Self-esteem can be a tricky subject. Many people think that self-esteem is a byproduct of success, whether that means physical beauty, a litany of professional accomplishments, or popularity. In fact, self-esteem doesn’t come from tangible factors; it comes from within. To raise your self-image, you need to come to terms with all facets of yourself, from your foibles to your strengths, and you need to appreciate them. Here are a few ways you can improve your self-image.
Set the Right Goals
If you set unrealistic goals, you’re setting yourself up to fail. While it’s all right to make a life plan, don’t be afraid to deviate from it, and don’t judge yourself for your failure to live up to unrealistic expectations. Don’t aim to own your own home by the age of 25 if that’s not in the cards. Replace this goal with one that’s more manageable, like “I want to pay off my credit card debt within the next year.” Then come up with reasonable ways to accomplish this goal. The feeling of succeeding at a manageable goal will help to build your self-image, while the feeling of failing at unrealistic goals can be a blow. Set yourself up to win, and your self-image is sure to improve.
Be Open to Exploration
If you want to improve your self-image, you have to explore yourself. Self-exploration can take many forms, ranging from striking up unlikely friendships to trying therapy. By gaining a better understanding of your attributes and limitations, and by taking steps outside your comfort zone, you’ll become a better-adjusted person. You might even discover new things about yourself. Finding new ways to navigate the world is a great way to reinforce a positive self-image.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Your Friends
With the rise of social media, it’s easy to go online and compare yourself to your peers. Your life will inevitably feel inadequate when compared to the curated perfection of Facebook feeds and Instagram photos. Instead of focusing on the lives of others, however, focus on your own self-improvement. Don’t compare yourself to your best friend from elementary school; judge yourself according to your own standards. What small goals have you achieved lately? What boxes have you checked on your annual To Do List? When you realize that you’re always taking incremental steps towards your own happiness, your self-image is sure to get a boost.