Millions of people all around the world suffer from low self-esteem. They feel depressed, sad, and many end up hating themselves. These issues can lead to serious problems such as suicide or substance abuse says Johnny K - owner of True Life Recovery detox in Orange County, California. But here’s the thing. Self-esteem isn’t some abstract concept that is out of our control. In fact, it’s something that can be lowered or raised at will. 

So what’s the secret to increasing your self-esteem? This is simple. Basically, the secret to raising self-esteem is doing the things that make you feel good. More specifically, the things you know you should be doing. Essentially this means that you need to set goals and work toward them. The closer you move towards these goals the better you’ll feel. Eventually, you’ll have a list of goals you’ve achieved and challenges that were overcome. At this point, your self-esteem will be sky-high. 

For example, let’s say your goal is to stop smoking. You know that smoking is bad for you. That you’re basically killing yourself, and may suffer an early death from a heart attack, stroke, or lung cancer. Plus there’s the fact that you waste thousands of dollars on cigarettes. Smoking also makes you smell like an ashtray. This addiction has a powerful hold on you. It interrupts your day because you have to smoke every couple of hours. All of these facts will combine to create negative feelings or low self-esteem. What’s the solution? Easy, decide that you’re going to stop smoking!

Doing this will make you feel better about yourself. Whenever you don’t smoke you’ll feel good. Whenever you do smoke you’ll feel bad. And when you finally quit smoking your self-esteem will go up. On the other hand, maybe you don’t smoke. In this case, you could set a goal to lose weight. Part of this could be eating less junk food. For this type of goal the same rules apply. Anytime you stop yourself from the lure of junk food your self-esteem will go up. But what type of goals should you set to improve your self-esteem? 

Here are some ideas to get started. 

1. Financial Goals 

Most people have a problem with money. If you’re reading this there’s a good chance that you have problems with money and could use some more. One of the first steps to improving your self-esteem means getting a grip on your finances. There are dozens of goals you can set for your personal finances. 

These can include things like: 

  • Getting out of debt
  • Getting a promotion so you earn more money. 
  • Changing jobs so that your income increases
  • Making a certain amount of money 
  • Starting your own business
  • Getting out of poverty 
  • Spending less money or saving more money

You may even have the goal of becoming a millionaire or a billionaire. No matter where you are in life there are dozens of financial goal which you can set. Achieving any or all of these goals will help to improve your self-esteem. 

2. Health Goals 

Millions of people are unhappy with their bodies or have health issues. For the majority of people, this means being overweight. While this is true you may have other problems. Perhaps you lack energy and know you should exercise more. Or perhaps you’d like to start lifting weights and put on muscle mass. Maybe you have unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking, or abusing drugs, and now you need to stop. You may even be underweight. 

You can set goals for overcoming all of these problems. For example, as we’ve said the biggest problem most people have is with being overweight. To overcome this problem you need to set a series of goals. These include things like eating less, eating healthier food, and exercising. Imagine if you set these goals and actually achieve them. You go on a diet, start working out, and gradually lose weight. Eventually, one day you reach your goal weight. How do you think you’d feel? The answer is obvious. You’d probably feel incredible! Most people who lose large amounts of weight feel a tremendous sense of pride, happiness, and heightened self-esteem. 

What if your goal is to start exercising? Maybe you set yourself the goal to start running and eventually work up to finishing a marathon. Again, how do you think you’d feel once completing this goal? More than likely your self-esteem would shoot through the roof. Remember, this rule applies to whatever health goal you have. From losing weight to exercising, quitting smoking, or giving up alcohol. 

3. Relationship Goals

Our relationships can also be a huge source of low self-esteem. People are social creatures and without satisfying relationships, our mental health declines. Many people who think they are depressed or anxious simply suffer from a lack of satisfying relationships. Sit down and think about what types of goals you’d like to set in this area. There are many to choose from. For example:

  • Building a closer relationship with your wife or husband.
  • Spending more time with your children. 
  • Finding a husband or wife and getting married.  
  • Getting a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Making new friends and socializing more. 
  • Ditching friends who have a negative influence. 
  • Helping people in your community. 
  • Getting out of a bad relationship.
  • Enjoying a healthier sex life. 

Building positive and healthy relationships is the best way to boost your self-esteem. So pick whatever goals apply to you and start working on them today. 

The bottom line is that the key to improving self-esteem is to improve yourself. By doing this you feel better about yourself and your self-esteem goes up. You also feel more confident, happier, and at ease with yourself. 

Remember, the above goals are simple examples. It’s possible to set any goal you imagine. Maybe you’d like to write a book, buy a car, or go on holiday to a certain country. It’s up to you to decide what you want. 

There is one thing you must keep in mind though. The goals you set must be achievable and realistic. If you’re 60 something, it’s unlikely you’re going to win an Olympic gold medal for swimming. That being said, there’s no reason why you should swim and feel good about it. 

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