Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself, determined by your feelings and an evaluation based on your perception of yourself.

And a healthy sense of self-esteem, we're told, is critical to success in any undertaking.

If you're lucky enough to have strong self-esteem, it may be hard to understand those who struggle with it.

But if you're among those who need a boost, here are 10 simple tricks you can do today to instantly improve your self-esteem.

1. Be careful what you say about yourself, because you're listening.

Too often we don't actually stop and listen to the things we say to ourselves. If we did, we'd be appalled. If a friend or child made a mistake, would you belittle them and call them stupid? Of course not. So why would you do it to yourself? Make sure the things you tell yourself reflect how you want to feel, not how you feel in the moment.

2. Build up your strengths and stop dwelling on your weaknesses.

You have gifts, talents, skills--so why are you concentrating on what you're bad at? Focus instead on the things you do well. you are good at. Master your skills and outsource your weaknesses.

3. Recognize perfectionism as the enemy.

When you strive for perfection you end up sabotaging yourself. Perfectionism leaves you feeling never good enough. It's self-abuse of the highest order and the enemy of creation. Honor the fact that you can be imperfectly perfect. Strive for excellence, not perfection, and enjoy how it feels to know you're doing your best.

4. Be intentional about your inner circle.

The people close around you matter: they determine the level of your success and how you feel about yourself. Be intentional about having the right inner circle of people around you--people who know you, know your strengths, understand your dreams, get your fears, and still believe in you. Spend time with people who value you; avoid those who insist on pointing out your flaws.

5. Be careful what you think, because thoughts are powerful.

All action results from thoughts, so your thoughts truly matter. Negative thoughts generally lead to negative action (or inaction), but positive thoughts lead to positive action. If you really understood how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought again.

6. Don't allow your past to dictate your future.

All of us--and I mean all of us--have some triggers attached to our past. But don't allow your past to govern your future, especially if your past is filled with feelings of being unworthy or undeserving. Dwelling on the past keeps you from defining yourself in the future. Remember, the past is where you learned the lesson but the future is where you will apply it.

7. Stop comparing yourself to others.

There's no better way to rob yourself of confidence. Often we struggle with insecurity because we're comparing ourselves behind to the scenes with everyone else's public face and biggest accomplishments. Not comparing yourself to others is the most important key to happiness. Look in the mirror--that's your only competition. Instead of measuring yourself against others, try to always be better than the person you were yesterday.

8. Be willing to learn a new skill.

Learning helps you grow in confidence, and the more you know, the more confident you can become. Confidence comes from learning, skills come from experience and attitude comes from growth. Remember that success belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.

9. Don't allow mistakes to stop you from trying.

If you're not making mistakes, you're not trying hard enough. Failure is part of innovation--perhaps the most important part. Mistakes are portals of great discoveries and ultimately part of our success story. If we never mess up we will never learn or improve. The trick is never to make the same mistake twice. Making mistakes is something everyone does; learning from them is not.

10. Don't stand in your own way.

Sometimes we get in the way of our own success. When we don't believe in ourselves, we end up paying the price in our accomplishments and achievements--but all things are possible if we believe. When you believe in yourself, you have all the power within you. Realize you are stronger than you seem, braver than you believe and smarter than you think.

Low self esteem is like driving through life with your hand brake on. To establish true self esteem we must concentrate on our successes and forget about our failures and the negatives in our lives. Only strong self-esteem is the key to success, it determines our lives, so make sure it's positive, confident, and self-assured.