6. Do unto others.
Hershenson suggests volunteering to help those who may be less fortunate. “Being of service to others helps take you out of your head. When you are able to help someone else, it makes you less focused on your own issues.”
David Simonsen, Ph.D., LMFT, agrees:
“What I find is that the more someone does something in their life that they can be proud of, the easier it is for them to recognize their worth. Doing things that one can respect about themselves is the one key that I have found that works to raise one’s worth. It is something tangible. Helping at a homeless shelter, animal shelter, giving of time at a big brother or sister organization. These are things that mean something and give value to not only oneself, but to someone else as well.”
There is much truth to the fact that what we put out there into the world tends to boomerang back to us. To test this out, spend a day intentionally putting out positive thoughts and behaviors toward those with whom you come into contact. As you go about your day, be mindful of what comes back to you, and also notice if your mood improves.
Want to know more about improving your self-esteem? Check this video out below!
Is there is someone in your life you haven’t forgiven? An ex-partner? A family member? Yourself? By holding on to feelings of bitterness or resentment, we keep ourselves stuck in a cycle of negativity. If we haven’t forgiven ourselves, shame will keep us in this same loop.
“Forgiving self and others have been found to improve self-esteem,” says Schiraldi, “perhaps because it connects us with our innately loving nature and promotes an acceptance of people, despite our flaws.” He refers to the Buddhist meditation on forgiveness, which can be practiced at any time: “If I have hurt or harmed anyone, knowingly or unknowingly, I ask forgiveness. If anyone has hurt or harmed me, knowingly or unknowingly, I forgive them. For the ways I have hurt myself, knowingly or unknowingly, I offer forgiveness.”
8. Remember that you are not your circumstances.
Finally, learning to differentiate between your circumstances and who you are is key to self-worth. “Recognizing inner worth, and loving one’s imperfect self, provide the secure foundation for growth,” says Schiraldi. “With that security, one is free to grow with enjoyment, not fear of failure — because failure doesn’t change core worth.”
We are all born with infinite potential and equal worth as human beings. That we are anything less is a false belief that we have learned over time. Therefore, with hard work and self-compassion, self-destructive thoughts and beliefs can be unlearned. Taking the steps outlined above is a start in the effort to increase self-worth, or as Schiraldi says, to “recognize self-worth. It already exists in each person.”
Written By Allison Abrams Originally Published In Psychology Today