How can you better your self-image?

You can choose to acquire the personality that would attract you most, starting today. That’s right, you can choose. You have already, through the various choices you have made in life, shown what sort of person you wanted to become.

If you want to increase your self-esteem, the bottom line is you have to take responsibility for yourself. You are responsible for the thoughts you have, as well as for all of your actions and reactions.

If you blame others for your situation, you are turning over that responsibility them. Avoiding the decision-making process that could change your life for the better is, in effect, the same as allowing other people to make those important decisions about your life. This is not good for your self-esteem. It is possible to get out of the trap that poor self-esteem and self-confidence put you in. The solution is self-awareness and regular practice.

Say "I" when you express yourself - Speak in the first person to show that what you are saying applies to you - that you are talking about your own feelings or opinions. Many people avoid using the word "I" because they fear they may appear selfish, or because they fear their personal opinions may be challenged. In either case they are afraid of conflict, afraid of being judged. When you use the word "I" when you express yourself, you take responsibility for what you say.

Express what you think and feel - Don’t wait for somebody else to say what you thought you might. Speaking your mind is good for your self-respect, especially if you are brave enough to do so before you know what others think.

Speak kindly to and of yourself - How many negative messages go through your head every day? No wonder your self-esteem is low! Day in and day out we feed our minds all kinds of terrible and unfair statements about ourselves. Often, we even freely express these unfair judgments to others. Never let an unkind word about yourself cross your lips! (And try not to even think them!)

Dare to try something new - Expand your horizons and do things you’ve never done before. Step out of your safety zone. You can do a lot more than you think! Within the safety zone all you have are the same old things you’ve done so often that you’re comfortable doing them again. Be bold! Try your wings!

Make use of your possibilities - We often talk about all the things we can’t do, or the things we do poorly. Take a good look at all the things you are good at, and develop some of them!

Give and accept compliments - Expressing appreciation for, or complimenting someone for, things they’ve done well is hard for some people. How often do you remember, or take the time, to tell others how much you like, admire or appreciate them? For many people, the answer is all too seldom. All compliments, if they are honestly expressed, strengthen the person receiving them. This creates a win-win situation. When you appreciate others, they appreciate you for expressing your appreciation, and positive energy is spread around, which is good for everybody.

This takes practice, so why not start today? Try at least once a day to honestly and clearly express something you like, admire, respect or appreciate about at least one other person, to that person.

Get some perspective - Whatever it is that is making you feel angry or disappointed today, ask yourself how important it will be to you next week, next year, or in ten years. Some things that upset us represent significant patterns that need to be dealt with today. But often we let little things upset us that would be forgotten tomorrow if it weren’t for all the fuss we made about them today.

Allow yourself to be anonymous - Try on a new you! People you have never met before have no idea how you normally behave, dress, or react. Try out a new personality when you are away from home.

Raise your focus - Poor self-esteem has a tendency to make us self-centered. We ask ourselves "What did I do wrong this time?" when someone is short-tempered with us. Remember, the universe does not revolve around you. That short-tempered person has problems of his or her own! So lift your focus beyond your own concerns and see the rest of the world!

Don’t let others decide how you should be - You decide if you’re good enough as you are, or if there is something you want to develop. You can never find peace of mind trying to satisfy others.

Love yourself - If that sounds too heavy, start by at least liking yourself. You are unique, special, and totally amazing. Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship in your life. If it’s not working, it will be difficult for you to make other relationships work. If you can’t even give yourself support you can’t expect others to give you much support either. Give yourself that which you should have had as a child - unconditional love.

The only person you can change is yourself, so get started - make the best of your life and enjoy it to the full!

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