5 Ways To Improve Your Self-Esteem

emotional health self-love self-worth Aug 19, 2022

Self-esteem is our view and opinion of ourselves, shaped by our thoughts and feelings from our experiences and relationships. When we have high self-esteem, we feel confident about ourselves, and we feel loved and understand that we have value as a person. Of course, we still have flaws and areas of ourselves that we need to work on, but overall, we have a healthy and balanced view of ourselves. With low self-esteem, however, we tend to view ourselves in a harsher, more negative light. 

Have you found yourself shying away from social situations, being afraid to try new things, or even stopped doing the things you used to love? When we have low self-esteem, we can find that we shrink ourselves. We have these negative beliefs about ourselves: we aren't good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough; that we aren't worthy of love. 

You can feel the effects of low self-esteem in nearly all areas of your life. Your personal relationships can be affected, your work and job performance, and of course, your mental and physical health can be affected too. Here are 5 ways to improve your self-esteem:


  1. Build positive relationships
    1. You want to build healthy and positive relationships around yourself. If there are people in your life that bring you down and add to that negative narrative of yourself, remove them. You want to have a healthy support network with friends and family that you can rely on. You want people in your life that add to your energy, not take it away.
  2. Be more assertive
    1. Don't be afraid to assert yourself, especially if someone is pushing your boundaries. Don't be afraid to tell people no. When we have low self-esteem, we often feel required to give more of ourselves to other people as a way to prove our worth. But you don't need to make yourself always available. It's okay to be assertive with your own needs and boundaries and say no to people when they want something from you.
  3. Practice self-care
    1. Take time for yourself to care for your own mental, emotional, and physical health. Give yourself the things you need to stay healthy, whether it is time every day to decompress, exercise, or do a fun activity. Take this time to dig deep within yourself to find where these negative thoughts are coming from, and start rewriting the narrative. Start adjusting those negative thoughts to ones that are more positive. 
  4. Recognize what you are good at
    1. Don't focus on the negative. Take the time to acknowledge your successes and what it is that you are good at. You can be really good at your job or be really good at a hobby or sport. You can even focus closer to home and recognize that you're good at puzzles, games, sewing, cooking, and so on. Take time every day to acknowledge a success you had, no matter how small.
  5. Challenge yourself
    1. Part of rebuilding our self-esteem is to challenge ourselves; To have goals that we need to work to achieve. With low self-esteem, we can often avoid new or difficult activities or situations because we are afraid of failure. We are afraid of feeding into that narrative that we aren't good enough. But having goals that push us is a great way to help build our self-esteem. Even if we don't succeed the first time, we can see and recognize how far we were able to get and then feel accomplishment when we finally achieve our goal. 


Improving your self-esteem will take time, work, and, most importantly, patience. When working on our self-esteem, the most important step is to look within ourselves and figure out where this low self-esteem is coming from. What experiences have contributed to your narrative? Really take time to look at what is currently happening around you that can trigger these negative thoughts. Is there a person in your life that keeps dragging you down or contributes to the negative narrative of yourself? Are there situations that trigger these feelings, such as family get-togethers or certain projects at work? Rebuilding self-esteem works better if we are not constantly in situations that can bring us back down. All the success in the world won't feel as good if there is someone always in your ear telling you how you are still a failure. Once you are able to find some of the causes and experiences that feed into your low self-esteem, you will have a better idea of what areas of your life to address so you can truly begin healing and recovering.