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Self-esteem is our overall sense of worth, value, and how much we appreciate ourselves. Our self-esteem impacts our self-confidence, feeling of security, sense of identity and belonging, and our feeling of competence.

A low self-esteem can keep us from reaching our full potential. A whole lot of things can cause feelings of inadequacy, like poor childhood experiences with parents, failing grades, financial or relationship issues, or ongoing mental or physical health issues.

However, there are certainly ways to raise your self-esteem even when you're struggling.


Redditor Notsofastboe asked:

"How did you achieve higher self-esteem?"

Hopefully, we can take a few pointers from those who were able to achieve high self-esteem.

Everyone has their own thing going on.

"A few things."

"Being asked at a CBT class if anyone had gone to a restaurant or fast food outlet. Some of us put our hands up. We were then asked to describe who else was there. Of course we couldn't."

"Giving up smoking. At work a fellow smoker wished me the best of luck. Next day offered me a smoke."

"Going to my local shop for years and always buying the same thing. Then one day I asked for "the usual' and the lady on the till, who had served for years, had no idea what I meant."

"Which all took away the feeling that people are talking about me or judging me. Everybody has their own thing going on. So stop worrying and enjoy your life."

- New-Ad3222

"I like the realization of 'The usual, please' means a lot less to them than it does to you. Good to have learned from those experiences! I know I did."

- schofield101

"Like my father always told me: everything YOU think people think of you, is stuff YOU made up yourself."

- Kapot_ei

"Absolutely true. Part of CBT is about 'mind reading.' The exercise being looking at a bit of film with no sound and guessing what was going on. We all got it completely wrong of course."

"You just don't know."

- New-Ad3222

Get out of that toxic relationship.

  1. "Getting out of that toxic relationship I was in for eight months"
  2. "Finding new hobbies and growing my hair out"
  3. "Realizing that I can be myself without worrying about anyone disapproving of me, celebrating being single"
  4. "Listening to my own music, appreciating my own art, realizing that even if I hate some things about myself, I have so much to look forward to"
- GoatsWithWigs
"Growing my hair actually did help. I've yet to learn how to properly take care of it and how to trim it myself."

"Also 4 is the best way, Is such a great feeling to be happy with your own work."

- OUTRAGE_SWAMPERT

It's a process.

"It's like an iterative design process."

"You start by one day deciding on a project, in this case caring about yourself."

"So you start on a rough draft. This can be little things like making sure to brush your teeth, eat well, or get some exercise. Small things, not huge changes. These are taking care of yourself in little ways, setting the groundwork."

"Eventually you start to feel a bit more confident, and you add more to the design. You might realize you don't like exercise routines, so you find a hobby you do like. You slowly take better care of yourself and find more things you like about yourself. You find a passion, something you like and are confident in, and embrace it."

"Eventually, you learn that loving yourself matters more than what others think. You may drop some of the attempted ideas along the way, but the goal never changed. You made yourself better and learned to love yourself."

- TucuReborn

Tricking your mind into believing it's true.

"I think the whole fake it till you make it thing is what worked for me. I still struggle a lot with self esteem but after trying to act more confidently and putting myself outside of my comfort zone I kind of saw that heaps of people are doing the same thing."

"I've opened up about my insecurities to people and have been surprised about the amount of people who have related and shared similar stories, many people who I had assumed had everything figured out."

"A large amount of people in society find it hard and weird navigating this weird world we live in, even the most confident people that you run into have probably got their own sh*t they feel awkward and self conscious about."

- spoonforkbigdork

Don't believe what toxic masculinity will tell you.

"I use to think I was ugly all my life, seriously low confidence. It wasn't until I saw a girl on Omegle around my age who told me I looked cute did I achieve an extreme higher self-esteem in myself."

"A little tip for people, don't listen to toxic masculinity, the truth is most men are so insecure about themselves that one little positive comment about basically any attributes to them could hold a special memory and boost their self-esteem."

- Did-1-Ask-You

Seek approval from yourself, not others.

"One thing I took time to focus on was rather than trying to please others, I tried pleasing myself first."

"When cooking a meal for my family, I'd cook once beforehand to see if I liked it. Adjusted it to my tastes and then I cooked for everyone (eventually, it was a hard step) and I knew that because I liked it, it must be decent. Lo and behold they all loved it!"

"Once you stop seeking affirmation from other people, and look to yourself, you realise you're worth a LOT more than you give yourself credit for."

"Other people have also commented some good points, but the long and short is you just need to please yourself. Pleasing others comes as a by-product of being good to yourself and kind in general."

- schofield101

Just being yourself.

In short:

"By not giving a sh*t and being me."

- WhoEatsStinkyBudussy

Though it may seem like a difficult thing to achieve, higher self-esteem comes with time and dedication to yourself.

You're worth that time and energy.

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