Find the JOY in YOU

9 Ways to Give Your Self-Esteem a Boost

Having positive self-esteem is critical to living a happy, healthy life.  But, at times, feeling good about yourself can be easier said than done.  Some believe it has to do with how pretty you are, the brand of car you drive or having accomplished some incredible feat.  Of course, it’s nice to work hard and have something to show for it, but the real secret in having great self-esteem is finding the joy in YOU….all of YOU!  This means celebrating your victories, while also learning from and accepting your defeats.  Want some pointers on how you can feel better about you?  Here are 9 tips to help you boost your self-confidence!


Simplify Your Life.

There are some things you have on your calendar that just have to happen!  Going to school, eating breakfast and taking time to do your workout.   It can be draining to keep up with it all and can affect your mood.  Find short cuts in your routine such as keeping healthy on-the-go meals handy, decluttering your closet and keeping a “to-do” list.  Each of these are all ways that you can make your load a little lighter and keep your spirits a little brighter.


Pursue a Passion.

What is it that gets your blood pumping and gets you excited each day?  For some martial artists, it’s the quest to become a champion!  As Grand Master In Ho Lee explains, “Working hard and pursuing your dream allows you to see the finish line.”  It also helps you establish all of the smaller goals it takes to achieve that big-picture passion.  Whatever, it is, make time to make it happen.


Sharon Rueckert, 3rd Degree Black Belt from Inspiration Martial Arts in Glendale, Ariz., believes that “exercise and self-esteem go hand in hand.”  As an ATA martial artist, you are already making exercise a priority, but understand that it’s more than that.  “Confidence comes from knowledge, knowledge comes from practice and practice comes from consistency,” says Rueckert.  The more in sync your mind and body become through regular workouts, the more joy will you find in Taekwondo or any activity of your choosing.


Take Care of Your Appearance.

No, we’re not talking about contouring your face before you leave the house.  We’re also not talking about having the “I don’t care” attitude.  Your appearance is a reflection of the inner you.  Grand Master reminds you that “Having a clean, freshly pressed uniform, for testing will help you feel better and will help you perform better.” You know what says more about your self-esteem than that designer handbag?  That smile on your face. 


Do Something Nice for Others.

Admit it— it feels SO GOOD to do something good for another person.  It’s amazing that performing a task to brighten up someone else’s day actually brightens yours, too!   Rueckert says this why she practices community service with her students.  “I strongly believe that learning empathy for others increases your ability to have empathy for yourself.  We learn by doing.”  This is why she and some other instructors require community service for black belt testings.  “I tell my students we might be the only black belt that person has ever met, and we owe it to ourselves and them to be a good, caring example.”


Talk Kindly About Others…and Yourself.

Give compliments.  It’s a casual, FREE way to make others feel appreciated and will benefit the self-esteem of both of you.  No one ever trash talks someone behind their back and feels great about it.  You should also practice complimenting yourself!  Saying things like “I can’t” only increases the odds that you won’t.  So, go easy on others and on yourself!


Teach Someone Something.

For ATA instructors like Rueckert, teaching is part of what they do every day.  What you may not realize, though, is that we all have gifts and you can find ways to use those talents in a way that boosts your confidence and those around you.  Rueckert explains, “Anyone can produce a teaching moment.”  In fact, she adds that “the more you teach the more you learn” which we all know leads to more confidence.  Help out in Taekwondo class or show your little brother how to do a math problem.  You’ll be surprised how good it feels.


Stop Trying to Be Perfect!

Yes!  You want to do your best!  We want you to do your best, too!  But studies have shown that people with positive self-esteem acknowledge they have strengths and weaknesses.  Don’t rest on your laurels, but also, don’t crumble in defeat.  Grand Master says, “Learn from experiences, and let those moments help you have more respect for you.  Let it help build you into the best you that you can be.”


Surround Yourself with Positive People.

“Having a tribe is a requirement to being happy,” says Rueckert.  “It’s incredible to have a group of people that love the same stuff you do.”  The best part?  You already have that in your Songahm family!  Your instructors, classmates, and even your fellow competitors want to see you do well.  Keep those kind of people around.  Rueckert says it best, “There is no better feeling than being part of the ATA tribe!”


Author: Jenny Wolff 

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