Self-esteem is something you earn through confidence and self-mastery. The rewards it bestows upon you include the respect you feel for yourself and the respect others feel towards you.

This is a critical element in your personal growth, whether you are building a business, a personal relationship or any other element in your life. How to see yourself creates a filter for how you see everything else.

By building your self-esteem, you come to see the world as a more abundant place. And that will reflect itself in the development of your business, affecting the support from your customers and partners as well as those you know and love and those you’re destined to meet. Strong self-esteem can even influence how you handle being stuck in traffic!

Building self-esteem is not a very difficult task, but it is something that you develop constantly. When hard days come along, it is the strong foundation of your self-mastery that helps you through. Here are ten tips that will help you build the proper foundation you need for improved self-esteem.

1. Choose Your Peers

Surround yourself with people who are positive and supportive, and avoid those who are cynical and negative. This will generate a groundswell of positive feelings within you.

Your self-esteem is a reflection of the company you keep, so seek out people who inspire you and hold you to the high standards you hold for yourself. True friends will always love you for who you are, but they will also support your continued growth and development as they seek out those things for themselves. Choose your peers wisely, because they can have the greatest influence on how you behave and how you feel about yourself.

2. Be Clear about What You Want to Achieve in Life

Set goals and take action. The goal itself is what you’re working towards and is not a “to-do” item. Set yourself up for success by planning the steps towards your goals. When you take action on a step, congratulate yourself for moving closer to your goal! Feel the satisfaction you deserve from each step.

3. Be Positive about Yourself

Remind yourself about your good qualities, your accomplishments and how you help your family, friends, others and yourself.

This doesn’t mean you should ignore things you want to change, and you shouldn’t make excuses for such things, either. Accept the here and now and decide what you really want and what you can do about it. Don’t make the mistake of brooding over what you don’t have. Look at where you are today and have gratitude for the opportunity to keep going!

4. Accept Criticism

You don’t have to get upset or defensive. Criticism can be empowering! You have the choice to accept it and accept yourself as you are today. That doesn’t mean you don’t desire to change something about yourself, but be thankful for who you are here and now. Cynical people often criticize others because it makes them feel better. This means the criticism may not even be about you, so let it roll and be the master of yourself.

5. Be Ready to Fail

Sometimes success comes from getting the mistakes out of the way. Did you walk perfectly the very first time, or did you give up because that first step didn’t go exactly as planned?

Success is developed through doing. Sometimes that means a failure. A mentor of mine often jokes that his success comes from the fact that he is able to make mistakes more quickly than others. When you move through your mistakes and simply continue to take action, you will develop the confidence and self-esteem that only experience can give you. Failure is an option, so accept it and use it for your own benefit.

6. Measure Yourself Only Against Yourself

Life isn’t a race. When you use someone else as the yardstick for your own development, there will always be the perception that someone else is beating you. Set yourself up for success by focusing on your own goals and values and take action based on your own achievements.

7. Never Put Yourself Down

Sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned. That’s okay. Dust yourself off and keep going. When you allow mistakes and failures to become more than they really are, you become controlled by them. Sometimes your life will have challenges. Accept them and even embrace them, because every other person has them, too.

8. Dress for Your Best

When you imagine yourself at your very best, what are you wearing? How does that compare to what you’re wearing now? Sure, if you work at home, it can be fun to work in your bathrobe—but are you successful in your bathrobe? You don’t need expensive, fancy clothes. Just dress in a way that empowers you and helps bring out the success you carry within you.

9. Get Out There with New People

Join a speaking group such as Toastmasters. This is an excellent organization that has helped all types of people develop their speaking skills and their self-confidence in front of other individuals and groups. There are other networking groups that also bring together people who share similar hobbies and will help you to enjoy yourself for the things you do.

10. Remember That You’re Not Alone

Everyone faces challenges constantly. It’s easy to feel weighed down by them; it’s easy to feel as though no one else knows how you feel. There are so many people out there who know and love you. Some of them you haven’t even met! Be grateful that you have the opportunity to have such experiences and take control. Your confidence and self-esteem will flourish.

DAVE SAUNDERS is a professional networker,
certified nutritional educator, wellness coach and author.