I remember when I was about 20-years-old, I went through about six months where I felt awful.
I was going to college and I still attended my classes and did okay, but I could barely get up in the morning and every day was a struggle.
And, as you can probably imagine, I felt pretty bad about myself.
Thankfully, I had people to talk to who gave me good advice and I figured out what I needed to do during those tough times.
And today all of us are going to get some helpful tips.
People were nice enough to share advice about how to battle low self-esteem on AskReddit.
Let’s see what they had to say.
1. Game changer.
“I’ve always struggled with self confidence, anxiety, depression, the whole 9. I recently started going to the gym and it’s really been a game changer.
I have a friend who is a personal trainer and she’s been helping me out tremendously, everyday after I’m done working out I feel really good about myself and my anxiety starts to fade away a little bit at a time.
It gets my mind off of things that I shouldn’t even be worried about in the first place and I’m so grateful for her helping me thru all of it it’s really good for me.”
2. Know the difference.
“How you see yourself doesn’t always match how people see you.
If you live for the opinions of others, you forget to live up to the expectations of self.
There are worse things than not being liked by everyone or yourself but there is few things worse than not knowing the difference.”
3. So true.
“No one is paying as much attention to you as you think they are.
Everyone is too busy thinking or worrying about themselves.
If you think everyone is watching and judging you, you just end up crippling yourself.”
4. It’s all about growth.
“If you cringe at things you have done or said in the past, that means you’ve grown as a person.
Growing and maturing is a good thing and changing your opinion based on new information is a sign of a healthy mental state.”
“When dealing with negative thoughts about your body fight it with neutral body statements. You don’t have to try and force positive statements.
When you look at yourself in the mirror do you immediately say “fat chin, ugly, gross”? You need to purposely look at your self and try to remain neutral.
My arms are strong and help me move around. They’re arms. My face in that photo is happy and laughing because someone told a joke, I’m able to express my feelings with my face (look past how you think you’re fat in the photo)
I’m in an eating disorder program right now and I’m focusing on this. I realized recently that I just don’t look in mirrors purposely. I don’t look in mirrors without saying something bad about myself. I’ve hung up a small mirror in my room and have been trying to focus on just saying “those are my arms.
They help me hold my cat close. They help me type and work on the computer” Not stopping to remark on the flaws. Throughout the day when I walk past the mirror I look quick and just notice my arms are just arms. “I’m carrying a book to bed. I have my phone in my hand.”
And then I move on with my day, it’s a small exposure to being neutral about my body. Small steps each day helping to reshape how I think about my body and not focusing on how to reshape my body into better or prettier.
I’ve been considering adding another smaller mirror lower on the wall so I can focus on my legs and stomach area.”
6. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
“I usually think that if my friend was in my situation, struggling with the same thoughts etc, what would I tell them?
Because I sure as hell wouldn’t be so hard on them.”
7. Something to build on.
“The only thing that ever helped me was to find something within myself that I am proud of and build on it.
For me it was my ability to compete and be good in combat.
After my sport days were over that translated into workouts and confidence to verbally combat anyone attacking me.”
8. You deserve it.
“You have as much right to exist as anyone and everyone else in the world.
As a child, you deserved to have loving, nurturing, supportive parents. If you didn’t, it wasn’t because you weren’t lovable enough, it was because those responsible for loving you were too flawed themselves to give you what you should have had. It wasn’t your fault.
You can start to correct that as an adult by learning to love yourself because you deserve that and you’re entitled to that. You have the right to accept love and kindness from others.
You have as much right to resources (food and clean water), fresh air, sleep, and to exist as everyone else.
There is no one else in this world exactly like you, and that, in and of itself is valuable. You have the right to exist here as much as anyone else, even if all you do is observe and be a witness to life. You don’t owe a company or anyone else a meaningful contribution to their bottom line to be valuable. It doesn’t matter how much money you make or whether you find the cure for cancer — you are valuable for being you.
You are allowed to explore your talents and to pursue personal growth and happiness. This doesn’t make you greedy or self centered, it makes you unique and helps you feel fulfilled. It inspires other people to give themselves permission to do the same.
You do not have to live up to anyone else’s expectations to be a valuable human being, not even your own expectations. You are allowed to be happy, content, and satisfied with surviving another day on this planet. Well done for making it this far!”
9. Challenge them.
“Challenge your negative thoughts.
It’s made a world of a difference!
I find myself being more positive about myself than I have in years.”
10. Do what makes you happy.
“There’s almost 8 billion of us on this rock. You’re never going to please them all, so don’t try.
Do what makes you happy and live like it’s your last day. Go to bed smiling and knowing you enjoyed the f**k out of it.
F**k everyone that tries to take your happiness from you. Live your own life and march to your own beat.”
11. Focus on YOU.
“There is a stark difference between being ‘alone’ and being ‘lonely’.
Embrace the small or rather large amounts of time you have to work on yourself; find passion in new things, love to read or write, relish hot coffee or count the things that you know you can do well or the things that you can do better.
But do it positively, know that nothing will be an instant fix and know that you are here for a set amount and with that come bad days, but the bad days can be good and they will certainly not last forever. You will be the last to look after yourself so begin to love yourself to make it easier on you.”
12. Everyone is faking it.
“Work on having your inner voice be kind to everyone, including you.
Also, everyone is faking it. Your boss is faking it. That one friend is faking it. Nobody has their s**t together some folks just hide it better.
And my favorite quote from Martin Buber: “I should not like to change places with our father Abraham! What good would it do God if Abraham became like blind Bunam, and blind Bunam became like Abraham? Rather than have this happen, I think I shall try to become a little more myself.””
13. Reverse the cycle.
“Self-esteem is built, it’s not something you are born with.
There are external factors of course, for example if your parents have raised you repeating that you were useless, it’ll be harder to build a good self-esteem.
However, you can reverse the cycle by reducing interaction with people who try to lower your self-esteem, even if it is family, that’s the first step. If you can’t avoid interaction (workplace), simply let the personal attacks be seen as empty words. Some criticism might be true, of course, but to recognize that, you have to do the internal work first.
The internal work comes when you have full honesty with yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror, erase everything anyone ever told you about yourself, and have a truthful 1 on 1 with yourself. What do you like about yourself (even if people shamed you for it in the past)? What do you dislike about yourself?
How can you change what you dislike about yourself? If you can’t change it, learn to accept it. Fully embrace it. It is the way it is, and that particular aspect will never change (such as being “short”). Turn it into a strength if you can.
Then address the things you want to change, and change them. If your weight is an issue, eat better and exercise. If you tend to procrastinate, learn to develop rituals and discipline. If you’re a negative person, cultivate positive thinking. If you tend to get angry, learn to manage your emotions.
Then, go out into the world and challenge yourself. Your self-esteem and your confidence grow through CHALLENGE, not through comfort. When you manage to do something you thought impossible, you will gain a lot of confidence.
By living a life of constantly challenging yourself, setting goals and reaching them, you will build an unbreakable confidence and self-esteem, because you know you’re able to go through pain and suffering to achieve your goals. Whatever people tell you from that point will mostly feel like them projecting their insecurities on you (it’s the case most of the time).
You will know FOR A FACT, what you can do, because you have proved it to yourself in the real world, and you don’t need any external validation.
That’s when you get respect for yourself, this is how confidence grows, and from this point, you don’t need anyone’s opinion to feel “better about yourself”. You already know who you are and what you are capable of. There is no easy, comfortable, safe, warm, lovey, soft way to develop true confidence though. These will always be cop outs, rationalization, empty words.
Action is what drives change, proof of that change in the real world is what makes you grow confident, confidence is what makes you see the emptiness of people’s opinion about “who they think you are”.”
Do you have any advice for people who are having problems with low self-esteem?
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