When you’re tempted to tear yourself down with a list of endlessly creative insults or bemoan the misery of your existence. stop.
Think of the infinite number of factors that had to come into alignment for you to even exist. You’re meant to be here. You’re a piece of the universe, made up of particles that have existed for billions of years. BILLIONS.
Your father and mother had to meet; the sperm that was you had to beat out hundreds of millions of others; you had to spend nine months incubating in your mama’s stomach; your heart and blood vessels and cell membranes and countless other bits and pieces have had to function unceasingly for all the years you’ve been on this earth. Lots of stuff has had to happen to keep you alive and well. You can hardly chalk yourself up to coincidence. There are way too many factors at work.
Despite all the evidence that speaks to the wonder of your existence, if you still suffer from low self-esteem (as I believe the majority of people do), here are 10 ways to feel better about your amazing self, right now:
10. Stop with the negative self-talk.
Easier said than done, I realize. But the first step is recognizing that incessant, unpleasant chatter. Be aware of the nasty things you’re saying to yourself. Write these thoughts down, and create more positive responses to take their place.
9. Examine the evidence.
Create a list of your fabulous qualities, accomplishments and assets. Write down compliments you’ve received from others, all your unique abilities, the ways you’ve contributed to the world — everything you can think of. Take positive stock of yourself. The outcome will be more impressive than you probably expect.
8. Step outside of yourself.
Our egos cause all kinds of damage, creating turmoil in order to sustain their existence. But once you detach yourself from that incessant “I”, you’re able to recognize that you’re much more expansive, peaceful and eternal than you ever could have imagined. In truth, you’re not your body or your circumstances or your job or your relationship — you’re so much more.
7. Walk away from something negative.
You don’t have to fight all your battles rightthisminute, but walking away from even one negative scenario can offer a huge boost to your sense of self-worth. Turn down the booze, the soul-sucking dude you’ve been dating, the attentions of a toxic friend. Saying no is an amazing way to take care of yourself. And dammit, you deserve it.
6. Do something that scares you.
Overcoming fear is a major upper. There’s nothing like the adrenaline that comes from being scared shitless — and doing something anyway. Pick something you’ve been avoiding and power through. You can ride that wave for days.
5. Spend time with someone who loves you.
Make sure this is a positive, life-affirming someone. Undoubtedly there are well-intentioned people who love you (probs relatives), yet simultaneously make you feel like crap. Don’t opt for any of those people. Choose someone who makes you feel like a million bucks. If you don’t have anyone like that in your life, get out there and look!
4. Challenge yourself.
This could be with a task as simple as a word game — or as difficult as scaling an epic peak. Just pick an activity that’ll put your brain (or brawn) to the test. Taking the easy way out doesn’t help our sense of self worth, but a damn good challenge always will. Even if you don’t meet with immediate success, you’ll be building muscle (mental or otherwise), and that’s something to be proud of.
3. Help another human (or animal).
Nothing boosts a mood like an act of altruism. Perform a random act of kindness, help a pal with a problem, rescue an animal in need. (If you need ideas, here are a few.) Making another’s day will ALWAYS make your day, too. It’s foolproof.
2. Try not to take anything personally.
I’m a fan of the Four Agreements, one of which is “Don’t take anything personally.” Don Miguel Ruiz was on to something, there. Other people’s reactions are a function of their experience, their beliefs and their perceptions. Frankly, how other people behave has zero to do with you and everything to do with them. Never forget that.
1. Practice self-compassion.
The Buddhists believe that compassion for one cannot exist without compassion for all. In other words, if you don’t practice self-compassion, it’s hard to have it for anyone else, either. Be gentle with yourself. Be forgiving. Be kind. You’re as deserving of your own softness and empathy as anyone else. More so, even. Because if you don’t take care of you, who will? Self-compassion trumps self-esteem, any day.
Basically, you’re a damn miracle. No matter what you believe (or don’t believe) about the bigger picture, if you weren’t meant to be here, you wouldn’t be. And that’s pretty impressive.