Self-esteem: Impacts and Tips to Improve Self-esteem

Low self-esteem and confidence impact on mental health. Healthy vs unhealthy self-esteem and how to improve self-esteem.


10/22/20222 min read

Self-esteem refers to how we view and think about ourselves and the value we place on ourselves as a person.

What is low self-esteem?

It's normal for people to, at times, doubt their abilities or lack confidence in certain areas and contexts. However, if overall, you tend to see yourself and your life in a more negative and critical light then this can become a problem. You may also feel less able to take on the challenges that life throws at you.

Low self-esteem can be described as an overall negative opinion of yourself. People with low self-esteem can often have negative core beliefs about themselves such as "I'm not good enough", "I'm not worthwhile", "I'm not competent" and "I'm not loveable". These beliefs can impact your life and hold you back in life.

The impact of low self-esteem

Low self-esteem or confidence might mean you hide away from social situations, stop trying new things, and avoid things you find challenging.

In the short term, avoiding challenging and difficult situations might make you feel safe.

In the longer term, this can backfire because it reinforces your underlying doubts and fears. It teaches you the unhelpful rule that the only way to cope is by avoiding things.

Living with low self-esteem can negatively impact your mental health and lead to problems like depression and anxiety.

What is healthy self-esteem?

Healthy self-esteem is thinking about yourself and you're worth in a balanced way. With healthy self-esteem, people tend to feel positive about themselves and about life in general. It makes you better able to deal with life's ups and downs.

Practical tips on how to increase self-esteem

Take a self-esteem inventory to give yourself a baseline

It can be as simple as writing down 10 of your strengths and 10 of your weaknesses. This will help you to begin developing an honest and realistic conception of yourself.

Set realistic expectations

It’s important to set small, reachable goals that are within your power. For example, setting an extremely high expectation or an expectation that someone else will change their behaviour is virtually guaranteed to make you feel like a failure, through no fault of your own.

Stop being a perfectionist

Acknowledge both your accomplishments and mistakes. Nobody is perfect, and trying to be will only lead to disappointment. Acknowledging your accomplishments and recognizing your mistakes is the way to keep a positive outlook while learning and growing from your mistakes.

Be willing to adjust your self-image

We all change as we age and grow, and we must keep up with our ever-changing selves if we want to set and achieve meaningful goals.

Self-esteem: impacts and tips to improve self-esteem
Self-esteem: impacts and tips to improve self-esteem

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