Self-esteem is very intimate subject for many, including myself. Growing up in a culture where physical beauty defines how your future is going to turn out, I was considered a failure the day I was born. There weren’t a lot of encouragement words from my mom, so you can guess how low my self-esteem was before moving to Canada, the place where I found the meaning of self-esteem activities.
Once I arrived in Canada, things changed for the better, I was introduced to and found various activities and exercises that were slowly improved my self-esteem and believing in myself became easier each day.
When we believe in ourselves in an authentic way, knowing that we are worthy, it is transmitted to others. We carry ourselves in a certain manner. We stand tall, dress better, walk faster, talk confidently and are comfortable in our own skin.
We simply give permission to others to feel similarly about themselves. It is an invisible transmission, but powerful. It exudes a quiet authority and confidence.
The moment that we’re born, our self-esteem level is already defined by the way our parents treat and raise us. Children that are well-loved and are not met with undue stresses and trauma early in their life seen to have this sense of self-esteem, of self-worth, intact.
They don’t question their worthiness and move through the world with an innate confidence, curiosity, and wonder. They know where they stand intuitively, and proceed in a grounded and joyous fashion.
What I know is there are equally many things in life that are important but what is the most essential for any of us to first accomplish is having a healthy sense of self-esteem.
Below are self-esteem activities and self-esteem exercises that had helped me which I hope will help you to boost your self-esteem, rewire your mindset and increase your daily positivity one step at a time.
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1. Have Positive Daily Routines
How we decide to start our day directly impact our feeling throughout, one of top self-esteem activities that I would recommend to everyone who is looking to add a little bit of sunshine in their lives. It can be bad or good which is all up to us. Our mind is just like our bodies need healthy food to energize us throughout the day, so feeding it the right information can set us off to a more productive day. Wake up early to exercise, listening to the motivational podcast or reading the first 10 pages of your favorite book before checking emails or connect ourselves with social media will help our mind focus on the right tasks for the day.
Meditation can give us positive energy and the sense of calmness around and within us. It removes stress in mind and body, allowing our mind to absorb information better. When our body is free of negative thoughts, we allow ourselves to gain positive thoughts in our awareness. To immerse ourselves in the inner silence that is always to refresh, transform and gives rise to an optimal outlook. Meditation is now being used in school systems, even as far as switching out traditional detention for a meditation session.
Even with 15 minutes during the day, it helps reducing stress, improves our physical appearance and health, thus boost our self-confidence and improving our self-esteem. Feeling good both inside and outside will help you have a better self-esteem. It’s shown to increase happiness and more satisfactions toward our lives.
4. Connect with the “Right” Friends
Being around people that are elevated in their thinking and outlook and positive about life in general, keeps us afloat in that same optimism. Always find the people who are better than us and pick what we like about them and soon enough we will drift to that same direction and improve ourselves naturally.
5. Reading Self-Help Books
I believe reading is a way of increasing our knowledge to refine our life goals because we don’t stop learning when we are handed over our degree, that is where it begins. Trust your intuition and discover greater horizons within and without. So many outstanding publications are available to help achieve a greater sense of self-esteem and confidence.
Preparing and cooking meals for oneself, along with practicing conscious eating, can increase self-esteem. It has to do with self-love. This direct nurturance of our physical being creates a sense of trust in ourselves. When we proceed thusly, we send a message to ourselves about our own self-worth that we are worthy of great care and love. We feel our own innate worthiness as we take the time to prepare the food and nurture ourselves.
7. Read Positive Thought of The Day
Reading something positive and uplifting each day can help establish a higher perspective on life and provide inspiration. It is especially wonderful to start the day in this manner, to have it as part of the morning routine. It can remind us of our essential self-worth and head us in the right direction during the day to come.
8. Dressing the Right Way
Dressing well, in a way that respects and represents how we feel about ourselves is very critical when setting foot out of the door. It doesn’t mean we have to wear the latest styles or spend lots of money on expensive clothes. It’s more about a clean and attractive presentation. If we look important then we will feel important and it’s like a snowball effect, our self-confidence and self-esteem only go up from there. Our appearance broadcasts a sense of self that says either say “I don’t care about myself and my worth.” Or the opposite.
9. Attitude Is Everything
Attitude has a huge impact on how we proceed in life. It can be described as the lens through which we see our lives. But, perhaps we carry an attitude that is largely subconscious; drawn from experiences early in life that created a more negative and inaccurate picture of ourselves and our world. Some suggestions to make our attitudes more positive are, self-coaching through affirmations, visualization, enthusiasm, connecting to our spiritual empowerment and exercise.
10. Appreciate Everything That You Have, Good Or Bad
Appreciating everything in our own lives is a powerful tool for filling our sails and having a higher perspective. This includes the pleasant and less than and encourages less dependency on our circumstances to feel happy and confident. An “attitude of gratitude” fills us with a positive feeling and a sense of trust in our own life. And, we are less likely to take for granted all the blessings in our lives, as well.
11. Remember that Nothing Last Forever
If we don’t succeed the first time, don’t give up. If we F.A.I.L means First Attempt In Life. It is helpful to remember that everything, in terms of the circumstances in our lives, is temporary. This is a strong tenet of Buddhism; the temporary nature of this life. Thus, regarding a perceived failure, it is temporary because failures meant as a life lesson to make us smarter and stronger in our next exciting adventures.
12. Put Yourself First
During the safety instructions when flying on an airplane, the flight attendant will describe the necessity of putting on your own oxygen mask first before attempting to help anyone else. This is a very apt metaphor for how to function in life. If you deplete your own resources, how much good are you to yourself or anyone else? Far from being narcissistic, the awareness of taking good care of yourself and making it of primary importance allows you to be available to your own life and everyone in it. This is a function of self-esteem; knowing that you deserve the respect of good self-care. And it is not at the expense of others, but rather to their benefit.
13. Get Involve in Team Sports
Sports and other physical activities are one of the top self-esteem activities as it can help us learn about ourselves according to Professor Margaret Talbot, President of the International Council for Sports Science and Physical Education. It acts as a form of self-esteem test that allows us to understand our limit and discover our full potential. It also permits us to develop our potential, have a broader horizon in life, open ourselves to new possibilities, push ourselves to the limits and takes calculated risks. Looking back, I don’t think I would gain so much confidence if it wasn’t for the team sports that I joined during my early years in Canada where English wasn’t my first language.
14. 7 Day Mental Diet
This is one of the powerful tools that I’ve used that change the experience of my life. Emmet Fox created this diet. He believes that by changing our mind, the conditions in our lives change as well. The diet involves only entertaining positive thoughts for seven days straight. He suggests one not dwell on any thought that is negative but allows the mind to dwell on thoughts that are positive, constructive and optimistic. Commitment and discipline are key as this must be done for seven straight days. He also recommends not telling anyone about this diet in which we are partaking; to keep it to ourselves.
15. Embrace Fears
Facing and embracing our fears is very empowering. We are not meant to live small. Fear would have us embrace what appears to be a safety but it can rob us of our purpose and joy. Really, fear is, for the most part, a bossy bully. So, we must not let it run our lives.
16. Goal Setting
I cannot stress the importance of goal setting. Harvard Business School did a study in 1979, where they asked how many students write down their goals where only 13% of the class did. The 13% that did write down their goals were making twice as much money as the rest of the class that didn’t set goals at all. Goal setting is a wonderful aligner and motivator in our lives. To achieve it, we must be able to write them with a concrete plan to follow through.
17. Learn Something New Every day
Investing in ourselves is the best way to live, nobody can take it away from us and the government definitely cannot tax us for getting smarter. Learning something new every day is like building our knowledge private library where only we who can access it and use it to advance ourselves both professionally and personally. Also, it gives us access to different perspectives and broadens our horizons, along with inspiring creativity and creating a sense of greater confidence.
18. Practice Letting Go of The Past
The ability to let go of our pasts is wonderful and eliminates unnecessary baggage. Let go from seeing ourselves as victims but instead focus on the present where it is the only moment that we can change and improve upon. How empowering to be able to step forward as an active participant and take responsibility for our own happiness and not give that power to another person who has done us wrong.
19. Say “I can” NOT “I can’t”
Rather than focus on what you cannot do, focus on what you can do. Say “I can” rather than “I cannot.” This empowers you and reminds us of our capabilities that we are already there, and what is possible as we proceed. We are what we think, remember that.
20. Early Bird (Start your day early)
Starting the day early is a wonderful way to begin optimally and fill your sails. We associate happiness and high self-esteem based on how much we can check off the list and how productive we are daily. So many things are correlated with early rising, such as getting better grades for students, helping to sustain a healthier diet, enhancing our productivity, gives better mental health and more time for exercise. More can be ascribed to early rising. And, all these benefits noted help with increasing self-esteem.
21. Stop Complaining
If you have time to complain, you have time to take action. Complaining is basically of the ugliest negative self-talk that everyone should stop immediately. It wastes time, it can drain our energy level and productivity and we can be perceived as the “Debbie Downer” of the group. So do less complaining and more doing. Be proactive. This takes you out of the victim mode and creates more positivity and empowerment.
22. Don’t Rely On Others To Make You Believe In Yourself
Increasing self-esteem is an inside job in that finally you have to not rely on outside approbation to feel our innate worthiness. It’s great to have the world reflect back at you the inherent greatness of who you really are, but you cannot rely on this has a foundation for feeling good about yourself. The foundation needs to be established within. There it is steady and where it belongs. It is a self-recognized and self-appointed experience and not vulnerable to the changing outer world and its opinions.
23. Change Your View On Obstacles In Your Life
How you see obstacles can be key to how you proceed in life. Obstacles can be seen as opportunities. And along with this, if obstacles are not surmounted, failure can be seen as an opportunity to begin the adventure again! So, see obstacles as a way of possibly making your life more interesting and enjoy the challenges. Sometimes the perceived obstacle is the very thing that sharpens your skills and brings out a healthy competitive spirit. And, sometimes the obstacle can lead you to go another way which is more beneficial in the long run. See the obstacle in a positive light and then it can work for you.
24. Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself – Reward Yourself
Learn to reward yourself and appreciate the efforts and strides we’ve made. Being hard on yourself can create a downward spiral and erode self-esteem. Of course, authentic self-critiquing has its place, but that should never be confused with questioning and eroding your actual, native self-worth. If you do observe faults in yourself, it does not need to be equated with a basic deficit but rather as an opportunity to refine and transform.
25. Learn To Accept Rejection (NO means “Next Opportunity”)
Rejection happens to everyone, in one form or another. From the significant other who has decided to move on, to being passed over for that job promotion, rejection can be perceived in many areas. But, seeing rejection as an opportunity and not taking it so seriously, as well as learning from the experience so we can refine the next attempt, interview, etc. extracts benefit from the experience and keeps in the positive light.
Going through years of low self-esteem, I found these self-esteem activities to work, only if you don’t quit half way. Everything needs practice and your mind needs to be exercised properly and correctly to improve yourself and keep the positive alive. My hope is that what I’ve written here will not only help you feel better about yourself but will also help you to have a better outlook on life. Remember, “It’s never too late unless you give up”. Give yourself a chance to feel your own inherent greatness and self-worth. Let your light shine more and more.