You can raise your self-esteem by changing your thoughts about yourself using affirmations and other brainwashing techniques. However, self-esteem is a feeling, not a thought, and it is eventually your feeling about yourself that needs to be changed.
The way you feel is influenced by what you think. If you think that something is dangerous you will feel scared. If you think that something is fun you will feel happy. Similarly, if you think that you are a wonderful person you will feel like a wonderful person. Thoughts of high self-esteem lead to feelings of high self-esteem.
Training your mind to think more positive thoughts about yourself is therefore great, but it is not enough. You don’t necessarily have high self-esteem just because you have learnt to think positively about yourself. You need to know that you are wonderful not only in your head, but also in your heart. You need to FEEL that you are valuable. True self-esteem is a feeling.
So how do you move from thinking high self-esteem thoughts to feeling high self-esteem feelings? Training your feelings is perhaps more difficult than training your mind because the exercises you can do are more vague. Sitting quietly and focusing on your feelings is a great start. You need to become aware of your emotions before you can try to manipulate them. Once you can truly feel your feelings you can also learn to choose your feelings. Use your positive thoughts to help you (think about how wonderful you are) and try to feel how it feels like to think in this way. Remember that feeling so that you can pick it up later. The more often you practise feeling the feeling of high self-esteem, the quicker and more easily you can induce it. The aim is to eventually make it so easy and natural so that you carry the feeling of high self-esteem with you all the time. At that point you will truly have high self-esteem.
When you carry with you a feeling of high self-esteem most things in life will get easier. Because you already feel great, you will not feel a need to push others down in order to make yourself feel better, and you will not interpret other’s actions and words in a threatening way. A high self-esteem feeling is the best defense you can have against being affected by critical people and negative events.