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Challenge your Mindset

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31 ways to increase your self-worth

self-worth

Self-worth seems like a hard thing to change. It’s not a physical being or object you can measure, improve and control, but your mind’s thoughts about you. That invisible dialogue is hard to tap into and change knowingly, but it can be done with perseverance. You can change a lot about yourself in a shorter space of time than you think. When people make plans that ‘start on Monday’ or approach January 1st with the ‘new year, new me’ outlook, they can often fall into the trap of good intentions without much substance behind them.

Here is a month-long plan you are dared to start on a Wednesday in the middle of the month. It’s a detailed day-by-day checklist of things to do to increase your self-worth. Stick to it and see what you achieve in a month’s time.

Day 1 – Take up a new task. This should be something long-term but not too challenging. Pick something you’re interested in doing and work on it privately for yourself for the next month. It could be to read a certain book or play a certain song on an instrument. Dedicate at least one hour of your day to it.

Day 2 – Talk with an old friend. Pick up the phone or arrange a day out with someone you haven’t seen in a while who you’d like to talk to more often. The comfort of the company of close friends is always a fool-proof way of feeling good. Make sure you exchange up-to-date contact details and stay in conversation.

Day 3 – Make one change to your personal style. This shouldn’t be drastic but noticeable. Get a slightly different cut or colour to your hair or buy a new accessory to wear daily. Stick to it for the duration of the month and accept all compliments that you’ll undoubtedly receive. If someone takes the time to compliment you, they are fond of you in some way. Don’t assume they are just being polite.

Day 4 – Pick a topic of interest you’d like to learn about. Get on the internet – or if you have time, the library – and browse lots of sources about this topic for as long as you can. The sense of learning indirectly increases self-worth, due to the connotations of improvement and productivity.

Day 5 – Make a list of what you’re grateful for. [Why you should write a gratitude list] Low self-worth doesn’t like details. It would rather you repeated vague lies to yourself about being ‘not good enough’ or ‘a bad person’. Lists demand analysis. Think very hard about all areas of life where you were grateful something happened or someone supported you.

Day 6 – Help someone out. This is even better if you offer to do it in a social environment or to a complete stranger. Helping others is something that shouldn’t be a shock to people of the outside world, but it is. Break the mould of uncaring, passing people and be nice to someone. The smiles you get will make you feel great.

Day 7 – Break up your routine. Do something in your daily routine completely different. If you always cook simple food, try out a new recipe. If you always watch TV, invite someone to the cinema instead. Break up the status quo in a simple way.

Day 8 – Host an event at your home. Invite a small group of friends to a dinner or film night at your house to have a mid-week catch up. It could even be only one person. Try to tell them about the new topic you’ve been looking into or the new task you took up on day 1.

Day 9 – Remove the negative people from your life. People who you don’t like but pretend to are people who hold power over you without realising and only because you let them. You don’t trust yourself enough to pick the right friends if you keep them in your life. Let them go. Delete, unfriend or unfollow if you have to.

Day 10 – Declutter. People always feel better about themselves when their home reflects their interests and is organised to serve their lifestyle. This is your personal space, so go for it. Chuck out old clothes, unused appliances and rubbish. Redecorate and tidy up what’s left.

Day 11 – Go out. It’s a Saturday, it’s time for fun. Dedicate your entire day to enjoying yourself and do whatever you enjoy with friends or family. From bars to picnics, makeovers to museums, art installations to shopping, the gym or lazing around in front of the telly. Clear your schedule and do all your chores on the days before and after. Make it jam-packed.

Day 12 – Clear your to-do list. [Organise Me] The antithesis to yesterday. Get the food shopping in, prepare for work tomorrow, walk the dog, clean the house, and update the planners and calendars. This whole day should be varied and super-productive. If you get bored, try and have some background music to lighten the mood.

Day 13 – Relax. It’s Monday. After a hectic weekend, do nothing else tonight after practising on your day 1 project. Follow a gentle, chilled routine of calm music, a bath, or whatever helps you unwind.

Day 14 – Check up on yourself. It’s good to reflect on the past two weeks of productivity. Mark your progress on your Day 1 project, and assess ways to carry on improving. If you’ve had a conversation or idea over the past two weeks on how to pursue a certain goal, write it down.

Day 15 – Detox. For the remaining duration of the month, try to commit to healthier living. Eat in moderation but cut out the junk food and increase fruit and vegetable intake. Drink more water and limit your alcohol consumption. Make the dedication now for only 16 days and you’ll be surprised by the increase in energy in a short space of time.

Day 16 – Treat yourself. It might seem outlandish, but be kind to yourself. Tell yourself you deserve nice things and get them today. New outfit, new furniture, new appliances, or whatever you have your heart set on, get it today.

Day 17 – Be honest with somebody. If you’ve been feeling low, talk to someone about it who is relevant. A colleague you’re jealous of, a friend you’ve tried hard to impress or a family member you trust completely are good choices. This can be tricky, but be honest about how you struggle with self-esteem and the thoughts that go through your head. They can give you great perspective on how it comes down to you and not other people and also get you over a big obstacle to being self-confident.

Day 18 – Do something weird. This seems like an odd suggestion, but there are odd hobbies and passions out there that people dedicate good parts of their lives to that you can explore. By being absorbed by something out of the ordinary, you might have less time to think about yourself too much. It can take away some anxiety by distracting you. Good suggestions for weird days out are seeing a clairvoyant, science observatories, and food festivals.

Day 19 – Get nostalgic. Buy a scrapbook and create a journey of your life so far in it. Take old pictures, mementos and memories and put them down in the scrapbook. Dedicate a page to your biggest achievements, your biggest setbacks and your biggest goals [Goal Setting Network] for the future. It will help you realise that progressing in life means making mistakes and that you’re still alive.

Day 20 – Bad-memory bonfire. After getting nostalgic and reaffirming your life’s path, it’s time to rid of the memories that haunt you. Anything that reminds you of something bad, burn it, no matter what it is. It could belong to or be associated with your ex, a former friend, or even a mean teacher. Make it as crazy or controlled as you like, but the physical process of ridding yourself of negative memories will be cathartic for you.

Day 21 – Literal pennies for your thoughts. This is a practise in self-discipline and teaching yourself not to think negatively. Every time you think something negative, put a penny in a container (a jar will do). Keep the jar around for the next 12 days and increase the stakes. Stick to pennies for the first day, then move up a value every day after until on the final day you will have to put £10 notes in the jar every time you talk yourself down. Not only are you saving money, but you will visualise how much negative thoughts can escalate.

Day 22 – Find an idol. It doesn’t have to be someone particularly famous, but think of someone who represents what you respect in a person, what kind of successes you want to emulate and how you aim to be remembered. Get their quotes and pictures and stick them up where applicable, from noticeboards to fridge doors. Being constantly reminded of someone you want to be like will inspire you to keep going.

Day 23 – Take a risk. A bet, a new route, a daring proposal, a flirt with your office crush – it could be anything. Do this without expectation. The aim of this isn’t to succeed or fail but to have fun. Think of it as a little bit of excitement and don’t worry about how well or how badly it goes.

Day 24 – Plan a big event for the future. Organise and commit to an event with your friends or family for the future. It could be a holiday, some sort of planned activity or a party. Make it elaborate and in need of long-term investment. Give yourself something to look forward to.

Day 25 – Enjoy the outdoors. Whether it’s exercising or relaxing, in the park or your back garden, get yourself some fresh air. Especially since we now live more indoors lifestyles, it’s good to change the scenery for the day. If it is raining, swap this day with one of the remaining six for when the weather is better!

Day 26 – Ask for advice on your ‘Day 1′ project. Seek out an expert who can talk you through your progress. You could join a club, sign up for an evening class or simply search on the internet for someone. Since you’re coming to the end of the month, it’s good to see what other improvements you can make, as given by someone with more knowledge. Why not ask the Community to about your progress?

Day 27 – Meet somebody new. Get talking with someone you’ve never talked to before. It could be at work, in public or a friend of a friend. If someone starts talking to you, carry on the conversation. Aim to talk about anything and don’t feel like the conversation needs to lead somewhere.

Day 28 – Forgive somebody. If there’s someone still in your life who once wronged you and you’ve never let go of the grudge, now is the time to move on. Build the bridge and show compassion and understanding for what happened. You will feel more free with the burden off your mind.

Day 29 – No technology day. Today is the day you don’t check social media, turn off your smartphone, step away from the entertainment systems and avoid falling into the dark parts of the internet out of total boredom. Plan your day the night before and then be free of the hassle and stress that comes from being connected [A checklist for chilling out and enjoying life] these days. Rely on the old-fashioned ways for fun.

Day 30 – Pick up an old hobby again. Now you’re coming to the end of your Day 1 project, the next one can be a blast from the past. If you used to be on the running team at school, start running again. If you played flute in an orchestra for some years, try and relearn some songs. Get back to an achievement which reminds you on what you’re capable of.

Day 31 – Reflect on what you have achieved. You’ve had an action-packed month and now it’s time to see what’s changed. How did you succeed with the long-term daily tasks? What did you learn from the more personal, challenging assignments. More importantly, how do you feel?

There are many factors to self-worth targeted by this monthly plan. They encourage you to leave comfort zones, increase social contact, try new things and distract you from over-thinking too much. Aim to keep your months as varied as this and you might find yourself changing completely in your self-worth. Be happy.

For some more support visit our section on self worth and self esteem in the Video Moods section for an extra boost and bite sized advice on the go. For a practical daily confidence and happiness planner visit here and download it  so that your confidence grows day by day.

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This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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