17/02/2014 07:05 GMT | Updated 16/04/2014 06:59 BST

Apply These Six Secret Techniques to Improve Self Esteem

What exactly is self - esteem?

Many clients tell me they have low self - esteem.However they seem to get confused around what it means to have high self -esteem.

Do you believe being slim, earning loads of money, driving a top of the range car, having a first class degree, wearing designer shoes and being at the best holiday destination will raise your self esteem?

Well if you do, you are way off track.

That's what I used to think. When I am slimmer, when I am richer, when I have 10 New York Times Best Sellers my confidence will rise and so will my self esteem.

Well here's the thing, all of that is SO off track.

When you accept your flaws, appreciate yourself, value yourself, and admire all of yourself, accepting your shortcomings and taking pride in your accomplishments your self - esteem will rocket.

What are the effects of low self - esteem?

Having low self - esteem often results in you being unproductive and sabotaging the good things in your life as you just don't feel worthy.

Do you suffer from anxiety, stress, loneliness?

Do you have a tendency to suffer from low level depression?

Do you binge on alcohol or sugar and/or neglect to take good care of yourself?

Where does low self - esteem stem from?

Often when growing up many of us were shamed for not being perfect, criticized harshly for not getting things right first time, even mocked or ridiculed, emotionally or physically abused, or ignored. If any of that resonates with you, the chances are fairly high that unless you have re-framed all of the punishing lessons you learned as a child you will have low self -esteem.


1. Celebrate Yourself.

Value all your accomplishments, assets and liabilities. Embrace and take care of your most valuable asset - YOU. Look within and get comfortable with being authentic, rather than rehearsing to be someone else. Fake is so last season. Imagine you are wearing an invisible badge every day that says 'I am more than enough, exactly as I am'. Write a list - 'I am cool because', then every day write at least 2 things you like about yourself. Feel it, sense it, step into it, and you will begin to celebrate the amazing person you are and feel really good about yourself.

2. Cultivate Self - Compassion.

Be kind to your mind. I bet you would NOT speak to your closest friends or their children in a cruel way, so why on earth would you ever speak to yourself in that way? Lighten up and laugh if you make a mistake. Get over yourself, and don't focus on your imperfections. Give yourself a break. If you had a toddler who was learning to walk and he/she kept falling over you would NOT berate them, you would hug them, laugh and champion them. Hug, laugh and champion yourself. Give yourself some much needed compassion.

3. Take a Daily Inventory

We cannot change what we are not aware of. Write a list of 10 strengths and 10 weaknesses. Perhaps you have met a lot of people over the years, well NOW it's time to meet you! Come on, get vigorously honest about yourself and observe yourself WITHOUT judgment. Embrace yourself as you are right now, regardless of your past, any mistakes and/or weaknesses. People with low self esteem are misguided in thinking they will be rejected if they reveal their true self. Far from it, after all who gets excited and bids for a fake, the real deal is always more valuable.

4. Stop Picking on Yourself.

In order to raise self - esteem, you must commit to yourself that you will NEVER AGAIN pick on yourself as this will erode all self esteem and self-confidence. You HAVE to separate who you are from what you have done. Own your mistakes and learn from them; embrace what you think, feel and believe. Always remember you own your feelings, thoughts and beliefs and they will remain within you until you deal with them, so get friendly with them and stop avoiding them and develop self-loving skills. You are doing the very best you can each day with the knowledge, wisdom and assets you have right now.

5. Quit Comparing and Despairing.

This is the fastest way to ensure you will NOT raise your self esteem, so stop right now if you find yourself comparing and despairing. Sure, appreciate the good qualities you like in others - kindness, humor, thoughtfulness, sensitivity, discipline, passion, motivation - be aware 'when you spot it, you got it' so remember if you recognize these qualities in others, it's because you too have these qualities, you just haven't discovered them yet. You need to open your own wrapping to discover your own gifts. The only time to compare is when you look at where you were before and how far you have come. The only person you need to compete against is YOU. All that glisten's is NOT gold, so quit comparing and despairing today.

6. Make amends to yourself

Begin today to improve your self - esteem by making amends for every unkind word you have ever said to yourself, for all the times you have ridiculed yourself, neglected yourself, and allowed others to speak down to you, speak over you, humiliate you or be disrespectful to you. All the times you have made promises to yourself and let yourself down. Write down all the wrongs you have done to yourself that have plagued you for years. Bare your soul with someone you trust, however if it feels too uncomfortable then write a list, fill a bath with warm water, light a candle, burn the list in the water and genuinely say sorry to yourself and say.' I am perfectly imperfect' and give yourself a hug and let it go.

Final word

Follow these 6 Secret Techniques and your self - esteem WILL improve. Change the messages you tell yourself. I would like you to find the peace and joy I have found with a clear mind and a steady heart, however these secret techniques are not a magic formula, you HAVE to apply them regularly.

GO - Make it happen - It's your time to shine. Annie

Annie Ashdown is Author of Doormat Nor Diva be and The Confidence Factor - 7 Secrets of Successful People. Available Amazon, WHSmith, Waterstones, UK. Barnes and Noble, USA. Easons, Ireland.