If you suffer from low self esteem, you'll know that it can affect all areas of your life. From relationships to how well you do at work. It's an awkward problem to have, especially if your natural reaction when you meet an uncomfortable situation is to back away from it.
The good news is that it's possible to improve your self esteem quite easily. Maybe not by much at first, but a daily small improvement will build up over time and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the difference it can make in your life.
1. Move a molehill, not a mountain
Moving mountains is difficult. Molehills - the smaller things in your life - are much easier to change. Pick something to change that is so minor, it doesn't matter whether you manage it or not (although you probably will!). Then just change it. Don't sweat the detail - you can always change back later if it's really not right for you.
2. Avoid negative things wherever possible
Negative people - the ones who are always putting you down - are well worth avoiding if you have any choice in the matter. Of course, if it's your boss or a co-worker, that may not be as easy. Also turn off the news. Apart from the last "and finally" item, it's almost always negative. You don't need news - if something major happens, you'll find out anyway.
3. Don't strive for total perfection
Face it. Nobody is perfect. Movie stars may seem to be perfect but that's because they spend months and months on the movie that you watch for 90 minutes or so. Perfection just isn't possible. Instead, aim for being as good as you can be as often as possible. Success is contagious, so you'll find yourself improving as a result of doing this.
4. Keep a self esteem diary
You can do this online - password protected of course - or you can keep a real diary or notebook. At the end of each day, just before you go to sleep, make a note of at least 3 things that you've done that day that have helped your self esteem. They can be as small or as big as you like. They could be a shop assistant smiling back at you when you smile at them. Anything that has positively raised your self esteem.
5. Reward your own success
Praise yourself! Treat yourself! Whatever works best for you. Humans react well to praise and the person who'll notice most often is you. So take a few seconds or minutes out to praise and reward yourself when you have a success, no matter how minor. This self belief will grow as you do it more often, so you'll find that these rewards will compound the positive effects on your self esteem over time.
6. Stop putting yourself down
OK, this one can be harder. But you need to stop putting yourself down as often. We're often our own worst enemy with regard to our self esteem. And we'll talk to ourselves in a tone of voice that no-one else would dare use on us. Stop it! Wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it every time you put yourself down. The short, sharp pain will act as a reminder to stop doing this negative behavior.
7. Face your fears
Fear is actually a very fragile thing. Once you confront a fear, there's a very good chance it will run away with its tail between its legs. Fear is a coward as soon as it knows you're about to face it. So face it. As with the other techniques, start small and work your way up. You'll soon find that once insurmountable fears simply melt away.