1. Mindlessly scrolling through the Instagram “explore” feed whenever you have a spare moment, and slowly but subconsciously embedding your mind with an idea of “perfection” that you will never attain.
2. Being nicer to strangers than you are the people who are closest to you.
3. Judging other people as a means of making conversation, reorienting the way that you look at life based around subjective assessments that your ego likes to make about how other people are living.
4. Going out of your way to check the social media feeds of people who you know will make you jealous or upset. Being subtly addicted to this “high.”
5. Not actually trying. Of course you’re going to feel like crap if you never complete a project, only give half of your effort, or don’t show up when you are supposed to, all because you want to avoid any degree of discomfort.
6. Looking at your phone as soon as you wake up.
7. Looking at your phone as the last thing you do before bed.
8. Staying on dating sites. Hey, it works for some people. For a lot of others, it just serves as a very shallow and ultimately fruitless way to measure your self-worth based on how strangers judge you.
9. Following more aspirational bloggers than you do real people you know.
10. Detaching from reality and idolizing false gods. Don’t compare your life to celebrities more than you do the people you know. Don’t gauge beauty based on magazine covers more than you look around at the people on the street and remember what human beings really look like.
11. Treating others poorly. Nothing boosts self-esteem like being kind for no reason. If you feel as though you’re worthless, the most worthwhile thing to do is share compassion and love. If your life’s purpose is nothing but this, it has been more than enough.
12. Extrapolating the moment. Imagining that whatever temporary anxiety has overcome you will be your new homeostasis.
13. Trying to make yourself look like someone you’re not. There’s no joy in being loved or appreciated for looking like an altered, edited, made up, half-honest version of yourself. It will not fill the void, though you can continue to try.
14. Trying to make everyone like you.
15. Hanging out with people who make you feel inferior, or as though you’re failing at life. Your successful, amazing friends should inspire you, not put you down.
16. Failing to apologize. Being strong enough to admit when you are wrong and then make peace will give you the confidence of knowing that you are not your mistakes, your misjudgments or your failures.
17. Needing to be right about everything. True confidence is the willingness to be wrong sometimes, and to learn, and grow.
18. Trying to convince someone to love you when they aren’t interested. There’s nothing that robs you of your self-worth quite like investing your energy in someone who doesn’t care to invest it back.