Start from within. Ignore any and all destructive criticism or insults, including any from your past. Your opinion of yourself is the most important opinion of all, because you know yourself better than anyone else. Many of us have been hurt by others at some time. It is crucial not to internalize that abuse and let them continue to hurt us, because that means the other person wins. If we let go of the past, ignore hurtful negativity and make ourselves happy, then we win.
Create daily affirmations. Tell yourself that you are a wonderful person who deserves to be happy. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself. If you’ve made mistakes that prevent you from believing that you deserve to be happy, take measures to relieve that guilt. Apologize to people you may have hurt (if possible), learn from those mistakes and forgive yourself.
Start with small steps to gain confidence. Take small steps and make small choices to gain confidence in your ability to make a decision. As you become secure in your ability to make good choices, you will gain confidence in yourself, and be more secure about your abilities in general.
Trust yourself and go with whatever feels right to you. For example, if purchasing jeans makes you anxious because of the plethora of brands, colors, and styles, then just go with your instincts. And if,in retrospect, you really feel you made a wrong decision, the situation can be easily rectified by exchanging the jeans.
Please yourself. Instead of constantly pleasing everybody else, please yourself more often. It is great to be considerate of others, but think before sacrificing your own needs to please them. Bending over backwards for strangers, mere acquaintances or people you don’t trust may leave you with the short end of the stick. In short, don’t allow yourself to be used.
Be your own person. Don’t try to copy anyone else. You will be at your best when you are being yourself because of your uniqueness. Strive to be your best and do not criticize yourself if you fall short of your expectations.
Avoid negative people. People who have a negative attitude which may rub off on you are not good for you. If you’re timid, loud and aggressive people are probably not good for you, and vice versa. Whatever you do, do not compare yourself to others. Just be the best that you can be.
Face your fears and learn from your failures. We only fail when we do not make the best out of adversity. When something doesn’t go the way we would like it to, there is something to be learned from that, which can be applied next time you are in a similar situation. Get up and try again.
Stop the negative thoughts. Try positive thinking on for size. The term “self-fulfilling prophecy” in relation to self-esteem basically states that whatever you believe about yourself, whether it be perfect or totally off base, becomes true. If you constantly tell yourself you are stupid or that you will never achieve success, you will in turn act as such. When negative thoughts come into your mind, speak to them. Say “Stop” or “No,” and instantly replace that negative thought with a positive one. Using this method will help you to break the habit of repeatedly giving yourself negative messages. Instead, make a habit out of saying positive things about yourself and to yourself, and use the self-fulfilling prophecy to your advantage.