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Is your low self-esteem impacting your life? Check these 6 tips!

My low self-esteem has impacted my life for a very long time. I thought everybody was constantly talking (negative) about me, which made me want to stay at home all the time and avoiding people as much as possible.

And that's just sad. I could not live the life I've wanted, because my (low) self-esteem was getting in the way. I've read a lot of articles on how to improve my self-esteem. The following 6 tips are the ones that work best for me:

1. Stop listening to that little critical voice inside your head

This one is the most important tip of all, but definitely the hardest one to follow. The most important thing to remember, is that you should not have to accept this! If anyone else was talking to you like that, you would stand up for yourself, right? So why not stand up to your own little voice. 

But that's easier said than done. How to stop that critical voice? How to replace it with more helpful thoughts? You could just stay 'stop' everytime a negative thought comes up. Whenever that little voice starts talking negatively, you can shout 'stop' (or 'no', or any other word) in your mind. Once you've stopped the voice, you can consciously start thinking about something else, something positive. 

2. Stop comparing yourself to others

This one is a very difficult one for myself as well. I tend to compare myself with anyone else around, and I'm always the one who ends up losing. So comparing yourself to others is almost always a game you can't win.

Try to focus on your own goals, your own progress. Try to compete with yourself, with the person you were yesterday. You don't know other people's history. You don't know where they come from. And that's why you cannot compare your situation with anyone else, because that would be like comparing apples and oranges.

3. Do more of the things that make you happy

Think about a thing or an activity that you really enjoy. And now think about how that thing makes you feel. Feels good, right? If you spend time doing the things you love, you’re more likely to be happy and to think positively. So try to schedule a happy thing every day. For me, that's reading a book or filling out a crossword puzzle, but it could really be anything. Whether that’s time spent cooking or just sitting on the couch and watching Friends, if it makes you happy, then you should just do it!

And by the way: Sport is always a good idea, since exercise releases endorphins, which make you feel good, like morphine ;)

4. Focus on the things you can change

You probably have thought a lot about things in your life that are bad and that you wish were different/better. Well, if these are things you could change yourself, then you should definitely work on them.

But most of these things are out of your control. You can complain about them for the rest of your life, but you will only be feeling worse, especially because they're out of your control. Instead, try to focus your energy on identifying the things that are within your control and see how you can work on them. 

5. Surround yourself with good people

If that little voice in your head would be a person, would you want to hang around with him/her? No way! So why hang around with people that make you feel bad, and suck up all your (positive) energy.

Find people who make you feel good about yourself, and spend more time with them. 

6. Help others

If you see another person struggle, why not talk to them and help them out? Or why not just tell other people what you like about them? Because if you see good in others, you should just tell them!

Being helpful, considerate and positive to others will not only make them feel better, it will definitely make you feel pretty good about yourself too! 

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