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Learning to Love Yourself

Defining Self Confidence and Self Esteem

Our self confidence is how we perceive our abilities whereas self esteem is how we see ourselves. This is often based on comparison of ourselves to others and is dependent on how much we like and value ourselves. If you cannot love and respect yourself, how can you expect someone else to love and respect you?

Having Compassion for Yourself

When you look in the mirror in the morning and see the person staring back at you, it should be the most important person in your life. After all, you have to live with you everyday and you are the only person you have control over.

Significant Life changes, trauma, environment, and life experiences can impact self esteem. Having compassion for yourself can ultimately improve your sense of self. Focusing more on your accomplishments and trust in your abilities will improve self confidence, which then leads to improved self esteem.

The self talk we engage in affects our self esteem and our mood. We believe what we hear. If we focus on negative self talk, we believe it and begin to act in that way as if it is true. If we hear something positive and make positive self statements, we will begin to believe those statements and act in that way. If we pay close attention to how we speak to ourselves, it can show us how well we are taking care of ourselves. Higher self worth/esteem leads to us taking better care of ourselves; mind, body, and spirit.

Tips to Improving Self Esteem

Taking care of yourself is helpful for improving self worth. This includes getting adequate sleep, proper nutrition, moving your body in some way, setting goals, and having structure and routine in your life.

Additional tips to improve feelings of self worth include learning more about yourself. If you struggle to know who you are, start by identifying your values, morals, and things that make you happy in life. Challenge any unkind thoughts you have about yourself. Ask yourself to replace self defeating statements with something more positive. Change the channel in your mind so to speak. Do not engage in comparison of yourself to others. Everyone is different and if we look at someone else’s potential, qualities, strengths, etc, we may feel discouraged because we don’t have the same and it doesn’t mean your potential, qualities, and strengths aren’t as good as another. We are all different.

Engage in daily positive affirmations. A good rule of thumb is three “I am” statements a day. If you struggle at first to say them outloud, just say them to yourself in your head and work your way to saying them outloud, and eventually look at yourself in the mirror as if you are talking to yourself and say them. If you wouldn’t say something to a stranger, a friend, or family member, do not say it to yourself.

Practice saying no and setting boundaries with others, don’t engage in things that do not serve you, say thank you to compliments, acknowledge your accomplishments, and focus on what is right about everyday versus what is wrong. If you step outside of your comfort zone, not your safety zone, it can lead to improved self esteem because you are challenging yourself to do
hard things.

Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people and let go of toxic relationships. Working on improving your self worth can lead to a decrease in depression, anxiety, risk taking behaviors, and tolerance for unhealthy relationships with others. Allow yourself to feel your feelings, challenge any unhealthy expectations you have on yourself and engage in at least one
activity a day that brings you joy and remember, You are important, You are worthy of love, You are worthy of good things, and your past judgements of yourself do not have to continue to define you.

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