Respecting Yourself: 4 Ways to Improve Self-Esteem and Self-Worth

How to Respect Yourself More

It’s frustrating to struggle with low self-esteem, but you can build it back up. Think of people and places that make you feel nourished and cared for, spend time with those people and in those places when you can. Remember that feelings, while strong and powerful, aren’t always true. Learning why you feel the way you feel and talking to people about it can be a big help.

If you have low self-esteem, respecting yourself can feel challenging. But it’s possible to grow and feel more comfortable in your own skin and be happier with your life.

I’ve learned some healthy habits that tend to lift my mood and improve my self-esteem when I put them into practice. I hope they encourage you, too.

Acknowledge Your Good Qualities

Often at the root of our struggles with self-esteem is a battle to reclaim and rebuild our self-worth. If you hate yourself and you don’t feel worthy of love, you’re going to struggle with feeling good about yourself, even when things seem to be going well.

It can be easy to only focus on what’s gone wrong in life and mistakes you feel you’ve made. But that’s not the sum total of who you are. You have good qualities. Take time to acknowledge things like:

  • What you like about yourself
  • What your family and friends like about you
  • Times you’ve been there for friends
  • Times you’ve helped someone feel better
  • Moments you made someone smile or laugh

Taking a moment to remember your strengths and good qualities will help you realize your worth to other people and your deep value in their life.

Celebrate Your Accomplishments

You may be going through a tough season of life right now. I’ve definitely been through times like that. When I feel that way, it’s helpful for me to celebrate accomplishments and milestones, even if they seem small.

Think back over your life, and over the last few weeks or months. Ask yourself:

  • What are you proudest to have achieved or been a part of?
  • What recent projects have you completed for school, or for your favorite hobby?
  • What did you check off your to-do list this week?

Our accomplishments, big and small, can increase confidence and help us remember that we’re capable of overcoming challenges and coming out on the other side for the better.

Make a Habit of Gratitude

Practicing gratitude is about more than building good habits. Regularly focusing on gratitude can have a measurable impact on self-worth and self-esteem over time.

Similarly, a gratitude ritual can make it easier to recall and focus on positive circumstances, beliefs, and relationships when you’re struggling.

For example, when I am thankful for the love of my family, and I focus on what I appreciate about them every day, it makes it easier for me to realize how much love and respect they give me, and how valuable I am to them.

If you’re not sure what to do for a gratitude ritual, try adding it into a routine you already have. Maybe you think about what you’re grateful for on your morning run. Maybe while you’re praying in the morning, you can take a moment to thank God for His abundant love and forgiveness. Or maybe you can take a few minutes before bed to list what you’re grateful for in a journal.

Whatever you decide to try, see if you can notice how it improves your self-worth and your self-esteem over time.

Build Healthy Relationships

Sometimes our self-esteem takes a hit because we’ve surrounded ourselves with people who make us feel bad about ourselves and tear us down.

Distancing ourselves from toxic relationships and focusing on building healthy relationships can go a long way toward helping us remember our value to others.

Sometimes it can be hard to rediscover your self-worth, no matter how hard you try. But you aren’t alone in this struggle. Talk to a HopeCoach at TheHopeLine if you need help improving self-esteem. We care about you and believe you are worthy of love and acceptance. Reach out to us whenever you need someone to listen.

Are you feeling worn out and down about life? Try these 31 tips to boost your mental health.

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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