How to Improve Self-Esteem  and Live Boldly

how to improve self esteem

Struggling with low self-esteem? Read this article to learn how to improve self-esteem by being aware of your inner critic and silencing it.

Healthy self-esteem is one of the essential components of Happiness. Our opinions about our physical appearance, relationships with others, personality traits, earning capacity, maintaining our home, mental health and sexuality define the level of self-esteem. 

A person with low self-esteem not only finds it difficult to reach his maximum potential, but he also becomes prone to several psychological vulnerabilities like failure rejection. This increases their chances of anxiety, depression and eating disorders.

What Can Cause Low Self-esteem?

The experiences of the early years of our life play a vital role in giving shape to our self-esteem. The negative interactions with primary caregivers like parents, our teachers, relatives and peers can impact our self-esteem.

Furthermore, any stressful event such as poor academic performance, romantic rejections, getting fired from the job and ridicule from peers and strangers can cause low self-esteem.

What are the Signs of Low Self-esteem?

People with low self-esteem are unhappy with themselves. They are their biggest critics and often set towering standards to achieve to feel better.

However, the contentment with themselves remains elusive.

When it comes to appraising their value and worth, they usually underestimate themselves.

On being rejected by others, they spiral down in the whirlwind of depression and anxiety. They consider themselves as an absolute failure and regularly feel unwanted and inadequate in their relationships.

Sometimes, low self-esteem can lead to substance abuse as well.

What are the Examples of Low Self-esteem?

Here are some examples of low self-esteem.

You are at a party, and if you are finding yourself getting relentlessly conscious, preoccupied with negative thoughts of how others judge you, chances are you have got low self-esteem.

If you find it tough to decline the request of your client who is asking you to do some work for free, which you don’t want to do, your self-esteem is low.

Your friends make fun of you, and you can’t stand up for yourself because you fear losing the only friendships you have; that’s a sign of low self-esteem.

How to Improve Self-esteem as a Woman?

What is the best strategy for overcoming low self-esteem? Well, boosting your self-esteem is not an overnight task. It takes time, sometimes years of commitment.

However, it’s entirely possible to see a significant improvement in your self-esteem and turn your life around.

We have rounded up for you some of the scientifically proven ways to overcome low self-esteem.

1. Observe Your Inner Critic

Pay attention to your inner critic.

The inner voice which attacks us every time we are in a vulnerable situation is the primary source of low self-esteem. It makes you feel bad and as if you are never good enough.

It makes you take responsibility for the mistakes which you never committed.

This is the voice that stops you from taking risks, compares you with others and berates you even for minor mistakes.

Observing that inner critic is the first step to deal with your low self-esteem; notice what time it rears its ugly head and disempowers you.

Then, please make a note of it so that you know how to deal with it the next time it tries to put you down.

2. Answer Back to Your Inner Critic

Our inner critic could be downright cruel, demotivating and a liar!

When you hear it spewing bitterness and putting your weaknesses in a sharp focus, stop it right there.

It’s time to unleash your kindest, most compassionate and understanding voice to counter the words of your Inner Critic.

When you have an answer ready beforehand to fight your critic, it loses its power and leaves you unhurt.

3. Take Care of Your Cognitive Distortions

A lot of times, we fall into the trap of our cognitive distortions.

Making sweeping generalisations, catastrophising, filtering, thinking in black and white are some of the flawed ways our thoughts distort reality and cause us colossal suffering.

Being aware of these distortions day to day basis and taking steps to correct them can help you improve your self-esteem.

Read: How to Stop Playing the Victim

4. Know Your Strengths

When we suffer from low self-esteem, it could be extremely challenging to see ourselves in a positive light.

The constant voice of our inner critic can leave us feeling worthless and unvalued!

 A good idea to keep looking at the bright side of yourself is to list down all the meaningful qualities in you. 

First, think of your qualities and achievements.

Then, come up with an explanation of how they contribute to your wellness and those around you. 

5. Honour Your Real Needs

One of the surefire symptoms of low self-esteem is our inability to ask what we want from others.

Why do we do so? We let ourselves sacrifice our needs because we feel that we don’t deserve to get what we want. The feeling of unworthiness can make us think that we don’t even matter in this world.

Each of us has physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual needs. Disregarding any of these vital needs can put us feeling dissatisfied with ourselves.

When we don’t feel worthy of fulfilling these needs, our self-esteem plummets even further.

Knowing your needs and putting effort to meet them by putting yourself first is one way to protect your self-esteem. Standing up to those who don’t respect your needs, communicating your thoughts and feelings to them, and asking them what you want can help in building confidence and raising your self-esteem.

6. Master Goal Setting

Many of us try to set lofty goals without comprehensive planning and end up failing miserably.

Moreover, frequently missing our targets can put a severe dent in our self-esteem.

One way to improve our odds at achieving our goals is to spend enough time setting them. 

Making a commitment to our goals by making them specific, listing steps, and scheduling proper time for each step can increase your chances of success.

In addition, setting realistic goals, keeping in mind our abilities and limitations, and gathering sufficient knowledge will help you master the process of goal setting.

Learning how to set goals and working on them can significantly boost your self-esteem.

Read: How to Let Go Of Perfectionism

7. Take Care of Your Body

It’s impossible to feel good about yourself if you ignore the physical needs of your body.

Self-care can help you achieve high self-esteem.

Regular exercise, optimal nutrition and rest can improve your well-being. Committing to twenty minutes of daily aerobic exercises, 8 hours of sleep, and eating a variety of healthy food can take care of your body’s physical needs.

Read: How to Love Your Body

8. Assess Your Values and Get Rid of the Shoulds

All of us have our personal beliefs, rules and principles by which we lead our life.

However, sometimes these very principles can become a cause of emotional distress triggering low self-esteem.

It’s a good idea to evaluate your value systems and beliefs regularly.

Then, spend some time analysing the consequences of following these values.

If the rules and principles you are trying to live by are creating more negative emotions in your life, it’s time to adjust them.

Tweak your life rules in a way that lets you positively express yourself. Your values don’t have to push you into the ditch of guilt, inadequacy and low self-control. 


To live your life to the fullest, you must have a reasonable opinion of yourself. Unfortunately, believing in your worth and feeling valued do not come easily to all of us.

However, it’s possible to learn to boost your self-esteem by being aware of your inner critic and silencing it. Your strengths, achievements and qualities can help you see your worth and make you believe in yourself.

In addition, removing the cognitive distortions, taking care of your physical body, being assertive about expressing your needs, and mastering goal setting can help in building self-esteem.

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  1. Jaba

    Hi Pallavi,
    All your articles are very well written. Very apt I must say. I am sure everyone can relate to it. Much needed in today’s tough times. Keep up the good work! Keep shining.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Jaba. I am glad you could find it relatable.

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