There is nothing more important than what you think and feel about yourself. Sometimes, you feel like you’re worthless, that no one likes you, and you blame yourself for things that aren’t your fault. This can make you hate yourself and your confidence will be 0.

Having low self-esteem is not a mental problem, but it can lead to some like anxiety or depression. To prevent this from happening, you need to boost your self-esteem, stop believing that you are not good enough, and be confident in making decisions on your own.

Here are 7 ways to boost your self-esteem:

1. Think about the source of the problem

In order to solve a problem, you first need to find its source and start from there. Usually, it is one of the two: your self-esteem has been lowered after a series of negative life-events or it has been like that as long as you can remember.

Recognize what the problem is, whether it is a difficult relationship, being bullied or abused, or losing your job—and take steps to solve it, bit by bit. Whatever it may be, remember that you have the right to feel good about yourself and who you are.

2. Don’t criticize yourself

Sometimes, we are just too harsh on ourselves. No one would ever think or say something as negative as the things you say to yourself. Would you ever think that way about a person you love? Read a book, or talk to someone who will help you to think about the way you view yourself and get you into the habit of thinking and saying positive things about yourself.

See also: 11 Things Making Your Life More Complicated Than It Has To Be

3. Connect with people who love you

It’s easy to have low self-esteem if you bottle up your emotions, or spend time with people who treat you badly or don’t appreciate you. No one can treat you like you expect to be treated as much as the people that love you. Make a conscious effort to connect with them and spend more time them.

It is very likely that they see you differently than you see yourself, in a more positive way. After reassessing how you view yourself, you will feel better in your own skin and challenge your negative thinking.

 

Two women smiling at each other at a viewpoint

4. Learn how to be assertive

By being more assertive, you gain a better understanding of who you are and the value that you offer. Value yourself and your rights. Be confident in expressing what you need and want.

Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and to confront people who challenge you and/or your rights. You can even allow yourself to be angry! But remember to control your emotions and to stay respectful at all times.

5. Try something new

Your opinion of yourself will go up if you try something new—when you challenge yourself by going out of your comfort zone. It will make you appreciate yourself and help you come alive as you get out of a rut. Even if you don’t achieve something spectacular or great, even if you fail, you at least tried instead of sitting on your hands and doing nothing.

6. Take care of yourself

It may seem wrong and you might feel guilty for taking time for yourself, but it’s important for your mental wellbeing. Treat yourself well, go shopping, do some outdoor activities or just go to your favorite restaurant and order whatever you like. Make your body satisfied and it will help you ignore the voices that tell you all the bad things about yourself.

7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

You don’t have to do everything on your own. It’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK to talk about the way you’re feeling. Consulting others who experienced the same problems or even seeking professional help will help you if things get too much.