Hello, Lovelies! Today, I am going to talk about self-esteem. I am an extremely confident person, but I didn’t use to be. I am nerdy and dorky and lack social skills (I’m better now, but I did not talk to people as a kid). Nerds are generally bullied in school, and I was one of them, but after getting older and making friends, I suddenly wasn’t anymore. I moved schools and met more people like me. I made friends and felt better about myself. A few years ago, I noticed a few things that I did that boosted my self-esteem immensely. Here are 10 habits to help boost your self-esteem.
1// Dress Nicely Everyday
There were some mornings on school days, I wouldn’t feel like putting any effort. I wouldn’t bother putting on my contacts or dress nicely. I’d put on a sweatshirt and wouldn’t brush my hair. I personally didn’t care, but I realized that I was not as productive as I could have been on those days. By the middle of the day, I’d have my energy up, but I’d look in the mirror and not feel as confident or productive. I felt like lounging around and not do anything.
The days I dressed up, I felt a lot better about myself and was more productive. This actually started mostly last year because I started putting effort into my appearance. Don’t get me wrong, I think I’m pretty awesome on the inside and that should come first, but I saw the benefits of taking care of myself.
For example, I rarely wore makeup to school until last year (and even then I rarely wore it). Some mornings I’d put some on and head to school. Once I got to school, I’d usually went to the bathroom and wiped off the very minimal makeup I put on because I personally think I look better without it. But putting on makeup wasn’t what affected my confidence. It was the fact that I put effort into doing something for myself in the morning.
Even now during the summer, on days where nobody but my family sees me, I apply mascara once in a while just because. Makeup doesn’t need to be what effort you put into yourself. Sometimes, putting on sunscreen every day is how I invest in myself (Well, it also reduces my chances of skin cancer, too) Something as petty as appearance isn’t what boosts your confidence, but what you invest in yourself does.
2// Talk to yourself in the mirror
I talk to myself all the time. It freaks out my mom, but it’s the truth. I started talking to myself in the mirror sometime last year. More like mouthing stuff, but you get the picture. But this talking to myself wasn’t the usual way I talk to myself (Like I have legitimate conversations about books and politics in my head.). There is just something about thinking to yourself that you look beautiful when you look in the mirror. Same with when you tell yourself that you are brilliant or that you’ll ace a test can really boosts one’s confidence.
3// Look back at the things you have accomplished
Sometimes when you feel like nothing and people tell you that you can’t succeed, look back at the goals you accomplished (even the small ones) and think, “to hell with ’em” to those who discouraged you.
4// Don’t look at people with jealousy. Strive to be like them.
This may take a little explaining. Everyone gets jealous, whether it’s of people they know or someone they see only a few times in person. I noticed a few months ago that I don’t really feel that way. The sense of being jealous, I mean. It’s more that I strive to be like them. If you see a person who got your dream job, don’t get jealous. Think to yourself, “I need to work towards being what I like about that person” (The stuff that you get jealous of, not be that person, obviously) When I read travel blogs, instead of thinking that that person got lucky and feel jealous, I think about what I can do to reach a similar goal like saving money. Striving towards something instead of pitying yourself.
5// Spend time with real friends
Your real friends are the ones who accept you for who you are and laugh at your inappropriate jokes and don’t judge when you do something weird. Having friends boosts my self-esteem so much because I didn’t use to have friends and I can appreciate these relationships more. I now have a great group of people who accept me for who I am, which I don’t doubt boosted my confidence a ton. Having people accept you affects how self-assured you are.
6// Make note of the compliments people give you. Don’t dismiss them.
Most people don’t believe the compliments they receive. Not even that. Many people just don’t hand out compliments. Sometimes you see someone and you think they look pretty today, but you don’t always tell them.
So I was interning at Emory Autism Center last year, and a woman with autism looked straight at me and said, “You are really beautiful,” and I didn’t realize till then that nobody had ever told me that before. I also realized how good hearing that made me feel and that I should tell other people when I think something good about them because knowing that you are smart or pretty is awesome, but hearing it can make a person’s day.
When someone comes up to you and says you are beautiful or brilliant or kind, remember that you are when you feel insecure. I keep reading that you should write down all the compliments people give you, but who has time for that? It’s a good idea, but I’m pretty sure most people don’t have a pen and paper every time someone compliments them. Just make note of it, you don’t necessarily have to write it down.
7// Don’t compare yourself to others
This seems self-explanatory. I have known people who are SO self-deprecating because they compare themselves to others. When one of my friends grew out of this habit, she was much happier for it.
For those who look at people who are older or farther along in school or their career, remember never to compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. They were probably in the same place you were in at one point. Don’t give up or feel inadequate just because someone is in a better place than you. Strive to do what you admire about them, like I said before.
8// Take care of yourself
I have REALLY oily hair, so I have to shower every day, otherwise my hair gets really greasy and I feel really uncomfortable. When I spent so much time studying or doing homework, I wouldn’t have time to shower, so the next day I would feel all gross, which did not make me feel as awesome as I could have felt that day.
Same goes for sleep. At my high school, people would sometimes boast about how they hadn’t slept in three days (Granted, they were sleep deprived, which was, unfortunately, a norm at my high school). I NEVER pulled an all-nighter in high school, which was MINDBLOWING to students at my school. I prioritized sleep which is why I felt better during the day and paid better attention in class.
Self-care is important. Prioritize it.
9// Think of all the great things ahead of you and embrace the unknown
This is one of the things that I’m pretty sure kept seniors going last year. We were tired of selling ourselves to colleges and taking standardized tests that didn’t truly measure who we are. Thinking about the things ahead of me really helped me stop comparing myself to others. Just because your life is going in a different direction from someone else doesn’t mean what you are doing makes you less successful. Thinking about my goals and aspirations and how I’m going to accomplish them really makes me feel good about myself and what I plan to do.
Related: My Long-Term Goals List
10// Forget the future that others have thrust upon you
Don’t lie. Your parents and extended family have expected things from you. A friend of mine wants to go into English Literature, but her dad really wanted her to go into mathematics. She became so much happier when she trusted her gut and felt proud about not going into a STEM field. Knowing what you want and owning up to your decisions will reduce your stress a TON and will help you feel better about yourself and your goals.
Wow. I managed to fork out over about 1500 words in this post. I hope it has helped you.
What do you do to help boost your self-esteem? What are some compliments that have made you feel really good?