1. Stop comparing yourself with other people. Human beings can increase or decrease their sense of self-value by contrasting themselves either positively or negatively with others. But if you play the comparison game, you'll run into too many "opponents" you can't defeat. There will always be some people who have more than you and some who have less. So stop comparing! What's the point? It's about how you feel about yourself. 2. Stop the critic inside of you. Some people have a bad habit of putting themselves down. They say negative things to themselves like, "I'm not good at this, I shouldn't try" or "There you go again, stupid!" Don't do this to yourself. Get in the new habit of catching yourself saying critical things about yourself and learn to silence your inner critic. If it's unavoidable, at least tone down the level of your criticism. Try to replace a negative thought with a positive thought. 3. Forgive and forget. Don't waste your time and energy thinking of past hurts. Your time can be wisely spent for other productive things rather than negative thoughts about the past. Remember, you forgive for yourself, not for the other person. So forgive that person who has wronged you -- you are doing this FOR YOUR OWN BENEFIT -- not theirs. Forgive them, and move on. 4. Associate with positive, supportive people. Hang out with enthusiastic people. This way, you will get infected by their positive attitude. You will view the world in its full shining glory and move around oozing with energy. Stay away from negative people. When you are surrounded by negative people who constantly put you and your ideas down, your self-esteem is lowered. Zig Ziglar once said "You can't fly with the eagles if you continue to scratch with the turkeys." Cheesy, but true. 5. Get involved in work and activities you love. It's hard to feel good about yourself if your days are spent in work you hate! Self-esteem flourishes when you are engaged in work and activities that you enjoy and make you feel valuable. And even if you're not in a position to make immediate changes in your career, you can still devote some of your leisure time to constructive hobbies or activities that make you happy. What healthy things are in your life that make you happy? Do more of them! 6. Be true to yourself. Live your own life -- not the life someone decided is best for you. You will never gain your own respect and you will never feel good about yourself if you aren't leading the life you want to lead. So if you're still making decisions based on getting approval from friends and relatives, you aren't being true to yourself and your self-esteem is lowered. 7. Talk affirmatively to others and yourself. Words carry power that can hurt other people or yourself. Similarly, words can generate enough power to give warmth and comfort. So be conscious of your choice of words. Choose affirmative words when speaking with someone. Be positive with other people. Be positive with yourself. 8. Quit blaming yourself for mistakes in the past. There are many things in life that you can't control, so stop blaming yourself for negative outcomes. Instead, learn to honor your own efforts and give yourself proper credit for things that you have done right, and done well. Just the fact that you are spending time reading this is a step in the right direction. Stop living your life in the rear-view mirror. MOVE FORWARD. 9. Make a long list of your personal breakthroughs and accomplishments. Think of times when you did something that you thought that never could do, but you managed to pull it off successfully. Count even the small breakthroughs and accomplishments. These breakthroughs should be a source of pride! Make a long list of your own breakthroughs and read this list often. While reviewing your list, close your eyes and recreate the feelings of satisfaction and joy you experienced when you first attained each success. Make a list right now. 10. Make a list of your positive qualities. Are you honest? Unselfish? Helpful? Creative? Hard-working? Be generous with yourself and write down at least 20 positive qualities. Again, it's important to review this list often. Most people dwell on their inadequacies and then wonder why their life isn't working out. Start focusing on your positive traits! Stop beating yourself up. 11. Figure out the hidden strengths in your so-called weaknesses. You can't develop high self-esteem if you constantly repeat negative comments about your skills and abilities. Remember that there is always a positive in every negative if you look hard enough. For instance, you may think of yourself as stubborn, but the flipside is that you're also persistent and dependable. 12. Rediscover and reaffirm your personal strengths. Sometimes you have to take a new inventory of what you LIKE about your looks, smile, body, sexiness, health, personality, and character strengths. Don't sell yourself short. It isn't wrong or egotistical to praise yourself. You are probably better than you think you are. 13. Ignore yourself. Sometimes the real problem isn't self-esteem at all but a tendency toward over thinking, or thinking to much about yourself and your circumstances. When you get this feeling, just stop, and direct your focus to other things. Forget about yourself, and apply your energy to completing a task that will get your further towards your goals. 14. Accept all compliments with "Thank You." Don't dismiss or ignore compliments. When you do this, you give yourself the message that you don't deserve you do not deserve compliments, or you are not worthy of praise. Of course you deserve praise. Accept compliments from other people, and respond with a simple "Thank You." 15. Start giving more. Start to give more of yourself to those around you. When you do things for someone else, you are making a positive contribution and you begin to feel more valuable, which in turn lifts your spirits and raises your own self-esteem. So next time you see a downcast or downtrodden person, pick her up from the rut. Share with her the warmth of your helping hand and watch the glow in her eyes. 16. Be your own cheerleader. Tell yourself "Go! You can do it!" This may sound cheesy, but it really goes a long way. Then, once you accomplish a task, learn how to enjoy a few minutes of self-congratulations instead of jumping right into the next task as if nothing happened. Imagine yourself as your own cheerleader on the sidelines, cheering you toward the goal, then celebrating when you reach it. Again, this isn't silly -- it's smart and contagious. 17. Start small and do a task you can accomplish easily. There's no faster way to build self-esteem than crossing items off your "to-do" list. It always feels good to get something done. And it doesn't necessarily have to be a monumental accomplishment. The person who moves a mountain starts by moving small stones. Start small, and build your momentum. 18. Examine your pattern of highs and lows. Perhaps you're just in a "praise starvation" mode. Maybe it's been too long since you got a compliment or got to do anything that someone noticed. Or perhaps you started the downward spiral when you said some bad things to someone. It's always good to remember that self-esteem is a mental construct. So examine your patterns, and remember that it's all in your mind. Force yourself back to the high-road of positive thoughts. 19. Get some exercise. Even ten minutes on the treadmill will help. Exercise can decrease "stress hormones" like cortisol, and increase endorphins (your body's "feel-good" chemicals) giving your mood a natural boost. If you don't exercise, go for a walk while feeding your brain with positive thoughts. Break a sweat. You'll feel better afterward. 20. Take action! When you take action -- regardless of the result -- you feel better about yourself. When you fail to move forward because of fear and anxiety, you'll be frustrated and unhappy -- and you will undoubtedly deal a damaging blow to your self-esteem. So do something, and do something now. Take action!