How to build self-esteem

By Ms. Hafiqah Binti Hussain, Lecturer, Faculty of Allied Health

Self-esteem is an individual’s opinion about himself/herself which describes his/her overall sense of self-worth or personal value. Self-esteem is an important aspect of personal success and happiness.

There are many ways to improve your self-esteem every day. The first way is that you should identify and challenge your negative beliefs about yourself. Change the negative beliefs in your mind to positive belief such as ‘I am lovable’, ‘I am powerful’, ‘I am a winner’, ‘I am worthy’, ‘I am competent’ and ‘I am capable’.

Growing up in a society that wants to take your self-esteem away from you is extremely spirit-draining. Society wants to take this away from you because it doesn’t want you to be successful. It is an extremely hard thing to accept, but you must identify the positive values about yourself no matter what situation that you are facing in your life. Take thirty seconds, three times a day, to unapologetically and wholeheartedly allow yourself to think something positive about yourself.

You have a lifetime to improve yourself, so give yourself a break if you feel the world pushing you down. You are doing well for yourself. Everyone moves at his/her own pace, so never push yourself too hard. Train yourself to become more assertive and learn to say no if you need to. You need to be there for yourself first.  Take a couple of minutes or hours to improve your physical health every day by doing some exercise.

Take on challenges. For example, give someone you know or even don’t know a thoughtful compliment, read a news story on a subject you know nothing about, be kind to a total stranger for no reason at all.  It is difficult to go from having poor self-esteem to being comfortable with yourself overnight. Instead, if you keep trying, you will find a small improvement over a period of time. Just don’t give up on yourself.

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