Do you find that you often look for approval from friends, family, and co-workers?

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If so, increasing your self-esteem through activities may give you the confidence you've been looking for!

What is Self-Esteem?

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Self-esteem is:

  • how you see yourself

  • based upon opinions you have of yourself

  • often referred to as self-confidence

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Self-esteem can impact:

  • your personal life

  • your professional life

  • your education

  • your relationships with others

What Are the Signs of Low Self-Esteem?

11 Signs of Low-Self-Esteem

  • Low confidence

  • Feelings of a lack of control

  • Constant comparison to others

  • Difficulty asking for what you need

  • Self-doubt and worry which leads to second-guessing yourself

  • Difficulty accepting compliments

  • Negative self-talk which leads to self-blame

  • Fear of failure which often leads to avoidance

  • Poor outlook which makes it difficult to engage in positive behaviors

  • Lack of boundaries which can allow others to take advantage

  • People-pleasing which often leads to neglecting your own needs


Annie often finds her ex in her kitchen when she arrives home from work. She's afraid it would be rude to tell him it's inappropriate to show up unannounced. Which signs of low self-esteem does Annie display?

5 Activities That Will Help Increase Your Self-Esteem

An example of a vision board that includes getting 8 hours of sleep, a Roth IRA, and dental hygiene from the NY Times.

1. Create a Vision Board

Author Shannah Kennedy shares that vision boards allow people to imagine a positive future which can be motivational and can increase self-confidence and esteem.

  • A vision board should represent your goals and dreams

  • It can be created digitally (using Canva or a similar site) or using magazine pictures

  • Place it where you can look at it every day

  • It can be a calming activity

A person writing #GOALS on a board.

2. Set Up Small Goals

Setting small goals provides a sense of purpose and something to work towards which can increase self-esteem.

  • Pick 2-4 small goals

  • Goals can be daily, weekly, or monthly

  • Choose goals that you know you can accomplish

  • Write the goals down (on paper or digitally)

  • Check off each goal when achieved

A person sitting in a group of flowers while smiling at herself in the mirror. Photo by Caroline Veronez on Unsplash

3. Be Kind To Yourself

According to the Harvard Business Review, treating yourself with kindness builds self-esteem.

  • Give yourself grace when things don't go as planned

  • Pump yourself up when things feel challenging

  • Instead of focusing on the negatives, find positive things that you love about yourself

  • Take time for yourself doing things that you love

  • Practice gratitude

A person practicing yoga next to water. Photo by kike vega on Unsplash

4. Exercise

Research has shown that exercise increases self-esteem.

  • Exercise increases endorphins which make you feel happier

  • Any form of exercise can produce positive effects that put you in a good mood

  • Exercising consistently (3-4 times a week) keeps your mind in a positive state

Two hands making a heart. Photo by Edgar Chaparro on Unsplash

5. Positive Affirmations

Studies have shown that daily positive affirmations can increase self-esteem.

  • Look through books or the internet for affirmations that are meaningful to you

  • Write the affirmations down (post-it notes, pieces of paper, etc)

  • Place the affirmations in a place where you will see them (the bathroom mirror, a bedside table, the coffee maker, etc) every day

  • Read the affirmations every day

Take Action

Are you ready to build your self-esteem?

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