What is self-esteem? Ultimately it is your opinion of yourself and your abilities. It can be high, low or somewhere in-between. While everyone occasionally has doubts about themselves, low self-esteem can leave you feeling insecure and demotivated. You might be able to identify a few things that are affecting your opinion of yourself (maybe you’re being bullied, or you might be feeling lonely), or it could be a mystery. Either way, there are heaps of things you can do to improve your self-esteem.

  1. Be nice to yourself

That little voice that tells you you’re killing’ it (or not) is way more powerful than you might think. Try to be kind to yourself and, if you do slip up, try to challenge any negative thoughts and remember you are only human. A good rule of thumb is to speak to yourself in the same way that you’d speak to your best friend. This can be difficult at first, but practise makes perfect.

  1. You do you

Comparing yourself to other people is a sure-fire way to start feeling bad about yourself. Try to focus on your own goals and achievements, rather than measuring them against someone else’s. Nobody needs that kind of pressure!

  1. Get moving’

Exercise is a great way to increase motivation, practise setting goals and building confidence. Breaking a sweat also cues the body to release endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Sometimes just making progress in the gym can make you feel accomplished! If you are running a little bit further or lifting a bit heavier each week, it can be a huge confidence boost!

  1. Nobody’s perfect

Always strive to be the best version of yourself, but it’s also important to accept that perfection is an unrealistic goal. You may have heard before, that the key to reaching your goals is not perfection but consistency and this is so true! You cannot get it right every time, but if you continue to practice and try everyday – you will get there!

  1. Remember that everyone makes mistakes

You’ve got to make mistakes in order to learn and grow, so try not to beat yourself up if you forget to hit CTRL+S on a super-important assignment. Everyone’s been there. This also applies to all the things we have going on, every day. We will sometimes be doing really well at work but our health is slacking – this is okay and you cannot be 100% perfect in everything!

  1. Focus on what you can change

It’s easy to get hung up on all the things that are out of your control, but it won’t achieve much. Instead, try to focus your energy on identifying the things that are within your control and seeing what you can do about them.

  1. Do what makes you happy

If you spend time doing the things you enjoy, you’re more likely to think positively. Try to schedule in a little you-time every day. Whether that’s time spent reading, cooking or just relaxing on the couch for a bit, if it makes you happy, make time for it.

  1. Celebrate the small stuff

You got up on time this morning. Tick. You poached your eggs to perfection. Winning. Celebrating the small victories is a great way to build confidence and start feeling better about yourself.

  1. Be a friend

Being helpful and considerate to other people will certainly boost their mood, but it’ll also make you feel pretty good about yourself too!

  1. Surround yourself with a supportive squad

Find people who make you feel good about yourself and avoid those who tend to trigger your negative thinking.