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10 Ways to Finally Achieve Unshakeable Self-Esteem

By , Judith Belmont, M.S., L.P.C.
Think back on the last three or four goals you set for yourself. Did they have to do with your physical appearance or career? Chances are the answer is yes. Wanting to lose weight, get fit, get a promotion, eat healthier or be more productive are all admirable goals, but when did we lose sight of making our emotional health and wellness a priority?
 
As a psychotherapist for more than 40 years, I have been struck with finding time and time again that the one key factor that underlies our sense of happiness and wellbeing is not what we achieve "out there" but rather it is our underlying sense of self-esteem that makes or breaks our sense of wellbeing. It is the underlying filter that we see the world. If we don't truly love—or even like—ourselves, nothing from the outside will truly fill the void from within.
 
If you are like most of my clients over the years, the phrase, "I'll be happy when…"  typically ends with responses such as "I'm thinner", "I get in better shape", "I find a mate", "I get a better job",  "I get a promotion", " I have children", "I move" or "I have more money". What do responses all have in common? They all assume that things on the outside hold the key to happiness. Many successful, witty, attractive people who by society's standards "have it all" lack inner self-confidence and self-esteem, though. Losing weight, getting fit, earning a promotion or finding a mate are all great, but they do not ensure anything more than a temporary high if a nagging sense of low self-esteem still lurks from within.
 
This is not to say that having goals are not good for us because they are! The trick is not to be fooled that these achievements alone will help you achieve a sense of happiness and wellbeing. Inner happiness will only come from truly embracing your greatness and enjoying the journey of reaching for goals—not by measuring your worth only once you "get there." You deserve to love yourself starting right now, and, with these tips, you'll be well on your way.
 

10 Self-Esteem Boosters

 
1. Make Self-Esteem Unconditional: There are no pre-conditions to your self-worth. You are beautiful and worthy no matter what. Your worth as a person does not depend on you losing those nagging 15 pounds, getting into your top choice school or find the love of your life. While each is a worthwhile pursuit, you are just as worthy on the journey as you are if and when you reach the destination.
 
2. Quell Your Inner Critic: Talk to yourself as you would a best friend. Too often we say things to ourselves we would never dream of saying to anyone else. Beating yourself up when you fall short or feel down will only cause anxiety and degrade your sense of self-worth. Instead of immediately resorting to negativity, focus on unleashing your inner nurturer instead of your inner critic.
 
3. Think Rationally: The quality of your thoughts reflects the quality of your life; as such, healthy thoughts underlie healthy feelings. Thinking in black and white, all-or-nothing ways, such as "I'm stupid" or "He's a jerk" will make your thoughts distorted and extreme, often leading to anxiety and depression over time.  Sticking to the facts rather than your interpretations will help you to think straight to feel great!
 
4. Give Up the "If Only" Excuses: There is one thing for sure in this life: The past never changes. Excessive regret is a self-esteem robber, and focusing on what could have been, should have been or how things would have been if you made different choices is pointless and destructive. Instead of reworking the past, focus on what's next with the lessons learned from abandoned goals and past behaviors. Forgive yourself for not having the foresight to know that which is now so obvious in hindsight and you'll find that moving forward and growing will be that much easier.
 
5. Embrace Self-Compassion: When you are self-compassionate, you choose self-kindness over beating yourself up. No success in the world will make you feel better about yourself than being kind and self-loving.
 
6. Cultivate Mindfulness: While many equate it to meditating and isolation, mindfulness is actually the art of being present with non-judgmental awareness. It is the art of accepting what cannot be changed and working to cultivate a "beginner's mind." Noticing the beauty around you rather than getting lost in the recesses of your critical head will help you see the world mindfully.
 
7. Take Care of Yourself: All too often we spend so much time caring for others that we neglect our own needs. Refusing to sacrifice our needs for self-care and making ourselves a priority will make us healthier and happier in the long run. Don't forget to take a few minutes every day to do something beneficial for your mind or body.
 
8. Assert Yourself: Speaking your mind and finding your voice is vital to self-esteem. Fear of expressing thoughts and feelings over concern about what others think will slowly rob you of your confidence. To practice reinforcing your sense of self-worth, practice using "I" statements to express your thoughts and feelings rather than keeping quiet in fear of criticism and rejection.
 
9. Develop Strong Connections:  The quality of our support system often correlates with how we feel about ourselves. While no one can give us self-esteem, having strong, supportive familial and friendly bonds help us feel good about ourselves. The best way to grow is not in isolation, but through positive relationships that challenge and change you.
 
10. Have an Attitude of Gratitude: Grateful people tend to be more self-loving and confident. Those who look for the roses instead of focusing on the thorns will be more likely to focus on what they have rather than what they lack. Make a point to find three new things you are grateful for each day, and write those thoughts in a gratitude journal. You will be more likely to feel whole when you do not focus on the perceived frustrations or disappointments in your life.
 
Improving your self-esteem and embracing your greatness will help you truly love yourself and love your life. While it may not come natural to all, focusing on self-care and positive self-talk will allow you to recognize all that your body and mind can achieve and will help you slowly improve how you view yourself. After all, don't you deserve to be happy, to love yourself and appreciate yourself as you are right now? We think you do.  
  
About the Author Judith Belmont, M.S., L.P.C., is an online mental health coach and offers motivational interactive presentations. She is the author of seven books, including "Embrace Your Greatness: 50 Ways to Build Unshakeable Self-Esteem" and the Anxiety and Stress Solution Card Deck. Her website, Belmont Wellness, offers free self-help handouts and worksheets.


What is your best tip for developing unshakeable self-esteem? Share your strategies with other members in the comments below! 

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Comments

JANTHEBLONDE 2/20/2019
Great article! Report
4CONNIESHEALTH 2/20/2019
Thank you, Great article! Report
KATHYJO56 2/20/2019
A super article. I love it. Report
MSROZZIE 2/19/2019
Good need-to-know information! Report
GETULLY 2/19/2019
Good points all. I continue to work on my inner critic. Report
CKOUDSI617 2/18/2019
Thank you so much! I really liked all of these, especially #4! Report
MNABOY 2/17/2019
Thanks Report
MNABOY 2/17/2019
Thanks Report
AMYRCMK 1/31/2019
Thank you Report
BILLTHOMSON 1/24/2019
Thank-you, self-esteem is so important in life, without it we will go bankrupt spiritually, physically and mentally. Report
FISHGUT3 1/23/2019
thanks Report
SISBELL02 1/22/2019
Thank you Report
ROBBIEY 1/16/2019
Good info Report
ANNIEMAROO 1/15/2019
I found a couple of items I need to work on - thank you for the info! Report
GABY1948 1/13/2019
Thank You Report
DWROBERGE 1/12/2019
Great read! Report
DWROBERGE 1/11/2019
great article Report
ARIELH5 1/10/2019
Thank you Report
CHRISINMIAMI 1/10/2019
Thank you! Report
TERMITEMOM 1/10/2019
What a wonderful article! Thank you. Report
MSROZZIE 1/9/2019
Good read. Excellent need-to-know information! Report
PROVERBS31JULIA 1/9/2019
It's so difficult to unlearn the inner critic, when so many "friends" and family have been negative towards me. My therapist wants me to read Pete Walker's book on CPTSD ...C Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I can't remember what the C stood for? Constant? Report
KITT52 1/9/2019
good blog, thanks for sharing... Report
GABY1948 1/9/2019
GREAT! Report
AJB121299 1/9/2019
nice Report
AQUAGIRL08 1/9/2019
Great blog! You certainly made me stop and think! Report
SPUNOUTMOM 1/9/2019
This is a great article. I have been blessed by good self esteem, it is a gift to ourselves, so we can be a gift to others. I know that mine was because of fantastic coaches. I joined team sports and the coaching I received gave me the confidence and self worth that I feel I wouldn't have had without them. So join clubs, sports and fitness facilities that promote strength inside and out. Report
RAZZOOZLE 1/9/2019
Always a good read, thank you Report
CECTARR 1/9/2019
I wish I could Report
SPINECCO 1/9/2019
Awesome article and great information. Thanks.
Report
NANBREW2 1/9/2019
What a professional, powerful message - thank you! Report
BLARSON66 1/9/2019
Good reminder: be your own best friend. This, low self-esteem. has been a life-long struggle for me. As soon as I realized I was not a victim, I was in control of my own travel on Life's road, and that the past cannot be changed; my life became so much easier to live and enjoy. Report
MICKEYF57 1/9/2019
Thank you for your blog, it only confirms what I finally realized about 2 years ago (I am 61 now). For years, I allowed my husband (of 40 years) and others to control what I use to think about myself. NOW, he and others are not allowed to do it. When he or others try, I remind them, that is their issue, not mine. I am mentally in a different state of mind... I love myself, where as before, I did not... I always felt, I could never do anything right in someone elses eyes (because of what they would say in words). I am retired, enjoy life, volunteer, go to bible study, got back into sewing/quilting... I do things for me now... not just others. Report
KOHINOOR2 1/9/2019
Awesome blog!!! Thank you! Report
LIS193 1/9/2019
Thank you Report
PINKGLOW9 1/9/2019
thank you I really needed this my husband came home drunk last night waking me up blasting music.. knowing I have to go to work morning.. Im so sad how someone could be so mean Report
AZMOMXTWO 1/9/2019
thank you Report
NEPTUNE1939 1/9/2019
ty Report
JUDYBELMONT 1/8/2019
Thank you for all the supportive and wonderful comments! I am glad this post was helpful to so many to embrace their greatness!
Report
BETH110764 1/8/2019
I needed this article. I often have bouts of low self esteem. Next time that happens, I will definitely try some of the things mentioned. Report
VGER8946 1/8/2019
While I have never let my weight stop me from doing anything, I've often wondered what life would be like without it. Does that count as low self esteem. I don't know. I think I'm a confident person in who and what I am, but there are times that I doubt myself, that's a normal part of life! Report
CURVESONE 1/8/2019
Excellent article.....Thank you! Report
ROBBIEY 1/8/2019
Good information to know. Report
ARNETTELEE 1/8/2019
great Report
AJB121299 1/7/2019
nice Report
MSGRIZZLY 1/7/2019
This is an eye opener. It's so easy to be harsh with ourselves but so gentle with others. Thanks for a wonderful article. I know we can all do this! Report
ZRIE014 1/7/2019
great Report
DWROBERGE 1/7/2019
Super Report
MATSIMOM 1/6/2019
Thank you Report
_CYNDY55_ 1/6/2019
Great, thanks! Report
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