5 Tips to Improve Your Self Esteem

Here are 5 things that I feel helped to drastically improve my self-esteem, and more specifically, my body image over the last 3 years.

1. Stop reading fashion magazines/body building magazines/stupid shit that glorifies unrealistic bodies. These are a huge culprit for poor body image. By bombarding you with unrealistic images, it’s easier to sell you things to fix yourself. The continued viewing of these images conditions us into the ideal of the magazine instead of an ideal that is healthy for our various body shapes.

2. Spend time naked. Routinely and as MUCH as you can! It helped me to get comfortable in my own skin. At first it felt awkward, but over the last year, I’ve come to love being naked with myself. Check out your body in the mirror. Don’t criticize, just explore. Identify all of the marks, spots, and bumps that are unique to you.

3. Exercise and eat well. Take care of your body so that it can take care of you. Learn to cook (YouTube has a TON of great tutorials and recipes!) so that you can feed it yummy, healthy foods. Save the salty, sugary, fatty foods for special occasions. These are hard on your body and will make you feel icky. Also strive to get at least a half hour of activity every day. If you’re like me, it helps to change up the activity so you don’t get bored!

4. When you notice yourself making judgment calls about your own body or other peoples’ bodies, step back and think about it. When I first started this, it was a near constant inner dialogue to work through my concepts of bodies and beauty. Consciously correct yourself before you move on. Remind yourself why it’s unproductive to judge, affirm your self love, and set a precedent to be more positive next time. This exercise works to build your self-awareness. The more self-aware you are, the easier it is to let go of the negative influences around you. I think this had the most effect for me.

5. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself. Get rid of friends that expect you to live up to a certain physical standard and/or judge you for your body – I’ve found these aren’t real friends. They are offering you a relationship contingent on your physical appearance. If you are striving to accept and love yourself, it naturally follows that you need to be in the presence of people who do the same. If you notice your friends being body negative, use it as an opportunity to start a conversation about their judgment. With continued conversation, your friends might hop on board toward a healthier view of themselves and others right along with you! Using a gentle, genuine tone and the right questions, I’ve strengthened a hand full of friendships using these kinds of dialog:

i.e.:

Friend: Wow, look at that cow!
You: Why are you calling her a cow?

Friend: What the fuck is she wearing?
You: What does it matter what she wears?

Friend: Ewww look how little he is!
You: Little compared to what?

Best of luck. <3

47 thoughts on “5 Tips to Improve Your Self Esteem

  1. I needed to hear this today. I just went through a breakup and that usually forces me to take a negative look at myself. Like, “whatever happened had to be my fault in some way or another because I’m not perfect”. And I need to reassure myself that I don’t need to be perfect, I just need to be me.

    • Why do we do that and why do we make a break up about what we look like? If they are so shallow that they left because we don’t look good enough for them screw them who wants that anyway! True love means they love you inside and out.

  2. While I hate to sound like I’m advertising, I would say that Naturism covers points 2 and 5 perfectly well. You get to just be yourself and enjoy your own skin in an environment where, as long as your not a perve, you will find very accepting and friendly people. No criticism of body image, no shame about your own body, just honest and friendly people who you can talk to without the need for clothes!

  3. For me getting caned helps keep up a good amount of self esteem about body image. If I know that I can take forty or fifty strokes from a stout length of rattan, then I know I have a good body, whatever those freaky mainstream magazines say is the ideal.

    Prefectdt

  4. Wow, the dialog for #5 sounds like my mother. I used to tell her to stop judging people, but then she’ll just complain that I’m judging her for judging people.

    Great article, Laci. Bookmarked it.

  5. There are a few that helped me and I think can help others:
    - acne is a skin disease not just something that doesn’t look good so stop covering it with makeup – get it treated by a dermatologist.
    - if you like porn try to find stuff that is hot and has people with your body type in it.
    - get a proper bra-fitting. I know 90% of my comments on this site are about that but it’s really transforming. Not only you look better but your breasts stop hurting. You can chase a bus without holding them to your chest. The look of your breasts sans bra improves also. I with I had “before” shots of mine so I could show you how they compare with “after”. The “Website” link goes to my post about bra-fitting. No bare breasts – just me in different bras.

  6. Reading this actually made me find out a lot about myself. As soon as I got done reading. I got naked. It was nice. I looked in the mirror and almost criticized myself but I held back. However it did get awkward when I started watching your new video.

  7. It good to eat right and exercise but when you start working out a lot your body starts to increase its metabolism. Which than your body will start eating every 2 1/2 hours to 4 hours, depends on your workout load every week. But Kudos on the five points. Everyone should not be ashamed of their body it your body, be happy with what you have. You do not have to have a ripped body to feel happy, just accepting who you are will make you happy.

    My brother who weight 220 at 5’8 height, is happy who he is, and does not care to change his body. Self Confidence is best way for happiness.

  8. As it happens, I wrote something about this on my tumblr the other day. I was talking to my friend, who is attempting to enter the high-fashion modeling world, and she was expressing her frustration that the demands on girls to be skinny are entirely ridiculous. Apparently, Gisele (top model) isn’t skinny enough for high fashion anymore. Anyway, I think the post pretty much sums up my feelings:
    http://shestandsattheedge.tumblr.com/post/4272207380/i-am-so-sick-of-the-high-fashion-industry-making
    And I love this site, btw <3

  9. i get ready for my day every morning naked for as long as i can. whatever i can do naked, i do, especially in front of the mirror in my bathroom. it really does help you feel way better in your own skin and its kinda fun ;)

  10. Haha, I love the fact that you included ‘nakedness’. When there’s a house to myself, with no outdoor chores to do, damn right I’m going to be naked. There’s nothing in the world that makes you feel more free. And when my friends complain about their looks, I always suggest the same thing; Naked Day!

  11. This is great to see.
    Just recently I sent you an e-mail about how you help boost your fans self-esteem, and you deliver :D

  12. Aside note to this- after “mastering” these steps it comes natural to me to do these things(except the exercise activity lol) and have a rather healthy and stress free life but I sometimes forget that it isn’t easy for people to do these nor does everyone understand why these steps are important for a healthy life…so remember to keep sharing these in a respectful way and keep leading people by following these steps! like it says remember to question your friends when they say something disrespectful or try to insult others…a better life for one makes a better life for us all! namaste~

  13. While I can see that you are sponsored by the Eden’s Fantasy website, the ad itself does depict what some might call an unrealistic body image. I don’t mean to be picky! But I always notice it when I pop on your website. Regardless, I enjoyed the post. :)

  14. I feel this is a double edged sword. First we tell people to be happy with themselves and yet when it comes to people who are fat we tell them they aren’t healthy.

    Because in reality they aren’t, the strain on their heart and their body to carry all that weight. And america is turning into a big ol’ pie whole. Lol.

    But at the same time there is a difference between being fat and healthily plump. And in our society people cannot draw the line and because of this everyone’s always scared if they get a little bit of chub.

    It was an interesting read, always awesome. Thanks for sharing your methods of coping with this fucked up society Laci. :3

  15. Heh. I have to say, this does somewhat explain a lot. My mind is constantly trying to escape this corpulent fleshy form that I possess.

  16. How do you draw the line telling someone they are unhealthy-shaped? Or do you just not saying anything and let them get fatter/thinner? I dont think we should just accept peoples shapes as what they are. Sometimes they should be pointed out and talked about, so people can get help.

  17. I think something important to add about #5 is don’t confuse a friend’s concern with judgement. For example, if I started putting on weight, I know my two best friends would say something (delicately) about it. Perhaps offer to start a gym membership or a diet together. It wouldn’t be because they are judgemental, just that they are concerned for my health. Part of being a good friend is telling the truth even if the truth might hurt.

  18. This is a terrifically touchy subject for me not because of what I look like – I happen to be heavy set and I personally believe that how I look has nothing to do with who I am or what I do in my life, as my life actually has no connection with other people, (hermit, recluse) – but because other people have the gall to make the assumption that because “healthy” in their eyes means “skinny” and “pretty/flower like”, they will indirectly tell me that I need to be skinny, but if I make that statement, they tell me that I’m attacking myself. …I recently got into an argument with a friend of mine who suggested that I follow some sort of dietary guideline that her aunt’s doctor shared with her, and when I declined, she had the nerve to say “Well, it’s working for her, so you should try it”, as though she thought that I wanted to be JUST like the SAME people who criticize themselves, *claim* to dedicate their bodies to a diet, and they flub it all up and start the same old crap cycle all over again…

    It’s ***not*** my body that makes me angry; it’s the people who have the flat-out nerve to tell me that I “oughta” join the narrow-minded societal bandwagon. It’s enough to make me want to pull my hair out.

    I didn’t want to post all of this, but even though I’m tired, I know that I would not be able to sleep tonight if I didn’t post all of this. Yeah, I know. Sad that I can’t stop being so angry all the time.

    For the record, I do care about my health, but I care about it in my own way. My body and how I handle my body are a VERY private part of my life, and I get defensive and seeing-red mad when other people assume authority over my flesh. Moreover, I’m *not* a flesh-y person. I don’t masturbate, although I have had several orgasms before, even though (truth be told) I don’t want them. Yeah. I’m a freak. I get really strong ones from time to time and I hate them. I hate how they feel. It’s like having a monster wiggle around in me and try to crawl out. I hate it and sometimes I can’t make it stop. The stress of having orgasms sometimes make me break down.

    This is the part about me that I constantly stress: I’m a weirdo. I admit it. I’m flipping strange. I’m in my head so often that I often ignore my body, and I do it on purpose. Sometimes I allow myself to become unattractive so that people will leave me alone. I want to be in my own thoughts all the time, and when I’m alone, I want to be in my dreams. The core of my life is in my head. While I take care of my body (I have to or I’ll die, obviously) I am alien to all forms of physicality, fleshy-ness, and bodily normality. It angers me and hurts me when people tell me that this is wrong; when people assume that it’s a bad thing that I’m like this because *they* don’t like who I am and can’t stand to see me being different. This is who I am. I’m not changing to suit others. It would only make me miserable.

    I have a body, but my consciousness is not in it.

    Sorry for the rant. Sometimes things just pop out. I really don’t know what else to say.

    And Laci, despite my usual comments, I am very, very glad that you are opening the minds of other people and enlightening people on a positive, healthy outlook on sexuality and their bodies. I’m just such a strange person amongst the “normal” physical-sexual world that I feel the suffocating need to express it. I’m foreign to my body; I *don’t* want to change, *but* I want other people to accept me. The lack of the latter hurts more than anything…

  19. Something that really helped me was seeing lots of other normal folk naked. I got a gym membership through my work and saw all sorts of other naked ladies in the locker room. And you know what? Some looked like me, some were bigger, some smaller – none of them looked gross or wrong.

    Betty Dobson talks about her vulva art project having the same normalising effect in Sex for One.

  20. Reply to “May on July 27, 2011 at 7:51 pm”:

    May, I accept the fact that you are different and that you want to live in your head, that your consciousness has checked out of your body; but I am able to accept all of it because you have explained it so thoroughly in your comment. However, I have a question.

    How can you hope for people to accept you being the way that you are if you never explain it to people? And of course, you cannot explain it to people in person because of the way that you are.

    My point is that you cannot or will not communicate in person with people that live and exist physically near you (neighbors, etc) but you seem to desire their acceptance without them actually knowing the way that you feel because you haven’t been able to tell them.

    If you cannot or will not have social interaction in person with those around you, try to seek acceptance from them by typing up a letter, printing it out and mailing it to them the old fashioned way.

    Then, if they still cannot accept you being the way that you are, then you have every right to be mad, distraught, and frustrated.

    I know that May will likely not ever see this (wordpress doesn’t email about comment replies), but hopefully it will explain to others that are like him/her why it is that people are so unaccepting (because you haven’t gone into so much detail with those around you).

  21. I know that May will likely not ever see this (wordpress doesn’t email about comment replies), but hopefully it will explain to others that are like him/her why it is that people are so unaccepting (because you haven’t gone into so much detail with those around you).

  22. the naked part will be difficult because of the fact i live with my parents lol.
    and the fashion magazines i don’t buy them for the models i buy them if they have an interesting article or if my fave celebrity is on the cover

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