Know Your Worth: 5 Small Ways To Build Up Your Self-Esteem

by Camille Cava

Retouched images and photographs are driving our culture to embrace unrealistic standards of beauty. As a result, people of all ages are left to struggle with their self-images.

However, the focus should be on creating an overall positive image of the self, rather than trying to alter our outer appearances.

Self-esteem is the manifestation of how we see ourselves, but many outside influences shape it. It is time to take back control and realize your individual worth.

Although some of the following suggestions may seem silly, they will put smiles on your faces, which will ultimately turn into positive ways of thinking and lead to a more permanent, optimistic view of the self.

Everyone has the ability to possess confidence and everyone should learn how to successfully find it and own it.

Reinventing The Meaning

When people think of self-esteem, appearance is the first thing that comes to mind. Although many people's self-esteem does depend on their looks, it shouldn't. Of course, if you're not happy with yourself, you should do something to change it.

But, before you enroll in that 12-week intensive gym program and spend your savings on supplements you can’t pronounce, look at what really needs to change. Self-esteem should not be solely associated with a person's appearance.

How do you feel about your intelligence? How do you feel about your actions and morals? Confidence is the root of a person’s entirety and it comes from within.

Create Goals

Working toward something that you value is a great way to build confidence. The best part about this is that it can be anything. It can be a hobby about which you are passionate or something you never dreamed of doing.

Whether it is being able to do a pushup, learning how to play an instrument or saving up your money to buy something special, you are accomplishing something.

Not only should you be proud of completing the goal, but you should also acknowledge the small steps you’re taking toward the goal, as well.

It helps if you plan out these little steps, almost like a checklist. This technique works because it allows you to physically measure your progress along the way. Most importantly, the goals should be solely about you.

Keeping busy and focusing your energy will help you to ward off negative thoughts and bring in the positive ones.

Surround Yourself With Good People

The people who surround you might be influencing your negative thoughts and low self-esteem. Analyze your close circle of friends and family and ask yourself if these people are good for you.

Friends who compliment and motivate each other have much healthier relationships than those who insult each other, even if it is only a "joke."

Joining groups also helps to create comfortable and friendly environments. People who gather together for one common interest can create an empowering atmosphere.

Love Yourself

This is much easier said than done. However, do not underestimate the power of the thought. Everything we do starts with one thought, so the next time you look in the mirror, really look at yourself. Say one compliment out loud, before finding a flaw.

Make a list of things you like about yourself and keep the list growing until you reach 100 reasons why you love yourself and then every once and a while, read it aloud to remind yourself. Keep a journal to write down short motivational quotes you come across.

Body Language

This is the "fake it ‘til you make it" trick. Many times, people can sense when someone is insecure. They see it from the way you walk, sit or interact with others in a big room. You slump. Your head hangs down. Your arms lay tightly crossed, fists clenched. Eyes wander. Voice low.

To build confidence with others or in social situations, it is important to look approachable and open. Make sure you stand and sit tall. To correct your posture, pull the crown of your head up higher. Breathe in, roll your shoulders straight up and pull them down your back while breathing out.

Always keep a wide and open body by uncrossing your arms and always face your entire body to whomever you're interacting with. Being approachable and comfortable in social situations is a sign that you are comfortable and confident with who you are. People will take notice.

Confidence does not come from a number on the scale, attention from the opposite sex or Instagram likes. All of those things can only create a temporary feeling. Ultimately, you are left with your thoughts, so learn to make them positive.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It