By: Terry A Rifkin L.C.S.W.

Self esteem is important to everybody; unfortunately, it is practically a rare resource. A lot of people deal with low self esteem. Lack of self esteem also leads to several other problems in life. A student might be discouraged from doing well in school, or a person might not excel at work. So if you are struggling with lack of confidence, don’t slink away from the problem. You can do something about it. In fact, here are some helpful steps to self esteem.

Step 1. It all begins in you. If you want to improve your confidence and esteem, the change has to start in you. If you feel bad that other people look down on you, do not look down on yourself. Focus on your strengths, but also learn to accept that weaknesses are natural. If you focus on your strengths but hide your weaknesses away, that will still affect your confidence since you will be scared for others to discover such weaknesses.

Step 2. Stop the comparisons. Comparing yourself with others won’t do any good. It is natural that there are people who are more capable in certain aspects, just as there are people who are less capable than you. Don’t forget that each one has strengths and weaknesses. Although a person may be better than you at one thing, there are always things you can do that he/she can’t.

Step 3. Get self-help. There are a lot of self-help resources that can help improve your self esteem. There are books, audio tapes or CDs, workshops, and several other programs and materials. Allow these materials to work in you until your mind takes in the positive messages in them and starts manifesting on your behavior. Try to avoid books, TV shows, and movies with negative themes such as murders, monetary issues, behavioral problems, and so on because they can make you think negatively and can cause cynicism.

Step 4. Accept compliments. If someone compliments you, how often do you say “thank you?” A lot of people do not say those two simple words. Rather, they brush off the compliments. To improve your self esteem, accept compliments given to you by saying “thank you.” If you brush them off, it means you yourself believe that you do not deserve the compliment.

Step 5. Choose your friends. The kind of company you have can greatly affect who you are. If you hang out with negative people, you will be pulled down and will start thinking the same way as well. So choose people who are positive and encouraging. This way, you will see yourself in a positive light and will be surrounded by people who can support and encourage you so your self esteem will stay strong.

Step 6. Make lists of things that can boost your self esteem. For example, write down your positive traits, abilities, and qualities. Write down both minor and major past achievements. This list can remind you of why you should appreciate yourself.

Step 7. Help others out. By helping others out, you also help boost your own self esteem. This is because it simply feels good to help others. It makes you feel needed and that you’ve made a positive and valued contribution that made a difference in other people’s lives.

Terry is an author and highly sought out expert on eating disorders, depression and anxiety. She frequently speaks to special groups and businesses in the Southern California area and can be followed on her blog at this link.