- Take a self-esteem inventory to give yourself a baseline.
It can be as simple as writing down 10 of your strengths and 10 of your weaknesses. This will help you to begin developing an honest and realistic conception of yourself.
- Set realistic expectations.
It’s important to set small, reachable goals that are within your power. For example, setting an extremely high expectation or an expectation that someone else will change their behavior is virtually guaranteed to make you feel like a failure, through no fault of your own.
- Stop being a perfectionist and acknowledge both your accomplishments and mistakes.
Nobody is perfect, and trying to be will only lead to disappointment. Acknowledging your accomplishments and recognizing your mistakes is the way to keep a positive outlook while learning and growing from your mistakes.
- Explore yourself.
The importance of knowing yourself and being at peace with who you are cannot be overstated. This can take some trial and error, and you will constantly learn new things about yourself, but it is a journey that should be undertaken with purpose and zeal.
- Be willing to adjust your self-image.
We all change as we age and grow, and we must keep up with our ever-changing selves if we want to set and achieve meaningful goals.
- Stop comparing yourself to others.
Comparing ourselves to others is a trap that is extremely easy to fall into, especially today with social media and the ability to project a polished, perfected appearance. The only person you should compare yourself to is you.
- Celebrate your success. When you meet a goal, successfully challenge a negative thought, or catch yourself extending kindness towards yourself, mark the achievement with a celebration! Taking the time to revel in your success and enjoy the moment can give you the inspiration you need to continue your journey to self-improvement.
- Be kind to yourself. If you find yourself being excessively negative to yourself, stop and consider how you would feel if someone said these things about a close friend or family member. Extend that kindness and compassion to yourself.
Think hard about the root cause(s) of your insecurities. The first step to defeating these thoughts is to dive deep and learn about them, and this situation is no different. Identifying the events that led to a low sense of self-worth can provide invaluable information for challenging these negative beliefs and will give you an opportunity to break through the limitations that have been holding you back.