Improve Your Self-Esteem with Journaling

On one episode of last season’s The Apprentice, "The Donald" gave team members, and viewers alike, a lesson in life: You can’t successfully sell what you don’t believe in. Similarly, you can’t improve on what you don’t respect.

This simple axiom applies not only to the business world, but to people in all walks of life:
  • A stylist won’t do his best work on a prom queen candidate if she is his daughter’s competition.
  • A former employer cannot convince a future employer of your worth if she doesn’t think you have much.
  • An environmentally conscious car dealer cannot tout the benefits of a gas-guzzling SUV.
  • You will not do your best to improve yourself unless you feel self-worth and have respect for yourself.

The motivational article "Why Do We Beat Ourselves Up?" concerns negative self-talk such as "I’m not good enough," or "I knew I’d fail." Talking like that conditions you to expect the worst from yourself and diminishes your self-respect. Stop the negative-speak!  Give yourself pep talks, remind yourself why people like you, and rethink accomplishments often.

If you have trouble remembering your good qualities or complimenting yourself throughout the day on jobs well done, perhaps an exercise in journaling will help turn your self-doubt into self-determination. Keeping a journal focused on your positive traits and accomplishments will bolster your esteem and satisfaction in yourself. After awhile, you'll be high on self-respect and realize that you are worth the effort of self-improvement.

Find a bound journal that you like-- a pretty cover, your favorite color, or a plain jacket that you can decorate yourself.  Check to see if the pages are lined (some folks prefer more freedom of creativity than lined paper allows).  If not concerned with frills and aesthetics, you may be satisfied with a simple spiral-bound notebook.

Keep your journal on your bedside stand. Before you turn off the lights for the night, write a minimum of five self compliments in the journal.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

Eat a good breakfast? Way to go! Write it down.

Did you let the guy in a silver Neon out in front of you during rush hour? How courteous! Write it down.

Figured out why the vacuum was making that odd "whirring" noise? Used small bills at the grocery because of the "We need small bills" sign? Having a good hair day? Write it all down-- everything counts. You’ll fill that journal with positives in no time.

Before long you’ll realize (along with everyone else) how smart, healthy, considerate and good-looking you are. Now that you respect your product (you), you’ll find it's worth improving. You are worth the efforts of sufficient sleep, a healthy diet, an exercise plan, a relaxing vacation, a less stressful (and more fun) job… the list goes on and on.

You’re worth it all, baby! You’ll see.

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Member Comments

I have resisted journaling even though I track daily. Report
Awesome...thanks! Report
The combination of counting one's blessings and becoming our own cheerleader....I like the idea. Report
Thank you Report
I belong to another program which suggests that I journal everyday and I have been doing it for 28 years. Report
Good article Report
I am just starting to journal and this was helpful. Report
This is so true! It really helps you prioritize and see thing sin black and white to develop an action plan to reach your goals. Report
I just started 12 week health program at 71 (almost 72) because I had become discouraged that I'd ever be energetic and "bouncing" around again. I've added diabetes, arthritis pains and muscle aches due to lack of good posture and general malaise with too much "resting" and high blood pressure the past few years. I've joined and quit the gym over and over…resist exercise like it's a disease. I "know better" and am quite knowledgeable, but don't have the self-discipline to put in the energy required to do "the right thing."..I need HELP. Report
Sunshyne, you are neither stupid or gullible. You said it are loving and trusting, qualities this world needs more of. Trust your intuition, you have decided to still love this do just that. Love is not berating or untrusting. Do not live in the past by dwelling on the disappointment or betrayal. Love has as many trials as faith in God, for God and Love are one in the same. Good luck and never doubt yourself for the weaknesses in others. Report
I know that I am worth something..I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Sometimes, though, life kicks me in the teeth and I suffer from a bad bout of I am soooo stupid! That happened last night..I found out something quite by accident, or divine guidance, that totally unhinged me. Discovering that I had been made a fool of left me feeling full of doubt in my ability to discern the basic character of a real close person to me which in turn made me feel betrayed and stupid beyond belief, and wondering if I ever get anything right or just ride a tide of oblivious denial to reality.

I know God gave me a big, loving, forgiving heart. I know that I want to be forgiven and not harshly judged. What is hard for me to understand is: am I that gullible and blind? How do I deal with the issue, which I have a right to deal with, and not belittle the person or myself, OR my God?

This morning forgiving the person came, apologizing to God for my behavior and asking for His forgiveness for my attitude I did, letting the person know that I do love them, I have done. Now, how do I deal with the feelings of insecurity and self-berating and trust issues? Report
I havent been on this site for ages and its because I had no hope in being able to ever eat healthy or lose weight. I just celebrated my 53rd birthday and feel like Im too old to get started on any regimine, I felt like by the time I get myself in any kind of shape, I'll be too old to enjoy myself anyway...But Im tired..tired of looking at myself, tired of my breathing issues and just plain tired of being fat & having no energy. I used to walk alot, play alot and just be happier. I've gained 30lbs since "giving up" and Im here to say I've just got rid of all the "junk food" in my house. However Im on a tight budget and all I have is processed food & food with alot of calories,so I have to survive on that first before I get my healthy regimine started, I will as of tomorrow start eating less and doing more walking. Thanks to this site, I have a place to go to to chart my progress with support from Spark People friends... Report
I'm all about feeling confident. Sometimes if I feel a little depressed I'll do something a little simple like putting a pretty shade of lip gloss on. Life is tough and it's easy to feel "low". I tell my friends that doing a little something to boost your confidence helps you throughout the day. A lot of my friends now do something every day, whether it's fixing their hair or putting on a little makeup or even wearing a nice blouse instead of the t-shirt and jeans that we all get soo comfortable throwing on everyday. This journal idea is yet another thing I would like to try to boost my confidence. Thank you. Report
It's never too late to do the right thing! That's what I keep telling myself anyway! I've been trying to eat better and exercise for some time now and I find it so hard to do on my own. Joining like minded people will be just the thing for me. I'm so glad I found this website! Here's to a new beginning! Again! Report


About The Author

Elizabeth Evans Fryer
Elizabeth Evans Fryer
Elizabeth is a freelance writer specializing in fitness topics. Through her writing, she hopes to move others to be as excited as she is about staying healthy.