Self-esteem isn’t quite the same as your self-concept, but they’re related. Your self-concept is your perception of yourself. Your self-esteem is a measure of how happy you are with yourself. By increasing one, you can increase the other.
Give your self-esteem a boost and think more highly of yourself:
1. Guarantee success by starting small. Success breeds confidence and self-esteem. Create small successes in your life. Drink water instead of soda at lunch. Pay 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. Afraid of dogs? Make a visit to the dog kennel. Afraid of public speaking? Tell a story to several friends simultaneously. Prove to yourself that you can stretch beyond your current comfort zone.
3. Show off your strengths. Are you a great athlete? Sign up for a softball team. Get out and show your stuff. It feels good to do something that you do well. Remind yourself of how skilled and competent you can be. This will boost your confidence and sense of self-esteem. It’s enjoyable to show off a little, too.
4. Do something for others. When you help someone else, you feel good about yourself. Down deep, the average person worries about being selfish or inconsiderate. Do something for someone else and you’ll convince yourself that you’re a good person.
5. Eat a healthier diet. When you eat poorly, you don’t feel good. You don’t know how bad you feel. You’re just used to it. Your mood and outlook on life will improve when you improve your diet.
6. Avoid comparisons. There’s always someone else smarter, better looking, wealthier, or more charismatic. There are a lot of people in the world. Notice the progress you’re making in your life and be happy with that.
We always choose exceptional people to compare ourselves to. So yes, Brad Pitt is better looking and Warren Buffett is wealthier than you. This will always be true for 99.9999% of the population.
7. Fill your mind with uplifting information. There are plenty of workshops, music, and books with a positive message. With positive information entering your brain on a regular basis, you’ll be happier with life and yourself. By the same token, avoid negative information and people.
8. Observe your thoughts. If you pay attention to your thoughts, you’ll be both amazed and horrified. It’s amazing how your mind jumps around to different topics and the crazy things it says. If a real person acted in the same way, you’d call the people in the white coats to come make a pick-up.
Notice how odd your self-talk can be.
9. Create 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.
10. Remember your greatness. 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.
11. Learn something new. Children are so proud of themselves when they learn new something new. It might not be as obvious to us as adults, but we experience the same phenomenon. Learn how to bake a cake from scratch or how to hit a golf ball. What interests you? Try to learn a new skill each month.
12. Exercise. You know you’re supposed to do it. When you don’t do things you know that should be done, you become annoyed with yourself and doubt your self-discipline. Exercise feels good, too. Take care of yourself.
13. Introduce yourself to someone new. This activity carries no risk and has a lot of upside. You feel like you have control over your life, begin to eliminate any shyness, and possibly make a new friend. Everyone fears strangers to some extent. Minimize yours and you’ll feel more confident and pleased with yourself.
Everyone can benefit from a little more self-esteem. When you think more highly of yourself, you’re in better position to change your self-concept and your life. Think of more ways you can boost your self-esteem and apply these concepts every day.
“A healthy self-love means we have no compulsion to justify to ourselves or others why we take vacations, why we sleep late, whywe buy new shoes, why we spoil ourselves from time to time. We feel comfortable doing things which add quality and beauty to life.”
– Andrew Matthews
Enhance Your Life
One of the most reliable ways to enhance your self-concept is to make some positive changes. It’s easier to think positively about yourself when you have an enjoyable and successful life.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with living in a studio apartment, eating instant soup every night, and sporting a 45-inch waist. However, happy thoughts are easier to come by when you’re pleased with your life!
Consider the main parts of your life and seek to make the changes you desire.
Health and Well-Being
Are you as healthy and fit as you’d like to be? It’s not necessary to have a 6-pack to show off at the beach, but being healthy has its advantages. Good health should be a high priority for anyone that values himself. An attractive body also boosts self-esteem and demonstrates to you than you can control yourself.
Prove to yourself that you’re worth the time and energy to maintain good health:
1. See your physician for a checkup. Everyone should see the doctor at least once per year. There are plenty of health conditions that don’t always show obvious symptoms, yet are very serious. Diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol are just a few examples.
Taking care of yourself demonstrates your belief that you’re valuable and relevant. An “I don’t care” attitude demonstrates the opposite.
2. Exercise regularly. Again, show yourself that your worth the time and energy.
3. Find and maintain a healthy weight. No one enjoys being overweight, and it can be a serious challenge to one’s self-esteem. However, it’s also challenging to change your bodyweight for the better in the long-term.
Make small nutritional changes that you can maintain. Eliminating a can of soda each day and substituting water is one such change. Those at a healthy weight simply have better habits. Create healthy habits, one at a time.
Be as healthy as possible. Eat a healthy diet, get some exercise, and see your doctor regularly. Take good care of yourself. You’re worth it.
“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.”
No man (or woman) is an island. Humans are social creatures, so unless your dream is to sit on top of mountain after taking a vow of silence, it’s necessary to involve others in your life.
Your self-concept is affected by the quality of your social life. If you wish there were more people interested in spending time with you, it’s easy to feel bad about yourself.
A more fulfilling social life can be right around the corner:
1. Decide on the type of social life you desire. Not everyone wants to be the life of the party and spend time in a large group every night. Maybe you’d rather have a couple of close friends that you meet for dinner once a week and a regular social activity on the weekend. It’s up to you. Give it some thought.
2. Determine what’s been standing in your way. When you know the cause, you can make a plan. A few possibilities include:
- I work at home and don’t have regular contact with others.
- I’m shy.
- I don’t know what to say to people.
3. Create and implement a solution. There are books on how to be more charismatic. You can find videos on how to get over social anxiety or how to deal with shyness. Maybe you need to reach out to the people you already know. Perhaps you can join a club or start a new hobby that involves other people.
Build your social life one person at a time. Most people only need a couple of good friends to feel satisfaction and self-esteem in this part of their lives.
Building an enjoyable social life is much easier than you think. Always remember that most people are lonely to varying degrees. It’s not difficult to find others that would like to get out of the house and share a meaningful activity or conversation.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
-Howard Washington Thurman
Do you have goals? Being excited about the future and making consistent progress in life will enhance your concept of yourself. Numerous studies have shown that those with goals outperform those without goals in every area of life. Having a few goals creates a sense of purpose, direction, and control.
Setting goals is simple and effective:
1. Set goals with a timeline no longer than 12 weeks. It’s hard to maintain focus and enthusiasm longer than this. If your goal is too big to reach in 12 weeks, set short-term goals that will take you in the right direction.
2. Measure your progress. This keeps your goals fresh in your mind and provides the feedback you need to maximize your effectiveness.
3. Get excited by progress. If you want to enhance your self-concept, feel good about yourself at every opportunity. Most people have been stuck in the same place for years, so any progress in life is worthy of celebration.
Setting goals can be a complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be. Having a few goals and making regular progress can be great for your self-concept. It proves to you that you can make changes in your life and control your future.
Give of Yourself Regularly
It’s not all about you. Your self-concept isn’t all about you either. It’s also about your perception of your value to the world. Providing value to the world selflessly is a great way to change your self-concept and boost your self-esteem.
1. Volunteer. Organizations are always looking for more volunteers. Find something that appeals to you and get involved.
2. Find a job or second job that helps others. You could tutor children or teach adults to read. Maybe you work with senior citizens one night a week in the evenings. There are many jobs available that provide a meaningful service to others.
3. Random acts of kindness. Life presents endless opportunities to help others. You can’t help but love yourself when you’re doing something wonderful for another person.
Just be a nice person. Help others when possible and you’ll benefit in many unpredictable ways. Think about your average day. What small changes could you make to be more helpful or kind to others?
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
Who Do You Wish To Be?
Most of us never aspired to be an average person working in a cubicle at a job we don’t enjoy. When you can be the person you’ve always wanted to be, your self-concept will be perfect for you.
Isn’t this what everyone dreams about?
When you’re the person you want to be, you’ll have the life you desire. You’ll rise above the idea of a “self-concept”.
Consciously decide who you want to be:
1. Who do you admire and why? Do you wish you were more like James Bond? Why? Are you a fan of Abraham Lincoln? Albert Einstein? Why?
2. What personal qualities have you always admired in others?
Cool under pressure?
3. What can you do today to start being the person you’ve always wanted to be? There’s no one that can stop you. Anyone that tries to get in your way can be ignored. Be on a mission to become the person you would admire.
This is the ultimate goal.
If you’re the person you wish to be and living the life you desire, your opinion of yourself will be at the highest possible level. Everything else is just a stepping stone to reach this point.
“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”
Your self-concept has been shaped by your past. Or rather, your perception of your past.
Review the uncomfortable experiences from your past and find a more positive resolution. Remember that the past is over and no indication of what the future can hold. The past is only a limitation if you allow it to be.
Building your self-esteem will give you the fuel to make alterations to your self-concept. This is an ongoing process. You already have plenty of reasons to be happy with yourself. Ensure you remind yourself of how wonderful you already are.
Enhance your life in every possible way.
By creating and living the life you desire, your self-concept will change.
And start acting like the person you know you should be. This is really the key to the ideal self-concept.
When you have evidence that you’re living your idea of the right life and being the right person, you’ve achieved the ultimate.