Gay & Lesbian Services of Western New York

Boosting Self-Esteem

How you feel about yourself has a lot to do with how you perceive yourself, how you imagine or think that you are viewed by others and how you behave. There are some relatively simple ways to boost your self-esteem that work if you practice them.

1. Stop comparing yourself to other people. There will always be those who have more and those who have less. So if you play the comparison game you will often lose.

2. Stop putting yourself down. You can’t build a positive self image if you repeat negative phrases about yourself.

3. Take advantage of workshops, books and other programs to enhance self-esteem. Whatever you allow to dominate your attention will take root and affect your behavior.

4. Make a list of your positive qualities. Are you helpful? Honest? Creative? Unselfish? Thoughtful? Make others smile? Write down at least 10 positive qualities and review your list often. Most people dwell on their perceived inadequacies and then wonder why their life isn’t working out. Focusing on the positive boosts your confidence and enhances your chances for success in what you try.

5. Take risks by trying new things. Push yourself a little past your own boundaries and fears. This is a sure fire confidence builder when you focus on trying and doing rather then just the outcome.

6. Use affirmations. Keep the list you made in #4 with you and look at it periodically through your day. Repeat these positive statements about yourself, such as, “I like and accept myself just the way I am”. Do this often but especially before you go to bed and when you get up in the morning.

7. Hang with positive, supportive people who accept and encourage you.. When you are surrounded by negative people who constantly put you and your ides down, your self-esteem is lowered.

8. Make a list of your past successes. This doesn’t have to be huge accomplishments. It can include things like doing well on an exam; ignoring a bully; learning something new; trying something that you have been afraid of. Read the list often and remember your sense of satisfaction at the time of your accomplishment.

9. Act consistently within your values. If you hate being lied to then don’t lie. If you hate cheaters then don’t cheat. If you admire people who are kind then strive to be kind. If you think it is cool to admit when people admit their mistakes then admit yours. And so forth!

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