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Become Your Best You By Focusing On Self-Esteem

By definition, self-improvement means to make or become better through your own efforts. The start of a new year is a great time to look for ways to make yourself the best YOU possible, but you can start the journey at any time.

Self-improvement can take place in a number of ways — emotional, spiritual, physical, and financial, and your efforts can affect your mind, body, and behavior. Ongoing improvement or personal development is necessary for increasing and maintaining self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-image, key factors in a healthy personal evaluation.

Why is Self-Esteem Important?

The need for building self-esteem and confidence starts in childhood. Self-esteem is your overall opinion of yourself — how you feel about your abilities and limitations. When you have healthy self-esteem, you feel good about yourself and see yourself as deserving the respect of others. Low self-esteem can negatively affect virtually every facet of your life, including your relationships, your job, and your health, according to the Mayo Clinic .

Self-esteem begins to form in early childhood. Factors that can influence self-esteem include:

  • Your thoughts and perceptions
  • How other people react to you
  • Experiences at home, school, work, and in the community
  • Illness, disability, or injury
  • Age
  • Role and status in society
  • Media messages

How to Improve Your Self-Esteem

If you feel like you are really struggling to feel good about yourself, a mental health professional is a great place to start. A good therapist can help you to sort through your thoughts and feelings and identify small changes that you can make in your life to feel better or issues that need to be addressed.

But outside of professional assistance, try to remember on a daily basis that you are worth special care. To that end, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you:

  • Take care of yourself . Follow good health guidelines. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Limit sweets, junk food, and animal fats.
  • Do things you enjoy. Start by making a list of things you like to do. Try to do something from that list every day.
  • Spend time with people who make you happy. Don't waste time on people who don't treat you well.

Whether your self-improvement objectives include a weight-loss plan, financial goals, or spiritual aspirations, this is a great time to institute a new plan. What’s standing in your way?

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