Understanding ourselves is key to improving our situation in life and our outlook—often referred to as our happiness quotient. So as we learn new business skills and gain an education, we also need to learn about the inner workings of our own souls. The first thing we all need to know is that we are here on earth to learn and grow. There is no such thing as being stuck with who we are. We can change. We were not created to be static.
We first need to understand where low self-esteem comes from. It can be deeply rooted in childhood experiences that were traumatic, oppressive, or unsettling. Divorce, discrimination, and sexual or physical abuse all leave their lasting effects on us in our adult years if we don’t get the help we need. Many of us have never had the opportunity to develop confidence through the right learning experiences. Outside of professional help, there are ways to boost our self-esteem and confidence so that we are better prepared to successfully face new challenges, uncertainties, or worries.
Pray to learn how to overcome. Rather than pray for problems to be fixed or roadblocks to be removed, pray to understand yourself and what you must learn to overcome. Pray to remember what you learn and write down your impressions. Refer to them often.
Think positively. Remember that you are a child of God. He did not put you here to fail. You’re not perfect, but you are headed in the right direction. Believe in yourself. Know that whatever comes, you can handle it with the Lord’s help.
Take care of your appearance. Be neat and clean. Keep your hair washed, your clothes pressed, your teeth brushed, and be sure to smile. Personal hygiene makes you feel good about yourself.
Eat right and exercise. Knowing that you are taking care of your health gives you a sense of control. And exercise gives you that boost of endorphins that makes you feel good.
Get enough sleep. Wind your day down by doing something relaxing—read a book, read your scriptures, or write in your journal. Go to bed with good thoughts in your head, knowing that tomorrow is another day, another fresh start.
Be nice. Look others in the eye and smile, say a kind word, or do a small act of kindness. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:39).
Be grateful. Pause in the middle of a stressful period of the day and count your blessings. Gratitude has a powerful influence on our sense of well-being.
Give yourself credit. Do something you have been putting off, and when you are done, give yourself credit for your work. You could do something as simple as finishing a book you always wanted to read or fixing the kitchen tap.
Organize your space. At home and at work, put things in order. You’ll be surprised at how good it feels to have everything in its place.
Make a list of your strengths and talents. Perhaps you could ask close friends and family to help. Include more than personality traits—include achievements and things you are good at. Now put the list where you can see it every morning. And before you leave home for the day, kneel down and express gratitude for everything on that list.