According to a 2016 study1 of nearly 3,000 students, appearance is the most likely indicator of self-esteem, and its impact is only rising. Yet other factors, those greater than skin deep, contribute to one’s esteem—like social circles, personal achievements, and a sense of personal security.
If you’re looking for ways to boost your self-esteem—should you go from the inside out or the outside in? Don’t worry. We’re here to guide you through it (spoiler alert: the answer is both).
Step 1: Practice Affirmations
Affirmations are positively loaded statements that challenge negative thoughts and boost self-esteem. A great way to begin practicing affirmations is to identify the things you already like about yourself. And we mean actually, tell yourself. Take a good look in the mirror and speak out loud to the person looking back at you. What do you see? What do you like?
Outside-in: Do you like your hair, your eyes, your nose, your ears?
Inside-out: Do you like your kindness, your patience, your determination, your strength?
You may be surprised to find out how much you already love about yourself.
Step 2: Embrace Self-Care
Your body is your home and informs how you interact with the world. If you lack control over your self-perception, build up your physical sense of self.
Outside-in: Brush your hair, wash your face, and wear an outfit that makes you feel good (even if you’re not leaving the house). Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity.
Inside-out: Drink lots of water and eat a well-rounded diet. See this article on our favorite water infusions—such as a Collagen Peptides, ginger, and lemon juice mocktail—to help you radiate from the inside out. Or check out our whole line of Hair, Skin, and Nail supplements to achieve that healthy glow.
Step 3: Set Attainable Goals
A sense of achievement does wonders for your self-esteem, helps build trust within oneself, and helps define your purpose and place in the world. Set a goal and achieve it, however small, to see drastic changes and build the foundation for a well-rounded, reliable routine that leaves you feeling empowered.
Outside-in: Setting goals related to travel, finances, or (our personal favorite) fitness can be great for measuring tangible success. Sweet Sweat is a great place to start if you’re looking for some inspiration to help kickstart your fitness goals.
Inside-out: Meditating for ten minutes a day, writing down three things that make you feel grateful, or building self-care into your schedule are all great ways to help bring wellness into your daily routine.
Step 4: Repeat.
Studies2 indicate self-esteem is not a fixed concept but can be improved. It's a muscle. To build it, you have to exercise it. Repeat these steps until they’ve become a habit—and then keep repeating it. Our habits and self-concept are linked, and a focus on building a positive self-care routine has been shown to correlate with a more positive sense of self.3
Long story short– invest in your self-worth. Because you’re worth it.
Baudson, Tanja G., et al. “More than only skin deep: Appearance self-concept predicts most of secondary school students’ self-esteem.” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 7, 2016, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01568/full.
Vonk, R. “Improving Self-Esteem.” Current Directions in Psychological Science , 1 Jan. 2006, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/200008944_Improving_Self-Esteem.
Verplanken, Bas, and Jie Sui. “Habit and identity: Behavioral, cognitive, affective, and motivational facets of an integrated self.” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 10, 2019, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01504/full.