Self esteem describes how we feel about ourselves .Our self esteem or sense of self worth is normally based on our perception of our abilities and how we believe other people accept and value us as individuals. self esteem affects our confidence and how we behave and function in life. It is our internal belief system that stems from our life experience and relationships and how we have interpreted them. We automatically find ourselves accepting those beliefs and they feel like 'reality' to us. We can improve our sense of self esteem by changing those beliefs, and in doing so will increase our confidence, and our enjoyment in living.

Here are some proven ways to increase your self esteem:

1. Accept Who You Are, Warts and All

Learn to accept and be comfortable with who you are. Become content in your own skin. We are so often far more critical of ourselves than we are of others. Our self imposed standards can be self sabotaging. You are not perfect, and no matter how hard you try, you will never become perfect. You are unique. You have a unique combination of personality, life background and experiences, strengths and weaknesses. One size does not fit all. Stop comparing yourself with others, and trying to live up to the expectations of what other people think you should be like. This is a self defeating response and will only lead to discouragement and negative self image rather than self acceptance.

2. Give Yourself Permission to Make Mistakes

To make mistakes is a natural part of learning and self improvement. Everyone makes mistakes; it is a normal part of life. We all go through negative and embarrassing experiences. Success and personal development comes, not through going through experiences, but learning from them and becoming experienced. Your attitude to mistakes and failures has far more power for personal growth than the experiences themselves. Accept that making mistakes will always be part of your life, learn from them. Failure is sometimes unavoidable, however it is not a reflection of who you are as a person, but merely a consequence of a choice or and action that was made. Do not give it unnecessary negative power in your life and future.

3. Remember You Always Have A Choice As To How You Will Respond Or React.

No matter what the situation or circumstance you always have a choice as to how you will respond to it.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said,
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
This is so true. We may only have a few seconds to choose how we will react to a negative situation or comment, but we still have the choice to embrace, or reject its potential power over us. No one can have power over you unless you give them permission.

4. Look At Your Fears From A Different Perspective.

You are not alone in feeling fear. We all have the ability to scare ourselves into inaction. Learn to look at your fear from another perspective. Our body is unable to tell the difference between a real event and an imaginary event, and so we experience intense feelings of fear and self protection. Sometimes this fear originates from what we imagine may happen. If this is the case, our fear is not based on a real event. Whenever we step outside of our comfort zone we feel fear, this is because our fear is not necessarily based on fact, but unfamiliarity. Stepping out of our comfort zone, however, is an important part of our personal development and growth, and the fear we experience is not necessarily an indication of impending personal danger. Visualize what you would like the successful result of an action to look like, rather than focus on the worst case scenario that your imagination would have you believe might happen. Remember you have handled everything that has happened to you in your life so far, and have survived, or you would not be reading this!

Which one of behaviour patterns describes you the most? Start with that one. Set yourself a goal to choose to respond differently. Watch your self esteem start to grow and positively change your life.

Author's Bio: 

Barbara White is the Director of  Beyond Better Development, a company that is
dedicated to empowering people in their personal and professional growth. For
more self improvement
articles visit http// This article was extracted
from Barbara's Growing Beyond Better