Our self-esteem is how we value and perceive ourselves. If you have low self-esteem you may feel:

  • like you hate or dislike yourself
  • worthless or not good enough
  • unable to make decisions or assert yourself
  • like no one likes you
  • you blame yourself for things that aren’t your fault
  • guilt for spending time or money on yourself
  • unable to recognize your strengths
  • undeserving of happiness
  • low in confidence.

Think about what is affecting your self-esteem

What affects our self-esteem differs for everyone?

Your confidence may have been lowered after a difficult experience or series of negative life event, such as:

  • being abused or bullied
  • losing your job or difficulty finding employment
  • ongoing and constant stress
  • physicalillness
  • a difficult relationship, separation or divorce

But whatever the cause, it can be helpful to remind yourself that you have the right to feel good about who you are. It can be difficult to break habits but there are steps you can take to feel better about yourself, bit by bit.

Avoid negative self-talk

You might automatically put yourself down.

But learning to identify and challenge your negative self-beliefs can have a positive impact on your self-esteem. It can be helpful to ask yourself: “would I talk to, or think about a loved one in such a negative way?”

Self-help resources such as apps and books may help you to think about the way you view yourself and get you into the habit of thinking and saying positive things about yourself.

It can be difficult to avoid comparing ourselves unfavorably to others, especially when we’re surrounded by images of celebrities and people on social media.

But try to remember that what people choose to share about their life isn’t the full picture and comparing ourselves isn’t realistic.

Connect with people who love you

It’s easy to feel bad about yourself if you spend time with people who treat you badly or don’t appreciate you.

Make a conscious effort to spend more time with people who love you and treat you like you expect to be treated. This can help you to feel good about yourself and challenge your negative thinking.

Talking to loved ones about how you feel can help you to reassess how you view yourself. Ask them what they like about you – it’s likely that they see you differently to how you see yourself. ​

Set yourself a challenge

Find something you like doing and do more of it.

You could take up a hobby, join a class or volunteer your time for something you feel passionate about.

At times, it can be hard to find the motivation to set goals for yourself, especially when you don’t feel confident or worry about what other people may think. But it doesn’t have to be something big.

Making small goals such as trying a recipe or learning the days of the week in a new language can help you to feel more positive about yourself.

And try to remind yourself you don’t have to be perfect at it to enjoy yourself.

Focus on your positives

You may automatically think you’re not good at something. This may stop you from doing the things you enjoy or trying new things, which can make you feel worse about yourself.

Why not try to:

  • celebrate your successeswithout belittling them. No matter how small they may seem to you, take time to praise yourself and reflect on what you did well.
  • accept compliments. Make a note of them to look over when you’re doubting yourself.
  • write a list of what you like about yourself.You could include aspects of your personality, your appearance and what you like doing. If you’re finding it difficult, ask a friend or loved one to help you.

Take care of yourself

If you have low self-worth it can be difficult to find the motivation to take care of your physical health. You may even feel guilty about spending time on yourself, but it’s important for your mental wellbeing.

Think about how some of the following are affecting how you feel and what you could do to change them for the better:


Having low self-esteem can be stressful, especially if you put lots of pressure on yourself to be a certain way.


Getting too little or too much sleep can have a big impact on how you feel.


Our mental and physical health are closely linked. Taking up sport or exercise can help you feel better in lots of different ways.

Most of all learn to love yourself and who you are by counting all of your blessings and your strengths as a human being.

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