Self Esteem Improvement – 5 POWERFUL Habits

Self esteem improvement is just like a muscle. You just have to work at it constantly. I know from experience that this effort has worked for me and I know of other people who have benefited too. Where the true struggle comes, is when we feel helpless and useless, as if we have no control over our lives. I want to get people moving away from such thoughts though and taking actions to improve how they feel about themselves.

Treat self esteem just like a muscle in the gym. You won’t improve it unless you work at it. You probably have heard the phrase ‘Don’t skip leg day’ in the gym. If you haven’t… what it means is that some guys will work purely on their upper body and not on their legs. The result? They come out with massive or muscular upper bodies but thin or ‘chicken’ legs. In particular, self esteem for men seems to be something a lot of us neglect (me included, in the past).

The same is true with self esteem.If you are not constantly working on it, then you will not increase it. Simple. Mine became so low at points that I became so fed up with it, that I decided to do something about it. I dived into book after book, course after course but where I started to reap rewards, was when I started applying consistent habits to my life. My self esteem is by no means perfect now but it is so much higher than it used to be and most of the time I feel great about myself. Of course, I will have knock backs from the inevitable challenges of life, but then I know the habits which will help me to get back on top.


What I am going to share with you today

  • What is self esteem
  • Simple ways to boost self esteem with some powerful habits


So what is self esteem?

I thought I would cover this as there are so many definitions out there: self esteem, confidence, worth, acceptance etc. You’ll find a whole range of results in different books and search engines. From personal experience and my best sources, these are my definitions:

Self confidence = how you feel about yourself in a given situation or skill

Self worth / acceptance = how you feel about yourself now in life

Self concept = the idea of what value you bring to life and what you are capable of

Self esteem = a combination of self worth/ acceptance and concept


Therefore, to increase self esteem, it’s important to have a great opinion of yourself but accept who you are now. Positive thinking alone will NOT work. If someone ever says ‘think positive’, to be totally honest, it’s not very good advice. You can’t think your way into better self esteem; you have to be applying regular actions that improve your self esteem. You need to apply the right habits.


Powerful habits to help build self esteem

These are things that I’ve researched and then applied to my own life. I do not talk about things unless I’ve actually tried them firsthand, as I’m not some robot computer quoting theories. I actually want to talk about real life experience.


Weekly goal planning

Setting goals helps you to connect to your own value. Setting goals helps you to understand what you want and to feel a sense of purpose. It’s important to be ambitious but also to set realistic goals, which can be broken down. A big challenging goal can be broken down further.

Now – it can be great for the self concept side to think ambitiously and to set big challenging goals, but if you aim too high and don’t reach them all the time, your self worth / acceptance will decrease. This was one of my biggest challenges with my self esteem. Therefore when challenges come, reevaluate the goals and break them down further. It’s important to review your goals and those tasks that support them, at least weekly, to check that you are on track.

I spend a couple of hours every Sunday morning doing this. There is plenty of guidance on goal setting available but the important thing to do is to set challenging goals which are then broken down so targets are achievable. That way you will get a boost in momentum as you go. If you don’t hit a goal (which has happened to me plenty of times in the past) don’t worry too much. Instead assess the challenge and go again.


Journaling the good and the bad

Understanding and fixing low self esteem starts with understanding what your good and bad habits are. These help to increase your self awareness. When you increase your self awareness you will be able to take actions that are better for you. Personally, this is something that I do every day.

For example: yesterday I felt great when I was fasting but I felt rubbish when I was scrolling on social media for too long in the evening.

Consciously writing it down will allow your mind to adjust your good and bad habits, but first of all, adopt this self awareness habit to acknowledge what makes you feel good or not so good. This is a great start to self improvement and self love.



You’ve probably heard about the benefits of exercise, producing endorphins, chemicals which make you feel good. Yes… so this is the next habit to consider. Exercise is a great habit for you. It doesn’t mean that you have to run a marathon a day or exercise two hours a day. 20-30 minutes of exercise is sufficient. Ideally something that makes you break into a sweat. By exercising you are looking after your body, therefore giving a message that you are caring for and loving yourself. This is brilliant for self esteem.


Positive talk in the mirror

Have you experienced those horrible conversations in your head? ‘You’re rubbish’ ‘That was pathetic’ ‘Nobody likes you’ and much more. Well if you constantly speak to yourself like that, guess what? You probably won’t feel great about being you. It’s not enough to try and override it every time it comes up, though. You have to constantly speak to yourself in the right way; that way you train your brain to speak more positively to yourself. For this purpose, I speak to myself in the mirror for a minute, telling myself what I like about me. This can be hard at first but start by picking small things that you like about yourself or good things that you’ve done in the past, Then make this talk a habit.


Spending time alone in silence

This comes back to self awareness. This is about not running from your thoughts but allowing them to be there. When we are alone with our thoughts, it allows us to acknowledge them, understand them and therefore understand what might be needed.

I do this twice a day: one 30 minute run or walk and one 10 minute sitting alone with my thoughts. It is important to note though, that MUSIC OR PODCASTS ARE NOT ALLOWED.

Why? Well although these things can be great for us, and can be useful at other times in the day, for the purpose of this, those things will detract from allowing us space to be alone with our thoughts. Music or podcasts are distractions from our own thoughts. So therefore allow time with yourself with your own thoughts.


How to improve self esteem – Keep working on that self esteem muscle with habits

So the above are some very powerful habits to help work the self esteem muscle, which have worked for me. There are other habits to help overcome low self esteem available but give the above ones a try and see how you get on. They don’t have to be massive habits, some can just be short, practised for a few minutes a day but see what works for you. Give it some time. Journaling how you feel after trying things is a great way to pick up what works for you.

Self esteem is a muscle you just have to work on, even if it’s hard work at times. It’s a muscle not to neglect; why would you want to feel miserable about being you, when you are you? The choice to work on it or not, is yours.

You can find my video of this blog HERE

You can find my podcast of this blog HERE

One final note…

The six pillars of self esteem. Check out this video if you want to boost self esteem even more.


Photo by Daniel Apodaca on Unsplash


Jonny Pardoe © April 2020

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