8 Ways I’ve Built Up My Self-Esteem In the Past Week

Photo Credit: Celene Nadeau

In my last post, I wrote about a blow to the ego when attempting to answer the question, “what do you do?”  It is not often I’m at a loss for words. I have my issues, but I’m pretty confident and happy with who I am. (As an adult. My self-esteem was shattered all through adolescence.) I was a tad shaken. This is most definitely not a feeling I want shoulder.

I needed to take action – besides sitting on the couch and lamenting how unaccomplished I am. No, I don’t feel this way in real life. Like I said, it was a low moment. 

I didn’t set out to change the world. However, I did notice these little alterations in my day made a huge difference in how I view myself.

1. Reached Out To Friends
Without intending to write a self-pity post, I mentioned my mood online and the reason because of it. I thought I’d give that whole “let’s be vulnerable” thing a shot.

It worked! I was really looking for an I hear ya’, Andee, or Dude, that sucks, but what I read instead were messages of love and how I’ve influenced lives. Some of these were from my youth group kids (Ok, they’re in their 20s and 30s now, but they will always be my kids.) which meant the world to me. I love you, my kiddos! Thank you for lifting my spirits!

2. Planned My Day
I go through stop-and-go phases of making daily “to-do” lists. In the past week, though, I über planned. I wrote down projects I’ve been needing to accomplish and set a time limit to work on each. After time is up, I’ve set a little reward for myself. 

For example:
Work on Book 1 hr.
Reward: Walk dog (ok, that’s more of a chore than a reward, but the walks have been doing me good and my creativity seems to regenerate afterward)
Work on Blog 1 hr
Reward: Watch Downton Abbey on DVR

See how this works? I like the focus of knowing I’m not supposed to be doing anything else except that ONE task. At the end of the day, I’ve been feeling so much more accomplished.

Let me tell you – without a plan, I can waste a whole day on the internet. No lie.

3. If I Could Live Today Over Again
Donald Miller gives plenty of life-coach-type advice on his blog. One of his ideas is to write down, in the morning, what you might say if you could re-do your day. By recognizing the negative issues early on, it will help in avoiding them altogether. 

I don’t understand all of the psycho-babble behind it, but it’s been working for me! This morning I wrote: If I had to do today over I’d exercise, drink more water, stay away from gluten, (Not a fad for me – my skin itches like crazy when I eat it. However – doughnuts exist and what’s a little scratching now and then?) eat more vegetables and read my Bible devotional.

It’s noon now and I’m on my 3rd glass of water, I’ve worked out, made a green smoothie and read my Bible. I’m hoping I’ll get past the gluten temptation. We’ll see.

4. Took Things Off My Plate (figuratively)
I’m always comparing myself to the busy people, but lately I’ve realized the harm in doing so. In the past few days, I’ve whittled my schedule down even further. I know my self-esteem suffers when I can’t give a task my all. I do much better if the few things I do are done well.

5.Took Things Off My Plate (literally)
My eating has been way out of control since Halloween. I swear, September is the only month I have nutrition focus. Then the holidays come, then the depressing gray skies keeping me indoors around the pantry, then Summer and ice-cream. Yep. September is it. So, you can imagine by this February I could stand to drop a few or fifteen pounds.

When I feel good about myself, I look in the mirror and think, I need to lose some weight. I think I’ll exercise a little more and keep a food journal. 

When my self-esteem is shot, I look in the mirror and think, Andee you are a fat, ugly, slob who will never lose weight so you may as well make a whole cake and eat it because it doesn’t matter anyway and what’s a little gluten skin irritation?

I’m going to go ahead and declare my health depends on my ego.

6. Yoga
Boot-camp is out for the time being (schedule changes don’t align with my life), so I reupped at the local yoga studio. Really – can anything make you feel better than yoga? 

7. I Wrote
Much of the time I planned in my day was spent writing. I wrote a lot. And most of it was total crap. That’s ok – because I didn’t write for anyone but me. Maybe I’ll turn it into something. Maybe I won’t. It’s amazing how much frustration left my body in each keystroke of my laptop. 

8. Prayed
I pray now and then, here and there, daily, yet nothing consistent. What I’ve realized in the last week is I really need my connection with God. In prayer, I can dump out every worry, every concern, and every ego deflating thought I have and in turn, I am comforted.

You may take your quiet time differently, but whether its meditation or a walk in the woods, we all need time to sort out the chaos in our heads.


I still reflect how I doubted myself and I become despondent it affected me so greatly. But now I know how to take control if/when my self-worth becomes compromised.

Hey, my hour is up! Time to catch up with my friends of Downton. 

How do you get through times when you’re feeling low?


  1. Donna Highfill says

    I talk to people who make me laugh. I avoid those who have a daily litany of sad stories, and those who when they run out of their own "my life is terrible" stories borrow some from the internet :). And, I do most of what you listed but will add a few after this reading. Thank you!

  2. says

    Very inspiring! I need to exercise more. I keep saying, I'm getting a treadmill and each week that passes – nope. Still didn't happen. Thanks much for the motivation. I think today will be the day I actually go get one!

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