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SELF-ESTEEM
 
Thirteen Ways to Increase Your Self-Esteem
 
BUILD CONFIDENCE

Confidence stays on the inside and builds from there. So whenever you want to accomplish something, picture yourself already there.  See yourself successful, make it real in your mind. Close your eyes and fill in all the details--how it would feel, how you would behave, how others would behave in response.  Then put what you see into action.  As you think, so you are.
 

REACH OUT TO OTHERS

Say nice things to other people.  Make a list of the things you would like and appreciate in others.  Lend a helping hand when you can.  By helping others, we feel more in control of our own lives.
 

AVOID PERFECTIONISM

Perfectionism paralyzes you and keeps you from accomplishing your goals.
 

TAKE CARE OF YOUR PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

Your physical appearance is a critical factor in your self-esteem.  Resist the urge to get sloppy on days when you feel bad.  In fact, those are the days when you should take extra care to look your best.
 

GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR OWN CREATIVE ENERGY

Get regular exercise; when you can use your body effectively, you feel more in control.  Listen to music, commune with nature, meditate.  As you do these things, let thoughts come and go.  Daydream and center yourself.  What were your passions as a child?  What do you fantasize about now?
 

RESPECT YOURSELF

List 50 reasons why you can respect yourself.  If you get stuck, think of people who admire you or have admired you, and write down what they would say about you.
 

LOOK FOR A SILVER LINING

When you're going through tough times, find a strength or piece of knowledge (knowledge is power, you know) that you would not otherwise have were it not this particular trauma.
 

ACT IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR OWN VALUES

Sometimes values conflict. In that case, practice role playing with a friend and explore the various consequences of each action.  Then choose what feels best for you.
 

BE GOOD TO YOURSELF ON A DAILY BASIS

Do something that makes you feel good--something that's just for you--every day.
 

CHALLENGE YOURSELF

Take a course.  travel to a new place--it's easier to try out new facets of your personality when you are away from the familiar. As you meet new challenges, you gain new confidence and enhance your sense of accomplishment.
 

PRACTICE OPTIMISM

Dispute your pessimistic beliefs.  Think of misfortunes as temporary and specific instead of permanent and general. For example, "All managers are jerks" is permanent and pervasive, a view that can lead to feeling hopeless about a particular problem you've encountered. "He was in a bad mood this morning" is an explanation that takes the temporary/specific viewpoint.  It allows hope for improvement.
 

    DON'T TAKE THINGS SO PERSONALLY

When somebody behaves in a manner that you find rude or abrasive, that tells you something about that person and how he or she is feeling at the moment.  Try to see the pain or fear the other person is experiencing and tackle it from that perspective.

DON'T TAKE THINGS SO SERIOUSLY

See the humorous side of life's everyday calamities.  When you can see both the serious and humorous side of a given situation, your perspective and your approach will be more balanced.  So lighten up. You'll bounce back from disappointments and embarrassing moments more quickly, and more people will like you better, too.

Practice these positive measures to reinforce your own belief in your self worth and increase your self-esteem.  Then you'll have the master key to you own success.

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