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Take back your power: 5 tips to improve your self-esteem

Self-esteem is crucial to a healthy life. One of the most important things in life’s journey is what you think of yourself. Only you know your internal struggles. However, you are not alone. You have power. A strength that belongs only to you. We are trained as we look in the mirror first to criticize ourselves. But if you look deeper, really look, you will see parts of your humanity that you have yet to discover. An untapped power that you may not know you have. Grasping that power is the way to improve your self-esteem.

What is self-esteem? It is simply your opinion about yourself, often influenced by other people. These influences build throughout your life, uplifting you in the best cases or crushing your soul in others. If you have grown up with soul crushers or have gotten into the habit of devaluing yourself, here are 5 ways to improve your self-esteem and break the cycle.

Don’t compare your life to someone’s social media feed

It will never make you happy to compete with others. Mike got that new house and posted it on social media? Before jealousy kicks in, think about how you post on social media. Do you post your struggles without filters? Sure, Mike got the new house, and that house may be gorgeous! It might also be filled with mold. You don’t know someone else’s struggles, and they have no idea about yours. Think about what you post, and don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Social media is full of half-truths. You can’t use it as a barometer for your happiness.

Celebrate one good thing about yourself every day

Everyday? Yup. Pick one thing about yourself every day and write it down. Stare at it. Put it on a Post-it. In a notebook. It can be anything. Your laugh. Your eyelashes. Maybe you stood up for yourself. Pretty soon, you will have a collection of the wonderful things that make you the powerful person you are.

Turn your negative thoughts into positive action

Do something nice for someone else, even if it is just giving someone in a store a compliment. Almost everyone needs a boost to their self-esteem, and one of the best ways to lift your spirits is to raise someone else’s. Try it. The next time you are beating yourself up, stop focusing on yourself and try to spread happiness to someone else. In making someone else feel better, you will also feel more powerful.

Look at your circle of friends

This is a tough one. Are your friend’s people who are healthy and uplifting? Are they the kind of people you are excited to share your good news with? Or do you have friends who encourage you to wallow in depression? If your inner circle makes you feel bad about yourself, feel like you can’t share your joys, and you are the one who is always reaching out first, it may be time to re-think your friends. It is not your friend’s responsibility to lift you up, but it is easier to be around people who don’t actively try to drag you into their misery.

Throw out the scale

Not literally. But I am sick of articles and blogs telling women that their self-esteem can be improved if they just start working out. Working out is great if you like to do it. It can be fun. Yes, endorphins are proven to help depression, but your self-esteem should not be tied to what you weigh when you step on the scale. Whether you love to work out or absolutely hate it should have nothing to do with your value as a person. That’s how you take back your power (and minimize stress)

The most powerful thing…

We can do is ask for help when we need it. If you feel your self-esteem is so low that you are thinking of self-harm, reach out for help. You are not alone. You are loved. 

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