helps you keep going.

A realistic goal is an accessible challenge. It takes account of your energy, your abilities, and the time you’re able to devote to this project.

For example, it may seem difficult to talk to someone you find interesting for the first time. To make the task easier, you can break it down into several steps.

  1. Start by smiling at him/her or making eye contact when you meet him/her in the hall.
  2. Set yourself the challenge of saying hi to him/her.
  3. Find an opportunity to talk to the person, for example by asking him/her a question.
  4. And so on!

No matter how the person reacts, each step will give you courage, and you can be proud of doing it. Plus, you’re learning. You’re discovering what works well and what you need to improve next time. All of this helps to give you self-confidence.

No matter what the result of your efforts may be, be proud of what you achieved. That will make you want to take up new challenges!

Learn to count on your friends and family

The people around you can give you courage when you doubt yourself. Do you ever think about asking them for support?

In hard times, remember that your friends and family are there

When you doubt yourself, are experiencing difficulties, or need encouragement, you can turn to your family and friends. The people you are close to know you very well and can help you remember your successes, strengths, qualities, and abilities. Who do you feel close to? It could be your dad, your mom, a brother, a sister, other relatives, friends, a teacher, or a counsellor. When your self-confidence is shaken, call on them, and they’ll help you feel better.

Learn from your mistakes

Your mistakes can give you an opportunity to learn and act differently next time. How do you react to mistakes?

See your mistakes as learning opportunities

By learning to recognize and accept your mistakes, you can use them to learn. You’ll become more mature and more modest, because when we’re puffed up with pride, we often refuse to apologize. Instead of considering your mistakes as failures, think of them as learning opportunities, even if they can be hard to swallow in the short term.

When you face a difficulty, don’t lose hope. On the contrary, keep going! That way, you’ll build up your resistance and courage in the face of life’s trials. Instead of running away, learn to face up to situations and settle conflicts. Communicate clearly and explicitly and avoid judging or condemning other people.

If you fail at something, remember that it’s not the end of the world and everyone makes mistakes. How can you use this experience to learn and do better next time? Failure is never pleasant, but remember that you can get something positive from it.

Accept your differences

Instead of seeing your differences as a heavy weight to bear, you can value them. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses!

Self-esteem means accepting your differences

How are you different from other people? To become aware of your differences, and accept them, you might ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the things that make me unique?
  • What sets me apart from other people?
  • What characteristics help me stand out in a good way?
  • What makes me special?

If everyone was the same, the world would be a boring place! Nobody would stand out from the crowd. We wouldn’t be able to choose or like one person more than another, fall in love, or make close friends. Being proud of your differences will give you real strength.

Walt Disney said: The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique. Something to think about!