Improve Your Self-Esteem With Mindfulness

· September 18, 2018

Defining self-esteem isn’t a simple task. We could say that self-esteem is the emotional part that stems from our self-concept, the emotions that arise from how we see ourselves. These emotions create thoughts, behaviors, and emotions that tend to reinforce our self-concept. Therefore, improving our self-esteem is an easy and difficult task at the same time. However, it’s possible to achieve a good self-esteem through mindfulness.

On the other hand, mindfulness encompasses a set of approaches with one common goal. That goal is to recover full consciousness and full attention. It consists of being present in the here and now and observing what happens to us without judging. It’s about experiencing and opening up to experiences without prejudice.

When you’re no longer able to change a situation, you’re challenged to change your attitude towards it. 

The self-esteem ladder

Self-esteem as a key element that’s particularly sensitive to five processes:

  • Self-knowledge. It consists of knowing ourselves with our flaws and our virtues. We can listen to what others think, but it’s up to us to create our own ethics and conditioning. Therefore, we create our own self-concept and self-esteem.
  • Self-acceptance. This means accepting what we can’t change now and deciding what would be better left unchanged. In any case, the present offers us the possibility of reconciling ourselves with the person we are now, not the person we could be.
  • Self-assessment. Self-assessment is the ability that people have to value both their physical and intellectual virtues and abilities. This is really important. Some of us find it difficult to separate the things we’re good at from the ones we’re not so good at.
  • Self-respect. Many people think that they don’t deserve what they have. Respecting ourselves means giving way to an internal dialogue that doesn’t destroy us, but actually builds us up. We shouldn’t feed negative emotions or partake in behaviors that can harm us.
  • Self-improvement. Knowing ourselves is the first step to improving ourselves. If we achieve the four previous stages, we’ll have a positive self-concept and a healthy self-esteem.
A person holding a heart.

How to increase self-esteem with mindfulness

Now that we know the five factors that influence our self-esteem, we can use them to increase our self-esteem through mindfulness. It’s about working through them one by one, based on a plan and following an order.

To improve self-esteem with mindfulness, you have to do a series of guided exercises and meditations focused on each of the components of self-esteem.

Self-knowledge

Adopt a comfortable, calm, and relaxed posture. Have your mind set on the present. Take deep breaths and mind your breathing. Concentrate on how the air enters your body and expands your lungs. Then, breathe out.

In the first session, try to focus on three negative traits and then on three positive traits. Once we’re aware of our positive and negative traits, we’ll see them as a part of us. Remember that they’re important. They make us unique and special. Therefore, we shouldn’t judge ourselves because of them.


Open your eyes and start moving gently.

Duration: 10-15 minutes.

Understanding who you are is much more important than pursuing who you think you should be. If you understand who you are, a process of spontaneous transformation begins. If you try to become what you think you should be, you won’t change at all.

Self-acceptance

The process of self-acceptance is, without a doubt, the most difficult step of personal development. Almost everyone wants to improve something about themselves. Some of us aren’t happy with our bodies, our personalities, or how we act.

As with self-knowledge, we’re going to do a meditation-related exercise, but now focusing on self-acceptance. Accepting the qualities that we don’t like about ourselves isn’t easy, but it’s necessary to improve our self-esteem.

Start again by adopting a comfortable and relaxed posture. Take a breath and focus on your breathing. Leave your prejudices behind and just accept. Accept who you are. Accept both your positive and negative qualities, your strengths and weaknesses, your light and your shadows.

Focus your attention on those negative traits that we previously identified and accepted as part of ourselves. Repeat the following phrase with every trait: “I accept myself completely” or “I love and respect myself completely”.

As for the positive traits, take another breath and focus on one of them. Think about it and then let it go. Then, slowly open your eyes. Move your hands, legs, and other body parts. As you may have seen, improving self-esteem with mindfulness is possible through self-acceptance.

Duration: 10-15 minutes.

Wanting to be someone else is wasting the person you are.

A woman practicing mindfulness.

Self-assessment

During this stage, it isn’t good to be modest, but quite the opposite. Take a notebook and write down all of your positive qualities.

Don’t worry about trying to rank these qualities. We all have different qualities and should be proud of them.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Self-respect

Needs and desires are important and are a part of any path to happiness. Try to respect yourself, identify what you’re good at, and try to save some space for positive emotions.

Try not to blame yourself for your mistakes and don’t compare your happiness to that of others. If you believe you’re doing something right, there’s nothing wrong with feeling happy about it.

If the grass looks greener on the other side, stop looking at it and stop comparing your situation to it. Stop complaining and start watering the grass you’re on.

Self-improvement

If a person knows themselves, they’ll be able to improve. As we already said, it’s important to know, accept, value, and respect each other. This is the only way you’ll be able to improve your self-esteem, which will help you make good decisions and solve your problems.

As you’ve seen, it’s possible to improve your self-esteem with mindfulness. To do this, you must know yourself, value yourself, and respect yourself. It’s important you follow the steps we’ve just mentioned. You won’t be able to feel happy and improve if you don’t.