When it comes to building self esteem and confidence, don't think self improvement, think self development. What's the difference? If you regard personal development as improvement, it suggests that something in you needs to be "fixed".
Each improvement then leads to the need for more improvements and you'll be stuck in a cyclical loop of personal improvements that never seem good enough. So start with your existing strengths, skills, talents and gifts and develop these from a position of strength.
Building self esteem and confidence is a process that involves making changes. Making changes takes time and energy. So one of the best ways to raise your self esteem is to improve your level of energy and dynamism.
Improving your Energy and Dynamism
To achieve this, ensure that you have a nourishing diet, sleep well, take regular exercise, meditate regularly, make time to do things that you enjoy spend time with people you love. More importantly, develop a structure and routine so that these aspects are built into your daily life. For example schedule time during the day to relax, meditate, take a walk etc.
Building self esteem and confidence is dependent on breaking old habits and developing new productive ones. A key habit that needs to be shattered is the habit of negative thinking. These thoughts are so interwoven into the fabric of your mind that you assume that they are normal and changeable - but they are not! Learning how to acknowledge and deal with your inner critic is an extremely effective way of starting to boost your self esteem.
Forget the Blame Game!
Stop judging yourself and other people in your life for what has happened to you in the past. Playing the Blame Game serves no one, least of all yourself. People did what they thought was best at the time, the same way you did. Learn to forgive yourself and others for past mistakes. Harbouring old grudges takes up a lot of time and energy you could be using in more productive ways.
Learn how to reconcile, resolve and accept what has happened in the past and know that it has made you a much stronger person. Acknowledge your fears and find out what's really behind them. Many of your fears are likely to be groundless, but it is the thinking, attitudes and beliefs that cause much of the inappropriate fear. Fear is often a disguise for your lack of belief in yourself and your judgements.
Best way to start building self esteem and confidence
The best way to start building your self esteem and confidence is to commit to making changes. Even if you use just one of the examples listed above, it will begin to make a difference to your level of self esteem. Know that you are valued, regardless of what has happened before.
Julie Plenty is a Personal and Business Coach who suffered from low self esteem for years. She developed techniques to build her own self esteem and confidence and now helps others do the same. Join her newsletter "Only Connect" and you are offered a free ecourse "5 ways to not improve your self esteem!". You can subscribe by visiting her website: http://www.kick-start-your-self-esteem.com