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How to improve your self-esteem

By Matthias · Jun 15, 2020 · Updated Jun 24, 2020 ·
A healthy self-esteem is essential for positive social interactions, making friends, and long-term relationships. Improving your self-esteem can help you become a better person and enjoy your life.
    The best way to improve your self-esteem is to change the way you think about yourself. Basing your self-esteem on accomplishments, success, or how you compare to other people can make you insecure, self-absorbed, or self-conscious.

    Everyone makes mistakes, misunderstands situations, and does things they regret. Focusing on your strengths while ignoring your flaws can lead to arrogance and cause you to feel worse when you are reminded of your weaknesses.


    When something bad happens, focus on what you did instead of who you are as a person. For example, you'll feel better about yourself if you think "I made a mistake." instead of "I'm a failure."

    Focusing too narrowly on individual aspects of yourself instead of seeing “the big picture” or all that makes up who you are as a person may contribute to a low self-esteem. Even something like being autistic that is a major part of your personality is still only part of who you are and doesn’t define you as a person. While there are important distinctions between how some autistic people think and see the world compared to most people who aren’t autistic, it would be inaccurate and harmful to place everyone into two rigid categories (autistic/neurodiverse versus neurotypical) and conclude that autistic people are fundamentally different than neurotypical people. You can be proud of your autistic traits that help make you a unique person in the same way that people are proud of their nationality or ethnicity without believing you are fundamentally different than most people. Dividing people into two categories where you are in the minority can make you feel more alone and cause you to be more cautious, suspicious, and distrustful of people you consider to be different, increase stress and anxiety in social situations, and make it harder to understand other people. It also makes it harder to fit in and feel like you belong with people you consider to be neurotypical.

    Negative, unhelpful beliefs about yourself may result in a low self-esteem. For example, believing you are inferior because you don't understand other people very well or believing you're a loser because you don’t have any friends is unhelpful because those labels are overgeneralizations based on only one of many aspects of yourself.


    Unhelpful belief - "I'm inferior. I'm socially inept."
    Helpful belief - "Socialization is one of my weaknesses. Since everyone has weaknesses, it doesn't make me inferior."

    Unhelpful belief - "No one likes me"

    Helpful belief - "Most people don't know me. If more people knew me, some of them might like me."

    Unhelpful belief - "I can’t understand people."
    Helpful belief - "I understand people better than I used to. If I keep trying, I'll get better."

    Unhelpful belief - "I'll never have any friends."
    Helpful belief - "I don't have friends now but the more I work on improving myself, the easier it will be to make friends."

    Unhelpful belief - "I have bad luck. Bad things are going to keep happening to me."
    Helpful belief - "My negative thinking may have caused me to miss out on opportunities. If I think positively, my luck should improve."

    A healthy self-esteem is based on an accurate perception of yourself and how you compare to other people. It is based on your whole self, not any one aspect of yourself. If you base your self-esteem on something secure and unchanging such as your intrinsic worth as a human being you can feel good about yourself no matter what happens in your life. Acknowledging that you have both strengths and weaknesses results in a self-esteem that isn’t too high (which leads to arrogance) or too low (which leads to feeling worse about yourself).
    thisshrine likes this.


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