When I first started researching, I found hundreds of websites and books that tried to teach people how to raise their self-esteem levels. All of them started with the inner voice or the inner critic we all have inside of us.

I didn’t believe that silencing that inner critic and turning it into an inner positive self-talk machine was possible, but I’m able to give myself a pep-talk when I need one without feeling odd or even guilty.

Therefore, the first step and the number one way to boost your self-confidence and self-esteem is to tell that inner critic to stop.

1. Shut That Inner Critic Up

Everyone has an inner critic.

This inner critic can be useful at times because he or she spurs us along to get things done or do things that help you gain acceptance from the people who matter to you. At the same time, that inner critic can drag you down, though.

This inner critic can whisper some pretty mean things into your mind:

You’re lazy.

You’re not good enough.

You’re ugly.

You’re a slob.

We are our own worst critics at times, and this is wrong because we are the only ones who can truly lift ourselves up and out of that dark place.

You no longer have to accept this terrible self-talk! You can minimize that voice and replace it with helpful thoughts. In turn, this will slowly change how you perceive yourself.

The quickest way to do this is to tell your brain to ‘Stop’ every time you start to think of something that is negative about yourself.

Instead, stop that train of thought cold and think about what you’re going to make for dinner that night or what book you’re planning on reading.

This is the first step and sometimes the hardest because oftentimes we feel we’re not in control of our thoughts, but we are!

2. Healthier Motivation Habits

Instead of trying to motivate yourself with negativity, try to find something positive about what you’re doing.

For example, if you’re saving money for a vacation, stop telling yourself about how you won’t get to take that vacation if you don’t put that five or ten dollars away.

Instead, write down everything you want to do on that vacation and visualize yourself there. Then hang up that list on your refrigerator or in your work cubicle so that you can see it every day.

Then refocus on doing what you actually enjoy doing. If you find that you can’t refocus on what you’re doing, then ask yourself if you’re really doing what you want to do.

If it’s something small like doing the finances, remind yourself of the positives that come out of paying those bills and knowing where you’re money’s going. You get to take a vacation!

3. Take Two Minutes

Just take two minutes in order to appreciate yourself. You really deserve it. Just do this once a day for a month and I guarantee you will feel better about yourself in just thirty days!

Take a deep breath and just stop what you’re doing. Then ask yourself what are three things that you can appreciate about yourself?

It could be something as simple as your ability to open the door for someone else, or as extravagant as helping out those who are in need.

Just list three things and don’t ever be sarcastic! Sarcasm when it comes to your self-esteem and confidence levels is very detrimental.

4. Write Them Down

When you get home, you should write down three things every evening that you are able to appreciate about yourself.

Ask yourself the same question from the last section, and write down three different things that you appreciate about you. When you’re feeling down after a long, hard day at work, then look at all those things you wrote about yourself.

You’ll see just how much of a blip that one day in your entire lifespan really is.

5. Do the Right Thing

It doesn’t have to be something huge, but when you see someone struggling with a grocery bag, help them.

When you see someone who needs the door held for them, hold it. When you help others out, you feel like you’re a part of the family group that the human race is.

We are all in this together, and knowing that you were able to contribute will make you feel a lot better about yourself.

6. Ditch the Perfectionism

Here’s a little background story on me. I had a father who was a perfectionist, a grandfather who was a perfectionist, and a great-grandfather who was a perfectionist.

I don’t know, but for some reason it really seemed to run in the family. Maybe it’s genetic, or maybe we’re all just crazy and it was our upbringings.

But you know what perfectionism brought every one of them in their lifetimes? A whole lot of misery. They were never able to let go of anything, and they would spend countless hours wasted trying to make something perfect only to revel in their misery for twice as long as they tried.

I didn’t want to live like that, and my father eventually broke the cycle himself. Perfectionism is a paralyzing fear, and it keeps up from progressing and moving forward in our lives.

So how do you get rid of it? Here are a few pointers:

Be okay with good enough. Sometimes we’re going to make mistakes and things won’t be perfect, so strive for good enough rather than perfect.

Stop using your perfectionism as an excuse to procrastinate and work on that project until its good enough to hand in.

Remember that perfectionism not only hurts you, but the ones you love in your life. Seeing my father struggle with perfectionism hurt me because it took time away from his family.

7. Handle Mistakes and Failures Positively

Handle your mistakes in a more positive way. Remember that it’s normal to make a mistake and that when you do make one, it’s a positive because you’re learning! If you never make mistakes, then you’re never learning.

Instead of constantly barraging yourself with your mistake, think about how someone else would uplift you. Then do that for yourself!

Give yourself a hug, a pat on the back, or say something positive. Find the upside and what you learned from your mistake!

8. Be Kind

When you’re kind to others, you’re kinder to yourself. The way you treat others is oftentimes the way you will treat yourself, so always be kind to the people around you.

9. Try Something New

Trying something new will challenge you, and maybe it’s not the first step you’ll be taking, but you ought to try something new that’s small within a week. I’m serious.

Just pick up a new book and try out cooking something new or try to knit something really easy. When you make a small achievement, it won’t seem so small to you anymore.

You need that boost; that knowledge that you can do something and you are capable of doing much more!

10. Comparison Traps

Do you remember how I told you to tell that inner critic to ‘Stop’ when you heard it? Well, when you hear the inner comparison voice start to pipe up, you should tell it the same thing.

I know it’s easy to say and easy to read, but it’s not very easy for us to comprehend. We are all different, and we are all going to make mistakes.

We are all going to have something unique about us that others may not like or understand. So stop trying to be exactly like someone else in order to feel better about yourself.

Instead, compare yourself to yourself. I know that seems silly, but you’ve really come a lot further in your life in the past five, ten, or twenty years and you did that. Not anyone else. So be proud that you were able to grow as a person.

Author's Bio: 

Przem Mosky is a personal productivity specialist. On a daily basis, he conducts coaching with people who want to improve their achievements and improve their own behavior.