The Importance of Healthy Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is your opinion of yourself. If you have poor self-esteem you probably already know it from how you talk to yourself: self-criticism, pessimism and lowered expectations of your capabilities. On the other hand, if you have good self-esteem, you probably don’t notice it! You just get on with doing what you can, giving things a try and if you fail, seeing it as an opportunity to learn or choose more wisely next time. This kind of self-esteem may seem a matter of luck, but in fact, there are mental and emotional skills you can learn to respond with more confidence and improve your self-esteem.


Some signs you may be struggling with low self-esteem are:

  • Being extremely critical of yourself
  • Focusing on your negatives and ignoring your strengths
  • Comparing yourself to others to your detriment
  • Ignoring compliments or discounting them “Oh, anyone could do that”
  • Feeling hypersensitive and easily ‘wounded’ by others
  • Describing yourself negatively
  • Blaming yourself when something goes wrong, even for something out of your control
  • Avoiding situations where you fear others will judge you


There are many contributing factors associated with low self-esteem. Some of these factors might be:

  • An underlying mental condition
  • A childhood where you were criticised or held up to very high expectations, or paradoxically, where everything you did was praised, even when it required little effort on your part
  • Experiencing bullying in situations where high performance is valued, mainly work and school
  • Being traumatised in any of these environments such as that you choose to “Play It Safe
  • Ongoing medical problems such as a physical disability or serious illness

This TED-Ed Talk gives an interesting insight in to self-esteem and what factors can cause low self-esteem:

Strategies To Boost Self-Esteem

There are several simple strategies you can practice to promote healthy self-esteem and build confidence

  • Talk to yourself in a compassionate way – treat yourself as you would a good friend. Acknowledge that some things are hard for you, be supportive and kind.
  • Put yourself on the spectrum – you may never be the best, but you are probably far from the worst. In any case there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
  • Challenge your negative thinking – reflect on your negative thoughts about yourself objectively, even discuss them with a friend. You’ll likely find that most of these negative thoughts are unfounded, illogical and most of all not helpful to you.
  • Get active – Not only is exercise good for your body, it can be very beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing too.
  • Surround yourself with good people – good friends won’t support or reinforce your negative view of yourself, but rather will encourage you to take prudent risks and to pick yourself up after setbacks.

Get Your Life Back On Track, Find A Way Forward, Experience Peace of Mind