emotional wellbeing Mandy Kloppers

Fourteen Ways to Develop Your Self-Esteem

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So many people experience low self-esteem. It’s not surprising when we spend a lot of time focusing on what others are doing instead of sending that energy towards our own endeavours. When you acknowledge that your progress and goals can’t be compared to others (who knows where you will end up in 5 year’s time) you can relax and concentrate on your values and how to make your goals a reality.

1) Figure out who you are

What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your values? Write down five words that sum you up. Living according to our values helps us to present a strong and unified person to the world. Know what makes you happy. If you don’t know, make every effort to find out. Take self-evaluation quizzes and learn as much as you can about who you are and why you think and feel the way you do. Never change who you are to fit the company that you keep. Self-knowledge is a key to success and good self-esteem.

2) Decide what you can and can’t control

Focus and act on things that you are in control of and released the things that are out of your control. Often we can feel inadequate due to circumstances that are beyond our control. It is crucial to know the difference.When we focus on things that are beyond our control, we are left feeling helpless and powerless.It is wasted mental energy fighting against that  which we cannot influence and it will reduce self-esteem.

3) Accept responsibility

Finding self-confidence and healthy self-esteem requires accepting responsibility for your own happiness and recognising that you are a product not only of your genetic code and your environment but also of the choices you make.  When we claim ‘victim’ status, we essentially hand our power over to those that we blame. When we accept full responsibility for our decisions and our current position in life, we effectively take back our power. Begin your day with the words, “today will be of my own making-my happiness is up to me”.

4) Make anxiety your ally

Write down your worries for 30 days. Making concerns that loom so large in your imagination lose their power on paper. Amazingly, after writing them down the anxieties begin to fade. Change how you think about anxiety. When you feel anxiety ask yourself what story you have been telling yourself in your head. Ask yourself whether there is another way to think about the situation that allows you to feel less stressed and keeps your self-esteem in tact.

5) Recognise that mistakes are opportunities

Keep setbacks in perspective. Most mistakes are not personal tragedies; rather they are problems you now have the opportunity to solve. “Success” is often a string of failed attempts to get it right. Success is rarely a linear pursuit.

6) Compete to improve yourself

There is no point in comparing yourself to others. Instead, look at your own progress-that is, how far you have come. Compete to improve yourself not to beat someone else. This is the key to healthy self-esteem. Follow your own path and be proud of your uniqueness.

7) Be brave and take risks

Don’t be afraid of mistakes. Risk-taking builds confidence. When considering any risk: define a clear goal. Review the positive, practical, and potential losses. Determine whether the risk is one of trust, identity, or something larger. When you focus on risks that have a larger purpose, you can’t go wrong. Even if the risk doesn’t turn out as you hoped it would, you will gain from it. Act. Take a risk. Be confident-you owe it to yourself.

8) Think and speak positively

If you hear a compliment or positive statement about someone you know, pass the compliment on to them. An Arabian proverb puts it neatly: Blessed is he who speaks a kindness; thrice blessed he who repeats it. Our thoughts can make or break our experience of life. It pays to nurture a positive mindset. Spreading kindness and goodwill creates positivity in the world and raises our self-esteem.

9) Learn something new

Develop an insatiable curiosity. Keep those brain cells active by learning something new every day. The Internet has made this task very easy to do. Create a new hobby. Increase your vocabulary when word the week. Take on a new physical challenge or activity. Keep striving and keep growing for increased self-esteem.

10) Spend time investing in your personal growth

This enables joy to flourish amid the fears and difficulties of life. Read self-help books to improve self-esteem and act on the knowledge or read this wonderful blog daily 🙂

11) Figure out your barriers

The real essential you is hiding under layers of self-protection. As we cruise through life we invariably experience sadness and disappointment. Each negative experience encourages a greater need for self-protection. We build emotional barriers and begin to cut ourselves off from others, sometimes without even realising it. Realise your problem is and who you are, it’s what you have used to protect your physical and emotional well-being. It is hiding who you are, a beautiful human being, a wonderful source of awareness, knowledge, creativity, love, and joy. If you practice self-esteem based on faith that this is who you really are-a a passionate, kind, and approachable person-your barriers will decrease.

12) Be aware of the media’s messages

The more I listen to the media, the more neurotic I become. Every day there seems to be a new health warning-stop ingesting sugar, vitamin supplements are a waste of time, eating red Smarties will make you go mad 😉 etc. The media also churns out unrealistic images of beautiful-looking people who seem perfect in every way. Of course, this reality is made up with the help of airbrushing and photoshop. It would appear that the media’s goal is to make us feel bad about ourselves so that we will buy what they are selling. I urge you to reject the subtle messages. Love who you are and tell yourself daily that you are enough and that you have enough.

13) Be aware of the different messages in your head

Remember to turn up the volume on the messages that contributed to your positive self-esteem and to turn down the volume on any messages they encourage you to be negative about your worth or abilities.You can improve the quality of messages that you have in your head about being lovable and capable. Use “how-to” statements in your head and take action on the answers you receive. repeat positive affirmations to yourself out loud and as often as possible. Writing positive affirmations about yourself down on post-its and leaving them in obvious places where you will see them daily is also a very good idea. Any thoughts that take us away from a positive feeling are not worth having or defending. If you want to be happy and enjoy high self-esteem follow your happy feelings, not unhappy ones.

14) Put criticism from others in its proper place

The moment you hear a critical remark, ask yourself “what is on this person’s screen?” Assume that all critical remarks from others arise from an internal conflict that this person is experiencing. Happy contented people rarely feel the need to project negativity onto others. It is very unlikely that any criticism is based on an accurate perception of you. It’s much more likely that the critic is reacting to emotions, memories and behaviour patterns that have very little to do with you. Thinking poorly about yourself because of such critics is a mistake. When someone criticises you, do and say the following: smile and say to yourself, “Boy, I wonder what’s on their screen to make them so critical of me?” Remember it’s about them not about you. All criticism shows one characteristic-it is unwelcome. You may feel that you owe some critics a response, but you never own a critic of your self-esteem.

15) Small steps

A small success can bring a big feeling of competence. Small steps lead to more steps. Pat yourself on the back every time you make a small success. Every step counts. Take one step at a time in a positive direction, this is the practice of self-esteem.

Mandy X



Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.