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12 Tips for How to Build Your Self Esteem

Updated: May 30

swing in picturesque nature scene with sign above it that says "self love"
Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash

***Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not provide medical, legal, or health advice and is not a substitute for mental health services

This post follows the previous article called Low Self Esteem: What Causes It and What Keeps it Going?

With this understanding of self-esteem, you can now start to explore different ways of trying to enhance your self-confidence.

1. Consider your self-perception as opinion – not fact

Your thoughts are just that – thoughts. Using this approach can help you develop a more positive mindset.

Just because you think you are [insert perspective here], this doesn’t mean it’s true. There are more encouraging ways you can think about yourself that will boost your self esteem.


2. Reflect on good things about yourself that you might be ignoring or dismissing

When your self-confidence is impacted, you naturally cast aside anything good about yourself. Make a new habit of thinking about your positive attributes. This will become easier for you over time and with practice.


3. Identify your strengths, abilities, skills, and past successes

Some examples of positive attributes that you can focus on are what you’re good at, what you’re capable of, as well as your knowledge, skills, and achievements.


4. Think about good qualities in other people that you have in common

If it’s really hard for you to think about what you like about yourself, then try something different: reflect on the positive attributes about other people  – that you also share.

Finding a way to link someone else’s good qualities with yourself may be a starting point for seeing yourself in a positive way.


5. Don’t attribute negative outcomes to defining who you are as a person

Just because something didn’t turn out the way you hoped or expected doesn’t mean that the result needs to become part of your identity. It doesn’t define you.

There are many things that contribute toward your personality, the quality of your relationships, and your way of being in the world. One bad event or outcome doesn’t have to be associated with who you are as a person.


6. Ask other people you trust to tell you what they admire about you

If you find it really challenging to see the good things about yourself, try asking someone you trust and who cares about you to tell you what they appreciate about you.

Write down some of these points and try to recall them during tough moments when you are being hard on yourself.

7. Practice self-compassion and positive self-talk

Part of building good self-esteem involves practicing self-compassion. Give yourself grace. Be patient with and kind to yourself.

Listen to what your inner voice says – make an effort to use a positive self-narrative that highlights all the good things about yourself.


8. Put yourself in situations that help you grow and develop, even if it’s scary

When you have low self-esteem, it can be hard to challenge yourself. Learn to take reasonable risks, set goals for yourself, and monitor your progress. This will lead to self-improvement over time.


9. Challenge anxious and negative predictions in triggering situations

When you notice you are feeling anxious and start to engage in self-doubt, try to consider a more balanced view.

Recognize that the scenario might be hard, but that you have knowledge, skills, support, and resources that can help you through it.


10. Anticipate obstacles and barriers and problem solve around them

Part of problem solving involves figuring out what the gap is between where you are and where you want to be, and what needs to happy to help you close or reduce that gap.

Take steps to learn more about the issue. Develop new skills. Ask for help. Access external resources. Consider anything else that may be helpful along the way.

11. View mistakes as part of learning and growth

Mistakes don’t mean you’ve failed. They’re a natural part of the learning process. Every time we get over a hurdle, we gain valuable knowledge and understanding. Use that concept to encourage yourself to keep going.

12. Recognize that your worth and value isn’t tied to your level of success or productivity

And last, but not least, separate your sense of worth from your material success, productivity, and achievements. You have value regardless what you do, what you have, and what you own.

Learning to see yourself as being worthy just for being you is an important step toward building and maintaining strong self-esteem.


Final Thoughts


Self-esteem can understandably be influenced by what happens to us throughout our lifespan. Even though difficult experiences can have a lingering effect, we don’t have to stay in this mindset our whole lives.


We can start making choices to lift our confidence and, in doing so, we can start to build our sense of worth and value. One step at a time.


Wishing you well on your mental health journey.



Davina Tiwari   MSW, RSW, CSFT

Registered Social Worker and Certified Solution Focused Therapist

If you are an adult in Ontario or Alberta seeking online therapy and would like to request a free 15 minute phone consultation, please Book An Appointment.


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