How to build self esteem
To answer your question of how to build self esteem, then self-esteem is basically how you feel about yourself. Do you think you’re a good person? That you do enough for the people around you? That you’re a good mom and a good wife/girlfriend? These are questions that a therapist or other professional would ask you.
In the 1960s, sociologist Dr. Morris Rosenberg developed a now widely used simple but effective test to determine whether one has low, normal or high self-esteem. Check it out! Scores range from 0-30. 0-15 indicates low self-esteem, 15-25 is normal and scores above 25 signify high self-esteem. In case you scored too low for comfort, I’ve put together three simple tips on how to build self-esteem:
How to build self esteem: Make a list of strengths and weaknesses
Get a piece of paper and write a line down the middle. On the right you list your strengths and on the left you list your weaknesses. Try to come up with 10 in each category. I know, 10 seems an awful lot, especially if you sometimes think “I suck” or “I’m not good at anything”. Well, if you’re not good at anything then you’re at least good at being bad at everything. But anyway, that’s beside the point.
Try and think about what people have told you over the years. Maybe they have said something like “thanks for taking care of my baby boy this weekend” – this would indicate you have empathy and compassion for others, which is no doubt a strength. Or they may have said “This food is really good” – that means you’re a great chef. Perhaps your child smiles and cannot fall asleep when you read him/her a goodnight story – and that means you’re a good storyteller. So, think about what people have said to you or how they have reacted to your actions. Then you will most likely come up with more strengths than weaknesses.
Also, do not devalue the strengths you come up with by saying “oh, that? That was easy!”. It might have been easy for you, but difficult for others and that is exactly what makes it a strength for you. Just by being at this very page you’ve shown the willpower and tenacity to improve your situation. You’ve said to yourself “I’m gonna do something about it!” and that’s not something everyone in the world is able to do.
How to build self esteem: Stop caring what people might think
What I have found to personally work for me is to stop caring about what other people think about me and stop comparing myself to them. The ones with the highest self-esteem (at a healthy level) are the ones who don’t care that their neighbor has a bigger house, a greener lawn or a thinner body. Why? Because other things are more important to them, which takes up their focus. And for a good reason. A lot of Christians don’t care what other people think of them because they have enough in God or Jesus. A lot of moms don’t care about where they are in their career because they have enough in their kids. Devote your attention to those people or those areas that deserve it, and you’ll see how your self esteem will skyrocket. Because you realize that you’re now doing what actually matters in life. That’s a great start on how to build self esteem.
Stop comparing yourself to others
Lastly, it is important to not compare yourself to yourself. What does that mean? It means that as human beings, we change all the time, and that you might have been good at something once, but now you’re not. I used to be good at drawing, but now I suck. But it doesn’t matter because there are other things I have become good at since then. We change all the time and our strengths and weaknesses change along with us, so it is important to not expect to carry all your strengths with you throughout your entire life. We lose and gain strengths like we lose and gain weaknesses. Because we change.
What else you can do
I hope these tips helped you, and if you’re interested in increasing your confidence in a specific area, check out my other article on how to gain confidence. For more advanced stuff, I suggest checking out this app we made to boost self esteem and confidence… the scientific way.