Self-esteem is not a gift bestowed by those outside of us or something that can be taken from us by others. It’s an inside job. Rather than wait passively for good self-esteem to happen, we need to take action. Daily or weekly is best.

1. Make a list. What’s good about you? What’s wonderful? Hang your list near your bed so that you see it when you awaken and when you go to sleep.

2. Forgive yourself. Acknowledge a mistake, but let go of self-recrimination. Recognize that you, too, are human and “allowed” to fail.

3. Do one thing you’ve been putting off. It’s amazing how clearing clutter (literal or figurative) can clear a space for better self-esteem.

4. Relax! Meditate, exercise, take a bath. When you’re relaxed, negative things don’t seem so big, and it’s easier to remember the good things about you.

5. Do something you’re good at. The competence and accomplishment you feel when doing that activity are great antidotes to low self-esteem.

6. Learn something new. When we commit to learning, we commit to growth as a way of life. Acknowledge that you are moving forward.

7. Get absorbed in a project or other activity. Taking the focus off yourself can help when you feel low, anxious or lacking in confidence.

8. Assert yourself. Learning this skill goes a long way to improving your self-image.

9. Remember what you’ve achieved. Take a step back and look at the whole of your life.

10. Do a self-esteem “workout.” In a private place and with complete abandon, shout all the things you’re good at, why you matter. It’s surprising how instantly effective this exercise is.

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