The Importance of Healthy Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is your opinion of yourself. So, someone with low self-esteem is unhappy and unsatisfied with themselves most of the time. A person with low self-esteem tends to speak to themselves in critical and harsh ways and has a negative self-image. Self-esteem influences all aspects of our lives since our self-image determines our faith in our own abilities, our confidence and resilience. This can make it very difficult for a person to make decisions and persist in the face of adversity. Low self-esteem can be improved but it takes attention and daily practice from the affected individual.


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

  • Being extremely critical of yourself
  • Focusing on your negatives and ignoring the positives
  • Thinking that other people are better than you
  • Ignoring compliments or not believe them
  • Feeling hypersensitive and are easily ‘wounded’ by others
  • Being withdrawn, quiet or shy
  • Describing yourself negatively
  • Blaming yourself when something goes wrong, even if it is out of your control
  • Feeling isolated socially or withdrawing from social situations
  • Experiencing fatigue, insomnia or headaches


There are many contributing factors in an individual’s life that can cause low self-esteem. Most often, low self-esteem is caused by stressful periods in a person’s life or due to unexpected events or changes. Other causes are:

  • An underlying mental illness
  • Stressful life events
  • Unhappy childhood where parents were very critical
  • Experiencing bullying e.g from a partner, carer, friend or work colleague
  • Struggling at work, school, with finances, or with parenting
  • Ongoing medical problems such as a physical disability or serious illness

This TEDEd Talk gives an interesting insight in to an individual’s 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 positive way – treat yourself as you would a good friend. Acknowledge the positives about yourself, be supportive and kind.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others – understand that everyone is different and make an effort to accept yourself for who you are
  • 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.
  • 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 friends – don’t hang around people who bring you down, it can be very damaging to how you see yourself.

Our Self-Esteem Practitioners

Deborah Hart
Deborah HartACT Therapist, Counsellor & Coach
I have spent the first three decades of my working life as a professional horn player with orchestras around Australia and The Netherlands. Most of that time […]
Learn More
Dayana Noor
Dayana NoorPsychologist
Dayana is a Registered Psychologist with the Psychologist Board of Australia. She is also a full member of the Australian Psychological Society and a member of the Association […]
Learn More
Patch Callahan
Patch CallahanClinical Psychologist
Josh Hobson is a compassionate and supportive psychologist who works with his clients to identify their inner strengths, and to draw on these strengths so that his clients […]
Learn More

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

We’re here to help you find the way into a life you love. You may be facing one of life’s everyday setbacks like separation or a relationship breakup, loss of a loved one, conflict at work or change of job, loneliness, family problems and so on. Or you may be experiencing a mental health condition like depression, anxiety, addiction or trauma. Perhaps you’re just trying to understand yourself, your thoughts, emotions, sexuality or relationships, or perhaps to understand and find purpose in your life. A skilled Melbourne psychologist expert in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and other scientifically supported therapies, will work with you, putting your strengths and new insights in the service of a more fulfilling life. Phone today to chat with one of our friendly psychologists, or complete this form and we’ll call you back.

Get In Touch

If you have any questions, please call our Intake Staff on (03) 9939 9437 or complete the form below and we can call you back.

The form couldn't be found.