Do you allow yourself to make “mistakes” realizing that we are all here to learn? Does your value as a person depend on what others think of you? Do you have trouble asking for favors and tend to apologize a lot?

Self-esteem can be defined as people’s overall evaluation or appraisal of themselves and their own self-worth. What influences this self-appraisal?

Each of us is born into a culture or set of shared ideas about our nature of reality and of right and wrong. Our learned beliefs can be empowering and encouraging, or they can be limiting. Most often, we go through life without challenging these beliefs.

As children, we are often taught to find meaning through attachments to others. While this can create relatedness to others, it can also encourage dependency and emptiness when alone.

There is also a cultural standard of beauty and acceptability that causes us to become conscious of how we look. Even though these standards are really artificial beliefs, we take them in as fact and usually apply them to ourselves.

Critically important to your self-esteem is not to retreat into a comparison of yourself based on societal standards. In fact, most people who have manifested their heart’s desire have NOT relied upon the need to fit the norm or to confine to others’ comfort zones.

Here are some tips for building self-esteem:

  1. Be able to speak of your accomplishments and shortcomings with honesty, knowing that you are worthy just as you are.

  2. Practice both giving and receiving with a level of comfort.

  3. Be more spontaneous and trusting of your opinions and abilities.

  4. Have integrity–walk your talk–be harmonious with what you say and do.

  5. Be open-minded about new ideas and experiences.

  6. Accept other people where they are, especially when their thoughts and behaviors don’t match yours.

  7. Laugh at yourself and others with grace. Humor will relax you so that you can be more the “real” you, and above all, you can enjoy this precious lifetime!