Self esteem has a great impact on our lives. When you think more highly of yourself, you’re in a better position to change your self-concept and your life. You are more likely to succeed in your endeavors. Additionally, you can build stronger relationships because it is much easier to present yourself to others with a strong sense of self esteem.
What is Self Esteem? Definition (Psychology)
The self esteem definition in psychology is how an individual regards his or her self worth. Many things influence our sense of self esteem, including past failures, childhood trauma, or dealing with caustic relationships or social environments. In psychology, self esteem has been linked to many concepts including personality traits, confidence, anxiety, depression and physical health. When we improve our self esteem, or sense of self worth, we can make positive changes to our lives.
Benefits of Good Self Esteem
Building self esteem can have a great impact on your life. Here are some major benefits.
Improve intimacy in relationships
Addressing self esteem issues can improve your personal relationships. If you have a fear of intimacy, improving your self esteem can give you the boost you need to overcome this fear. It can also improve your sense of self worth, therefore giving you the strength to choose great partners.
Self esteem helps you set boundaries
Boosting your self esteem can help you define boundaries and then set healthy boundaries. Good self esteem can help you overcome feelings of guilt and fear that may be preventing you from speaking up about your boundaries.
Self esteem and success
Evidence is abundant that taking risks leads to success. Good self esteem gives you the courage to try new things, as well as continue trying beyond failure.
Self Concept vs Self Esteem
In psychology, self concept is a broad concept which describes your personality, how you define yourself, and how you project yourself to others. Self concept is not the same as self esteem; however, self esteem is a big part of self concept. Psychologists and therapists will consider your self esteem when evaluating your self concept. They will also consider your personality and communication styles. If you’ve taken an online personality test, such as the enneagram or Myers & Briggs, you may be familiar with this type of evaluation.
Interested in self concept? You can get started here.
13 Ways to Boost your Self Esteem
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably sold on the benefits of good self esteem. Here are 13 self esteem building activities for you to try.
1. Start small
Make one small, positive change to your daily routine starting today. Keep it small and simple. Create small successes in your life, such as drinking water instead of soda at lunch, or paying all of your bills on time this month. Any little thing that would make you feel good about yourself is a great place to start.
2. Do something that frightens you
Recall that successful people tend to take risks? You can start small to practice going beyond your comfort zone. Are you afraid of dogs? Make a visit to the dog kennel. Are you afraid of public speaking? Tell a story to a group of friends.
3. Show off your strengths
Reminding yourself of how skilled and competent you are at something will boost your confidence and sense of self esteem. Are you a great athlete? Sign up for a softball team. Are you an artist? Paint something, and show it off.
4. Help others
Helping someone else makes you feel good about yourself. Deep down, many people worry about being selfish or inconsiderate. Do something for someone else and you’ll convince yourself that you’re a good person. It doesn’t have to be huge; it can be as simple as watching your friend’s child for an hour to give her a chance to catch up on something.
5. Eat a healthier diet
If you ever feel bad the next day after a late night of fancy drinks and bar food, you’re not alone. When you eat poorly, you don’t feel good. When you eat good, you feel good. In doing so, you’ll also feel good mentally.
In the same light as eating good, exercising also helps you feel good physically—and mentally, too. Similarly, exercise is something that you know you should be doing for your health. If you’re not doing something that you know you should do, it can make you feel badly about yourself. Take responsibility for your health and get moving!
7. Stop comparing yourself to others
There’s always someone else smarter, better looking, wealthier, or more charismatic. There are a lot of people in the world, and we have the tendency to compare ourselves to exceptional people. It’s important to notice the progress you’re making in your life and celebrate that.
8. Surround yourself with positive things
With positive information entering your brain on a regular basis, you’ll be happier with life and yourself. There are a lot of options out there to send your brain positive messages: books, movies and songs. Take a few minutes to listen to your favorite song each day. Surround yourself with positive people. By the same token, avoid negative information and people.
9. Pay attention to your thoughts (speak to yourself how you’d want others to speak to you)
If you pay attention to your thoughts, you’ll be both amazed and horrified. The way we speak to ourselves in our head can be very negative. It can impact our self esteem and fuel anxiety. Pay attention to your thoughts: are you speaking to yourself in a way you’d want other people to speak to you? Practice speaking kindly to yourself. Think encouraging thoughts and be kind and forgiving to yourself.
Interested in learning mindfulness techniques? You can get started here.
10. Write a list of affirmations
Make a list of affirmations that you’d like to believe and keep it handy. Whenever you mind is idle, repeat your affirmations to yourself. When you’re not busy, your mind will start chattering. Take control of the chatter and keep it positive.
11. Write a list of your accomplishments
In the same light as tracking your affirmations, you can celebrate your accomplishments. You’ve accomplished some impressive things. Make a list of everything you’ve managed to do in your life up to this point. It’s easy to forget how far you’ve come. Make a list and review it often.
12. Learn something new
Children are so proud of themselves when they accomplish something new. It might not be as obvious to us as adults, but we experience the same phenomenon. Learn how to cook something from scratch or how to play an instrument. Don’t have a lot of time? Pull up a random Wikipedia article. There is such an abundance of information online that there really is endless opportunity to learn something new. What interests you? Try to learn something new each month.
13. Introduce yourself to someone new
Introducing yourself to someone has very little risk but a lot of benefit. It’s great practice to eliminate any shyness and possibly make a new friend. It helps you feel like you have control over your life. Everyone fears strangers to some extent. Minimize this fear and you’ll feel more confident and happy with yourself.