Here are some ways to build your self-esteem and avoid depression:

List your positives - Make a list of your positive qualities and your successes. This is always easier to make when you are feeling good about yourself. Perhaps you can enlist the assistance of a close friend or caring relative, or wait for a sunnier moment.

Replay your positives - Once you have made this list, replay the positives in your mind frequently. Associate the replay with an activity you do often; for example, you might review the list in your mind every time you go to the refrigerator!

Use the list before performing difficult tasks - Review the list when you are feeling down or to give you energy before you attempt some difficult task.

List positive scripture - The Bible if filled with God's testimony on how he will not let you down if you seek his grace and mercy.

Review these scriptures - Take time every day to recall a story where God came through for his children.

Recall successes - Go over one each day.

Use realistic standards - Avoid the trap of evaluating yourself using impossible standards that come from others. You are in a particular phase of your life; don't dwell on what you think society regards as success. Remind yourself that success will again be yours.

Know your strengths and weaknesses - What things are you good at? What skills do you have? Do you need to learn new skills? Everyone has limitations. What are your? Are there certain job duties that are just not right for you and that you might want to avoid? Balance you limitations against your strong skills so that you don't let the negatives eat at your self-esteem. Incorporate this knowledge into your planning.

Picture success - Visualize positive results or outcomes and view them in your minds before the event. Play our the scene in your imagination and picture yourself succeeding at whatever you're about to attempt.

Build success - Make a "to do" list of small, achievable tasks. Divide the tasks on your list and make a list for every day so you will have some successes daily.

Surround yourself with positive people - Socialize with family and friends who are supportive. You want to be around people who will pick you up, not bring you down. You know who your fans are. Try to find time to be around them. It can really make you feel good.

Volunteer - Give something of yourself to others through volunteer work. It will help you to feel more worthwhile, and may actually give you new skills

Clarence Coggins
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