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Things that boost your self-esteem?
1. Having dogs as pets because they shower you with an abundance of love and appreciation everyday.
2. Yoga/any exercise that makes me feel like I've worked hard
3. Positive feedback about my work from colleagues/boss/students
4. Trying on pretty clothes and feeling like they look nice on me
5. Volunteering because it makes me feel like I've done something worthwhile
Putting Ikea furniture together.
I think those are good exercises -- thanks for posting!

I used to struggle a lot with shyness and being afraid to speak up, along with being incredibly self-conscious about everything I said or did.

I wasn't incredibly social growing up, but it wasn't until late high school/college that I started to realize that I was pretty bad socially. Realizing that I was awkward and uncomfortable to be around made things even worse, and just made me become more and more introverted.

What really helped build my confidence though was not only discovering personal development (John Assaraf, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, etc.), but joining Toastmasters International.

Working on public speaking and leadership in a safe environment where everyone has similar goals and supports each other was really liberating, and it really helped to build my confidence.

A couple of years of public speaking/personal development gave me the confidence to give independent keynotes at universities and even pursue new business ventures outside of my normal job as an engineer - things I never saw myself doing only a couple years before.

I think the positive thinking/reconditioning does make a difference, but what made the most lasting impact on me was taking action/doing what I was afraid of.

I actually read a great book on self-esteem, called the Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, by Nathaniel Branden (I actually wrote about it here:

It says one of the cornerstones of self-esteem is self-efficacy. I think by developing our skills (particularly those in communication and leadership) makes a huge difference in how we see ourselves, and how we interact with others.

Anyway, great post on an excellent topic!

-- Curtis
Self-esteem has an inevitable importance in our life and achievements. We should attain a healthy self-esteem in order to maintain our mental health. The cause of low self-esteem is biased interpretation and perceptions. You should believe in yourself in a realistic way. My self-esteem was very low and had suffered a lot because of this. I used to compare my failures with others success and that had made me weird. All my confidence and talents were gone and I became alone. That was one of my hardest time. Later I sought help from a well known mental health clinic in Toronto. They helped me to enhance my self-esteem by some sessions and ACT therapy ( ). The first thing that you have to do to boost your confidence is identifying the real problem that makes you down. And then you should adjust your thoughts and beliefs in a positive and realistic way. Explore and encourage yourself to do more creative activities. These are the lesson that I learned from those therapy sessions. Exercises will be a great way to boost our self-esteem. Yoga, meditation, healthy diet and regular exercises are my strategies for increasing my self-esteem.
Finding a non judgemental friend and a good cigar helps me out.
A little late to the party, but I wanted to add my two cents.
1. Get down to do 10 or 15 push-ups, which will really get your heart rate up and get blood pumping into your muscles, making you feel stronger immediately.
2. Try a power pose, as advocated by Amy Cuddy in her TED Talk:
3. Try meditating. One of my favourite guided meditations for self-esteem is from Glenn Harrold:

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