Building self-esteem can be challenging. When you’re a young child you have many people encouraging you as you learn new skills and (hopefully) looking out for you as you figure things out. It’s not until we get older, venture out in the world and have to deal with negative social interactions like bullying and are faced with more serious consequences to our failures – like losing out on a job, or failing a course in school, that many of us start to doubt ourselves and our abilities. Creating self-esteem as an adult can be a special challenge because we tend to get caught up in the monotony of daily life and sometimes forget to do things just for ourselves.
But spending some time learning to love ourselves and raise our self-esteem is a project worth spending some time on. But how exactly do we do so? Read below for some ways we can all work on it!
Building Self Esteem As An Adult
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Explore a New Hobby Or Learn a New Skill
We have talked about how important hobbies are in the past! From my own personal experience, I know that spending time learning a new skill or exploring a new hobby can really make a difference in how I feel about myself. While learning a new skill might be challenging at first the sense of accomplishment I get when I finally get it right is amazing! Furthermore, every new skill I learn gives me more confidence and I find myself willing to try larger and more complicated projects.
In essence, the more you try and eventually figure out the more willing you will be to take on projects that previously would have seen too daunting. The self-confidence you gain from these experiences is a surprisingly good self-esteem builder.
Accept Compliments When They are Given
For some people getting compliments can be downright uncomfortable. We don’t know what to say, especially if we don’t believe in them ourselves. It’s really easy to respond to compliments such as ‘you look nice today!’ with an off-hand often self-deprecating remark like ‘For once!’ or sometimes to just smile and try to change the subject.
When we aren’t feeling the best about ourselves it can be hard to accept nice words from others, of course, this rection doesn’t help the problem and often makes us feel worse. As though we are getting the remarks out of pity or because the person was just trying to be nice rather than actually mean it.
Teaching yourself to accept compliments can be difficult but over time will feel more natural and eventually you’ll be able to convince yourself that the person does mean it and you do deserve it. The trick to this is having a few easy to remember responses prepared in the back of your mind so that you’re not stuck feeling on the spot. A simple ‘thank you!’ or ‘that’s so kind!’ is a perfectly simple and reasonable response. Feeling more comfortable with compliments is a good indication that your self-esteem is on the rise.
If your life feels overwhelming and things are a mess then odds are your self-esteem isn’t fairing very well either. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when everything around you seems to be falling apart. Taking a few steps to organize our surroundings can really help us start to feel like we are in more control. A lot of the times the more organized we are the less stressed out we feel and stress has a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves.
You don’t have to jump on the minimalist lifestyle and take things to extremes (though if that appeals to you then go for it!) but even organizing simple daily tasks using a daily planner or decluttering the main areas of your home can help a lot.
If you follow this blog at all then you know that I am a firm believer in the power of exercise (especially running!). Exercise not only releases endorphins but by getting into better shape it naturally follows that we feel better physically AND mentally. Taking steps to get healthy makes you feel like you are taking control of our lives, taking steps to become a better version of ourselves.
Getting stronger physically can definitely help you feel stronger mentally. Feeling fit and strong and healthy tends to make us feel better about ourselves. Taking on an exercise program and sticking with it can be challenging and the pride we get in achieving our goals can be a huge confidence booster.
Be Kind and Generous to Yourself…and Others
We have all heard that we should treat others how we wish to be treated and there is definitely some truth to the statement. Being empathetic to the feelings of others and offering kind words rather than a judgment of their actions can make you aware of how you judge yourself. Making it a point to practice being non-judgemental when it comes to other people can make it easier to put a halt to negative inner thoughts about yourself.
We all have that inner self-doubt and negative voice chattering away as we second guess everything we do. The trick is learning to see it and change it before we start to believe it and it has a chance to damage our self-esteem. Practice make perfect, practice kindness with others and then make sure you practice being kind to yourself too.