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9 Ways to Develop True Self Esteem

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9 Ways to Develop True Self Esteem

By Kellen Von Houser, Intent.com

Most of us know that increasing our self esteem will help us live fuller lives and have better relationships, but how exactly do you do this?

A lot of people present self esteem development as simply being a matter of doing nice things for yourself.  True self esteem comes from hard work and challenging yourself.  Persevering through difficulties, facing fears, overcoming challenges, making difficult choices and changes.  These are the things which truly develop self esteem.  Here are 9 ways to do that.

Finding Meaning

I think a lot of efforts to develop self esteem involve focusing only on ourselves.  Good self care is important and I will examine this further below.  But it isn’t everything.  Human beings are social creatures.  We live in and are affected by the society which surrounds us.  I believe that disconnecting from this and isolating ourselves leaves us empty and contributes to the depression which is so prolific in modern culture.  To truly feel good about ourselves we have to feel part of our community in some way.  We need to feel that we are making a contribution.  The way in which one does this is unique to every individual.  But connecting to and participating in something bigger than yourself contributes greatly to your own sense of self worth.  Find a meaning.  Find a cause.  Find something which is important to you and create it, build it, defend it.

Self Care

Developing good self care techniques is necessary not only for developing self esteem, but for maintaining good mental and physical health.  But good self care is not simply a matter of being “nice” to yourself.  Sometimes it requires making some tough choices; i.e. changing your diet, starting an exercise regimen, etc.  It is so important I’ve devoted an entire article just to this topic:  “Building Self Esteem through Self Care“.

Self Talk

Pay attention to how you talk to yourself.  If you are delivering a constant stream of name-calling, put downs, insults or negative language to yourself it’s almost impossible to have a good sense of self esteem.  Developing healthy and appropriate self talk is almost as important as developing good self care.  This too is a topic worthy of it’s own article:  “The Voices in Your Head: Tuning in to Your Self Talk“.

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131 comments

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1:34AM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

Thank you :)

12:57PM PDT on Nov 1, 2011

Thank you for this - I'm keeping it!

2:45AM PDT on Oct 31, 2011

Good article, but I disagree about work needing to be something you love doing. I've had jobs that were engaging and fulfilling, but had pay that was too low to live on and/or had toxic environments, and I've had jobs where I really didn't like the job (didn't completely hate it, but disliked it), but had a good environment and paid a living wage. In all cases, I've been happier at the job I disliked. In fact, those are the only times when I've been happy and optimistic about my life.

I believe that there are some people, like myself, who need security and a positive work environment more than they need fulfilling work. Sure, it would be great to have all three, but that's just not possible for everyone.

9:12AM PDT on Jul 25, 2011

Keep on trying! That's it and change something for the better as often as possible!

11:06PM PST on Mar 10, 2011

Ek weet niet waarom

9:08PM PST on Mar 10, 2011

Aw what a beautiful article :) thank you

12:26PM PST on Feb 20, 2011

i've been battling with this all my life, and i recently tried writing positive things in dry-erase marker on my mirror, so when i wake up i'm "forced" to read something nice about myself. :)

8:41PM PST on Feb 19, 2011

Thank you

1:13PM PST on Feb 19, 2011

Great stuff, learning to care/love yourself is very important

3:26PM PDT on Sep 4, 2010

Thanks for this post, I think I need it a bit :b

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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