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How to Reduce Low Self-Esteem and Boost Confidence

Updated: Mar 18, 2019

People are shadows of themselves when they have low self-esteem. They push opportunities to prosper aside and don't imagine they can achieve success. They attract negative situations too. Bullies recognize them as underdogs and know they will be subservient. If you have low self-esteem, it's time to boost your confidence.

Turn negative self-talk around

Negative thoughts look like enemies, especially when they are about not being good enough. They get you down but you can make them fade if you change your opinion about them. You want them gone, but they are helpful if you view them differently. Recognize critical thoughts reflect your emotional state. When your inner voice puts you down, it isn't spouting facts. It's revealing the need to attend to your lack of confidence. Imagine self-talk is a barometer, measuring where you are on the self-assurance scale. Negative thoughts show you are anxious and need a mental hug. You would take care of your body if it showed evidence of illness. If your mind points out distress, you need to give it loving care too.

End negative beliefs

Do you know where your negative beliefs originate? No one is born believing they are faulty. Even as toddlers, kids imagine they are terrific. The idea they are defective arises later when they interpret events in negative ways. Consider the roots of your beliefs. You may recognize they stem from what a parent in a bad mood said or arose because of how you read a situation as a child. Move into the present now, realizing you have changed since you formed negative opinions. You aren't the faulty person you imagine.

Stop reacting

There's a difference between responding and reacting to unwanted events. When you react, you are defensive and allow your animal nature to snap. When you respond, you don't shift into fight or flight and your logical brain stays switched on. You are less stressed and see what's happening isn't about you.

When you respond rather than react, you don't take things personally. You stop imagining people dislike you or you've caused unfortunate circumstances.

Enhance self-compassion

Many kind people forget to be caring toward themselves. Compassion starts with you; it makes you a better person because you are more open and less stressed. Consider whether you meet your needs and, if not, how to make improvements. Take care of yourself and be your best friend. Give yourself the respect you would give someone you love. As a result you'll rewire your mindset and recognize yourself as valuable and lovable.

Accept compliments with grace

When someone gives you a compliment do you insist you are unworthy? If so, you are stuck in a self-esteem-lowering rut. Turning praise away might be a habit, but you can change. The next time someone compliments you, pause. Swallow the urge to put yourself down. Smile and say "thank you" instead. When people appreciate you, accept what they tell you with grace. It might be hard, but praise will seep into your subconscious.

Practice mirror work

Use mirror work to boost self-worth. Look at your reflection in the mirror as you say positive, self-affirming statements. Affirmations have an impact when you look yourself in the eye and repeat them aloud. It doesn't matter if your words sound false at first. Each affirmation takes time to grow so persevere. Your words will sink into your psyche when repeated. Statements such as "I respect and value myself" aid self-esteem.

Change your self-image

People with a poor sense of worth see themselves as inferior. The image they've built stems from the way they picture themselves. They imagine failing before even attempting tasks.

They report their perceived faults too. When you catch yourself saying something's wrong with you, halt. Recall you are intelligent and capable; only use positive words to describe yourself.

Recognize your value

Do you measure your value by outward signs of success? Accolades and wealth only signal success in specific areas. Your real value stems from the little things you do daily. Every kind act makes you valuable to others. Tending your garden, helping wildlife, or brightening someone's day increases your worth. At the same time, you are valuable because you were born. There's no one like you in the world. You contribute your unique qualities and talents, and this makes you worthy. Stop determining your substance by comparing yourself to others. Realize you are special and have much to give.

Understand confidence-killing triggers

You might be fine until you take what people say to heart or judge yourself harshly. Often, you follow patterns whereby similar events make you unhappy with yourself. Be like a detective and spot the situations that activate a sense of poor self-worth. Note when something upsets you. What happens first? Do you meet someone in a bad mood and consider their attitude your fault? Or, reason you could have done something better and feel bad? Once you recognize triggers, interrupt your plummeting self-esteem. Remember you're following a pattern and can change your mind. Soothe the critical voice in your head with kindness.


Meditation will teach you to release stress and embrace calm. It can also aid clarity and self-compassion. You need not be an expert, just spend twenty minutes a day sitting with your eyes closed. Take slow breaths and focus on breathing. When thoughts arise, ignore them. Return your attention to your breath. Practice even when you aren't sure if you are benefiting. Deep down, your mind and body are responding. You'll soon enjoy meditating and relax.

Visualize a confident new you

Without noticing it, you create mental images all the time. You picture what you are about to do and see yourself in the past. Sometimes, you run through adverse scenarios in which you are unhappy. You can replace self-defeating imagery, though, with imagery depicting a confident new you.

Picture yourself in pleasant surroundings looking fabulous. Notice how happy and healthy you are as you smile. Take slow breaths and imagine what it's like to be so joyful and well. See yourself as the finest version of you. Perceive yourself as confident and full of gratitude for the blessings in your life. Run through scenarios in which you carry out future tasks with ease. View yourself triumphing over challenges and imagine how exhilarating it feels to succeed.

Make confidence a habit

Now you know how to gain self-esteem make doing so a habit. Your confidence will ebb and flow. When boosting self-assurance is a regular part of your life, though, insecurity won't last long.

Carry out confidence-enhancing practices daily. Habits form when you create neural networks in your brain after repeating new behaviors and thoughts. Become familiar with these exercises and include them in everyday life. Additionally, top up your self-esteem with activities that bring you joy.

Boost your mood

Set aside time to engage in mood-boosting actions and list things that make you smile. Watching funny movies, playing with pets, or visiting good-natured friends might work. Walking among nature, or dancing to upbeat music can also improve your mood.

Pick at least two activities to carry out at home, come rain or shine. You might listen to brainwave entertainment to increase self-esteem, for instance, and light a candle and relax.

How to recognize your level of confidence

Until you can describe yourself as thoroughly confident, practice the art of conscious competence. When you've done so, self-confidence will be habitual.

The idea of conscious competence stems from a learning theory. The theory consists of four stages that turn new behaviors into habits. At first, people are unskilled, but not aware of any shortfall of knowledge.

In the next stage, they are still unskilled, but understand they lack competency. The third phase involves thinking before applying new insights. Lastly, a skill becomes a habit; you need not think before you put it into practice as it is in your knowledge base. When you rewire your brain with self-confidence, you go through similar stages of learning. You can progress by keeping the idea you want to practice positive behavior in mind. Hold an awareness of needing to pause and choose how to act to aid success.

You may take one step forward and then regress sometimes, but this is normal. Eventually, keeping your self-confidence intact will be a robust habit. Repetition ensures techniques to raise self-esteem work. Practice every day whether or not you notice results. Your confidence and sense of value will grow in your subconscious and rise inch by inch.

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