If you’re struggling with self-esteem issues, you’re not alone. Research suggests that approximately 85% of people in the USA have suffered from a lack of self-esteem at some point in their lives, and for a significant number of these folk, this can have a serious impact on their ability to enjoy everyday life.
While it may seem impossible to change the way you feel about and view yourself, it can be done. The best strategy is often one that combines ways in which we can feel better about our outward appearance with work on our inner selves to tackle some of the deeper issues behind our lack of self-esteem.
Use the guide below to improve your self-esteem and to feel more confident inside and out so that you can relish every day to the fullest, without negative thoughts about your appearance or worth getting in the way.
Celebrate Your Best Bits
Low self-esteem usually makes us focus on the bits we don’t like about ourselves rather than concentrating on what we do. Take a deep breath, stand in front of the mirror, and identify – say it out loud if possible – the parts of you that you do like. Perhaps you appreciate your natural hair color, like your legs, or feel good about your skin tone.
Whatever it is, give this part of yourself some extra love and pampering. If you think your hair is your best bit, book in for a luxury cut, set and blowdry at the salon, and treat yourself to some conditioning serums to use at home. If it’s your legs, invest in an ultra-rich moisturizer and slather it on after every bath. Love your skin tone? Commit to a weekly face mask or a monthly facial at the spa. It’s important to remind yourself that you’re worth these regular treats.
Love Your ‘Bad’ Bits
Firstly, it’s important to accept that what you identify as a flaw is unlikely to be seen as such by those around you. However, if there’s a particular element of your appearance that’s causing you issues with your self-esteem, then it may be worth addressing this.
For example, unwanted facial hair can be sorted out relatively inexpensively with waxing, electrolysis, or laser treatment. If you feel that your upper arms aren’t as toned as you’d like, and this is making you feel self-conscious about wearing certain types of clothes, then joining a Pilates or aerobics Zoom class is an effective and convenient way of tackling this – and you’re likely to see results in just a couple of weeks.
If you hide your smile behind your hand and feel shy about talking or laughing due to staining on your teeth, then there are lots of ways that teeth whitening kits will transform your life. A simple course of treatment performed at home can give you brighter, whiter teeth and minimize the appearance of the stains so that you can set your smile free! Best of all, the effects of these treatments often last up to six months.
It may also help to think about your current wardrobe, accessories, and makeup, with a view to how well these things suit your skin tone, hair color, and body shape. A shade of red lipstick that looks stunning on a redhead may make a blonde’s skin look washed-out, for example. A drainpipe style pair of jeans may look great on one person, whereas a bootcut is most flattering for someone else.
Take some time to consider how well colors, cuts, and designs suit you to find your perfect style. For example, if you’re a brunette and are currently wearing a light pink blush, you may not know that a deeper, rose-colored blush is likely to look much better and highlight your natural beauty. Have fun developing a trademark style that’s all your own.
Adjust Your Posture
Improving your posture can have a profound difference on how you appear and how you feel. Great posture can also make the clothes, shoes, and accessories you’re wearing look even better!
When standing, try to stand straight and tall – imagine that there’s a string attached to the top of your head that’s taut and attached to the ceiling. Keep your shoulders back, keep your head level, and put your weight gradually on the balls of your feet. Feet should be kept about shoulder-width apart.
Try to be mindful of your posture throughout the day to avoid slouching or hunching over a screen. Good posture is beneficial to overall wellness and can even help to prevent accidents.
Challenge Your Thoughts
Finally, if you’re struggling with low self-esteem, you may wish to talk with a qualified therapist who can work with you to understand the underlying reasons for your feelings and help you find ways to challenge and overcome this mindset.
The techniques often used in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) can also be deployed at home to help. There are workbooks available for download online that can be used to challenge and replace thoughts around low self-esteem and give you the resilience you need to continue to deal with these thoughts and feelings as they surface.