How I Improved My Self-Esteem - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog


How I Improved My Self-Esteem

My journey, and the six steps that changed my life.


Learn to Say No

I used to feel obligated to go out of my way to help friends and to say Yes to everything they asked of me. This lead to me consistently being taken advantage of and feeling hurt, which lowered my self-esteem. Because I was so overly generous, even friends who normally wouldn’t ‘use’ me, ended up making me feel used, and it damaged our friendship. I learned the hard way that when a friendship is out of balance, it often spoils.

So the lesson is this: Don’t be a people pleaser. Recognize that you have enough value as a friend without giving them any extra benefits. And if you do nice things for a friend and it’s not reciprocated, then stop doing those things and see how your friend reacts. Givers, like me, can’t be friends with Takers or it’ll eventually suck you dry and drain your self-esteem. You need to put yourself first and be comfortable saying no.

Don’t be a people pleaser.

How I Improved My Self-Esteem

Dwelling On Problems Is Not Healthy

My husband helps me see situations in a better light, and when I’m going through a tough time he’s quick to point out that things aren’t nearly as bad as they appear to be. He helps me to focus on the positive and stop dwelling on the negative. If you dwell on the things that have gone wrong in your life, you’ll be stuck under a gray cloud.

When a tabloid journalist I’d never met wrote a bizarre article speculating about my personality, completely fictionalized, my mentor, Richard Branson, gave me good advice. He told me to forget about it, move on, and not to respond. If you move past the negative in your life and try to find the silver lining in every situation, then you’ll soon realize that other people can’t damage your self esteem.

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A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 123 Comments

  1. Najam Sethit

    Thanks posting this article. I feel better after reading this article.

  2. Wanda Lwis

    This is such a great post! May I add something? These are just things I did to have the self-esteem I have right now. Love and accept yourself just the way you are. Don’t be someone you’re not because you will get frustrated along the way. Also, dwell with the positive things about you.

  3. Anjela Queen

    Some people struggle with problems in their self-esteem but some struggle with problems in too much self-confidence. Haha! Too much of anything is bad just like what they say. Have the exact amount of self-esteem by following these 6 steps. If we sum up all the steps, it’s really about feeling good about yourself no matter how rough the situation is.

  4. Gloria Lili

    I definitely agree with “removing weeds.” It might be a tough one but we have to evaluate our inner circle, including our friends and family. We have to get away from those individuals who put us down and shred our confidence.

  5. Marjory Brooks

    For me, the perfect way to boost self-esteem is thinking about where I want to go and what’s important to me 😉

  6. Maria Rapier

    Focus on your OWN expectations rather than what you think others have for you!

  7. Oxi Harger

    Wonderful article! I think it’s natural for humans to fear failure and rejection, the real challenge is act and take action despite these.

  8. Florence Frederick

    Thank you for generous sharing of your insights and experiences. I always look forward to your motivational and inspiring articles!

  9. Joyce McAllister

    Thanks for the awesome article! If you have high level of self-esteem, you’ll be able to achieve even the impossible. And I think it’s all in the mind. If you visualize yourself as you want it to be, you’ll definitely will. As Napoleon Hill once said, “What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.”

  10. Helen Boone

    I agree with all these, I wanted to surround myself with positive people and have clear-cut goals and outlook in life 😉

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