5 Little Habit Changes If You Need To Work On Your Self-Esteem

I’m not sure what my parents did or if it’s just hardwired into us from birth, but I’ve always been blessed with good self-esteem. Since becoming a mother, I’ve begun to recognize the importance self-esteem has on our overall wellbeing. Especially because as a parent, our kids are watching us, and they notice way more than we think they do, including how we treat ourselves.

Many people don’t realize that self-esteem is something you have to work on daily. It’s like a muscle that needs toning and strengthening. We are all worthy and capable. There’s no doubt about that. And if you’ve been keeping up with our theme this month, you know how much we should value and embrace our individuality. I hate when people I love put themselves down or doubt themselves. Everyone has value, and what other people may or may not think of you has zero reflection on you as an individual. So if your self-esteem muscle needs a little workout, it’s time to implement some habit changes.

Here are some of my favorite ways to keep my self-esteem in check every day.

Morning Pages

This is a practice adopted from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages—they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind—and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Don’t overthink Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.

Morning pages allow you to ground yourself in reality, show you how many ways you are competent, and what areas of your life you should be working to improve. Think of these pages like looking in a mirror. The image you get back can be a constant source of information that tracks your small accomplishments, and builds your realistic self-esteem.

Mute the noise

Social media is a huge factor when it comes to our self-esteem these days. I’ve said this a few times before, so apologies for sounding like a broken record, but social media is bullshit. People are only sharing the curated highlights. They’re using apps to whiten their teeth and smooth their skin. They’re fake laughing to get that “candid” OMG my life is so great shot. It’s not real. I make it a weekly routine to go through who I follow on social media and either mute or unfollow anyone who makes me feel like crap about myself by comparison. Even if you’re friends in real life, mute them! At the end of the day, your mental health and your self-esteem are what’s most important, not your friend’s feelings about how many views their IG story got that day.

Tend to something

And I don’t mean your kids, I mean something smaller. Something that is just for you. Maybe it’s an herb garden or a few new baby chicks (speaking from experience here). The journal of public health actually released a study in 2016 that said gardening is proven to improve your self-esteem and overall wellbeing. Find something you can nurture and grow without too much effort (you know, like a real human child).

Use affirmations correctly

Positive affirmations such as “I am going to be a great success!” are extremely popular, but they have one critical problem—they tend to make people with low self-worth feel worse about themselves. Why? Because when our self-esteem is low, such declarations are simply too contrary to our existing beliefs. Ironically, positive affirmations do work for one subset of people—those whose self-esteem is already high. For affirmations to work when your self-esteem is lacking, tweak them to make them more believable. For example, change “I’m going to be a great success!” to “I’m going to work my ass off today until I succeed!”

Surround yourself with the right people

I always joke that as long as my mom and my best friend Merrill think I’m a good person, I’m doing OK. But in reality, their opinions matter the most to me because I admire them. I admire them for their values and integrity, and it helps hold me accountable. When you are surrounded by friends who are constantly complaining about their weight or talking bad about themselves, it’s an energy suck. They can zap the soul right out of you if you’re not careful. Find people who are encouraging, yes, but more importantly, are aligned with your values and confident in themselves. Friends who use you as a sounding board to complain about themselves and their circumstances aren’t a healthy friendship. Just like in a romantic relationship, two halves don’t make a whole. You need to each be a complete person in your own right before you can form a healthy attachment.


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Author: Samantha Welker

Samantha Welker is the business manager at Glitter Guide. She has an Master's in Corporate Finance & Sustainability from Harvard Business School but prefers working in the creative industry. She also hosts a weekly business podcast for creative women called Pretty Okay Podcast. She loves spending time with her husband and her son, Rocky, in sunny San Diego. Follow along on Instagram