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How to Banish Low Self-Esteem and Self-Worth

Uncomfortable truth incoming: at times, we are all a little bit responsible for lowering our self-esteem and self-worth. Though the beginning of these habits comes from outside sources, negative self-talk, putting ourselves down, and yes, even the dreaded impostor syndrome help keep our self-worth low. Here are a few ways to banish low self-esteem and self-worth to keep yourself feeling good and strong.

Be Nice

To yourself, that is. Think about your friends — would you ever say even half of the negative things to them that you say to yourself? Probably not. When negative thoughts about yourself start to run rampant, try thinking of talking to yourself like talking to a friend. What sometimes works for me is to think of talking to my inner child (because we’re all just scared kids on the inside, right?). You don’t want to hurt that kid or that friend. You want to lift them up. Do yourself the same kindness.

Focus on Your Strengths

If your self-esteem is tanking because you’re failing at something, try focusing on a different thing that you’re good at for a while. Remind your mind and body that you are not failing, it’s just a moment, and there are plenty of things that you’re amazing at. Once you’re feeling better, go back to the challenge and take a run at it with a better mindset. Even if you don’t succeed, you’ll feel better.

Build a Good Network

Studies continuously prove that humans do better in life with a good support system. Your friends and family want to see you succeed (and if they don’t, find new supporters). If you’re feeling down on your self-worth and self-esteem, find one of your champions and chat with them for a bit. They love you. They’ll remind you why you’re awesome. Hopefully, the message will sink in ;).

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Stop Apologizing

Everyone messes up. It is okay. Making a mistake is not a character flaw, it’s human. Don’t apologize for being who you are.

Draw Boundaries

Individuals who struggle with their self-esteem tend to say yes to other people, even if they don’t want to. Learn to say no to anything that will put you in a bad headspace or make you feel angry, sad, resentful, or burdened. It may be hard at first, but you’ll feel better about yourself in the long run.

Write in a Journal

Journaling is private, for you and only you. It’s where you’re allowed to say whatever you want about whatever you want. Sometimes it’s hard to admit that you’re having feelings of self-doubt, low self-worth, and overall ickiness. Journaling allows you to get those feelings out without having to confess any secrets to another person.

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We all wear a mask to some extent in our daily lives (otherwise, would anyone have a job?). However, it’s important to allow the real you to shine through, even if that’s just with your friends. You are good enough. The real you is good enough. And if someone doesn’t like it, remind yourself that you don’t like everyone, either. As long as you’re being yourself, that’s all anyone can ask for.

Help Others

Volunteering, or just helping out someone who needs it, is a great way to make a difference in the world. Even something small, like helping an elderly neighbor with a task or buying someone’s drink behind you in line at Starbucks, can go a long way. You’ll do some good and also remind yourself that your actions are important.

Be Present

We spend a lot of time dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Instead of focusing on the dumb thing you said in fourth grade (trust me, these things keep me awake at night too!) or worrying about tomorrow’s workload, try to be present in the moment. Enjoy what’s happening right here, right now, and let the rest go.

Clean House (Figuratively and Literally)

Literally: Clean your space. Everyone feels better in a clean space. Declutter, hire someone if you want, just get your home looking and feeling its best. Figuratively: Clean your life of people and things that aren’t contributing to your happiness. Being the best version of yourself means surrounding yourself with people who love you and opportunities that give you a chance to shine.

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How to Succeed by Focusing on Failure

We all experience a fear of failure at some point in our lives, right? Unless, of course, you were born with perfect self-esteem or had a supportive family or something 😉 Impostor syndrome is real, as the hundreds of millions of TikTok views to the hashtag demonstrates. So how do you succeed by focusing on failure? Here are some helpful strategies.

Reframe Your “Failures”

Nelson Mandela famously said, “I never lose. I either win or I learn.” Were truer words ever spoken? It’s okay to try and not succeed. Most successful people — whether that’s in business, relationships, or other areas of life — fail multiple times before they achieve success.

What’s important is your mindset. If you reframe your failures as a learning opportunity, you have the chance to change your mindset about failure. Instead of berating yourself, you will comes to see every “failure” as a win because it brought you experience (hopefully).

Face Your Fears

After a failure, have you ever had the thought, “Well, I’m never trying that again”? The first time I bombed at standup, I decided I would never get onstage again. (Spoiler alert: I did.) The next time I got up, I didn’t bomb, and it left a better taste in my mouth.

No one is awesome at everything 100 percent of the time. But the people who succeed face their fear of failure head on and keep battling it until they win. If a fear of failing is holding you back, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but you need to run head on into that fear. Show it who’s boss and find success through failure.

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Don’t Give Up

Again, it can be tempting to just jump ship after a perceived failure. But giving up never got anyone what they wanted. Focus on your attitude about what you’re doing. Is it something you really want? Then don’t let setbacks stop you. Celebrate small steps. And don’t give up until you’ve gotten where you want to go.

Figure out the Cause

Did you fail because you weren’t prepared enough? Or was it because you were so scared you self-sabotaged? Or maybe your timing wasn’t great. Most successful people will tell you that timing plays an enormous role in success.

If you can, step back and analyze the failure. Was there something you could have done differently? Analyzing a failure can help establish some distance, so you can view it objectively and hopefully remove some of the bad feelings there.

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Take a Pause

It can be hard to go right back into trying something after you’ve experienced a loss. Be kind to yourself and, if necessary, take a break. I cannot tell you how many times a year I quit something after a setback (writing, acting, comedy, whatever), and end up missing it in a few weeks. Distance can create perspective, allow you to process, and dive back in when you’re ready.

Own Your Part, But Don’t Lower Your Goals

This may take some distance (see last paragraph), but look at your situation honestly and ask yourself what part you played in the failure. Odds are there is something you could do differently to change the outcome. That being said, don’t dull your ambitions just because you don’t achieve something the first, fourth, tenth, or hundredth time. If you really want it, keep your eyes on your endgame and make it happen.

What are some of your strategies to succeed by focusing on failure? Leave me a comment or shoot me a note and let me know!