How do you overcome low self esteem? 15 Tips that actually work!

Ho can I improve my self esteem?

Medically reviewed and approved by Luzmery Romero M.D.

Like almost the rest of humanity, I went through times in my life when I had low self-esteem. I found the answer to the question, How to overcome my self-esteem? I will help you achieve this because it influences all aspects of life when you have high self-esteem.

For an adult to increase his self-esteem, the first thing you must do is change your negative thinking towards yourself, towards others, and towards the world for positive thinking. You must try to be happy, fight for your goals no matter what others say, and put your thoughts first without feeling inferior to others.

Next, we will show you how to improve your self-esteem to be a successful person through some advice, exercises, and techniques that will help you change your life completely.

Table of Contents

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is the valuation, perception, a positive or negative judgment that a person has towards himself, his thinking, feeling, and experience, which can increase or decrease from situations, emotional or social work, and our criticism, either positive or negative.

There are two types of self-esteem in general:

High self-esteem

People who have high self-esteem have a great deal of confidence in their abilities. These people make decisions by taking risks and facing tasks; thanks to this attitude, they usually have a high expectation of success.

When self-esteem is high, the person feels better prepared, more capable, more enthusiastic, and feels like relating to other people.

Low self-esteem

People who have low self-esteem feel insecure, unsatisfied, and, when criticized, are sensitive to these opinions.

When someone violates their rights, they cannot claim them. That behavior lowers their self-esteem even more. That usually happens when you do not value what you do for yourself, the beliefs you hold, and the opinion you have about yourself.

Is high self-esteem a good thing?

High self-esteem encourages you to seek success at the social, personal, work, and family levels. That is the goal that a person should always have, standing out, being the best, getting recognition for what they do. All these are satisfactions that the individual lives and allow him/her to have the courage to move forward.

There are times when you find yourself discouraged, disoriented, lost, which can affect all areas of your life. For this reason, it is essential to maintain high self-esteem since having it low deteriorates your relationships with other people and even with yourself.

Besides, if you are physically and emotionally bad, you become a person who has no interest and cannot socialize. Your level of self-esteem has to do with all your successes.

What are the signs of low self-esteem?

Symptoms that warn you if you have low self-esteem:

  • You are unsure of yourself.
  • You don't express your opinions or likes for fear of being rejected by others. You also think that your ideas are not as valuable as other people's.
  • You think you don't deserve the good things in life that happen to you.
  • You don't strive to achieve what you want because you feel beforehand that you won't.
  • You are afraid to relate to other people because you believe you will not do well, and they will reject you.
  • You allow other people to trample and don't impose your thoughts when necessary.
  • You would like to be like other people because you believe that other people are superior to you.
  • You do not express what you feel for fear that others will not like what you say.
  • You attribute your achievements to external factors and your failures to internal factors.
  • You do not feel happy.
  • You become easily demotivated and find it difficult to finish what you start.
  • You let yourself be carried away by what others decide without taking into account your desires.
  • You rarely think about your strengths. You always think about your weaknesses.
  • You feel guilty and unattractive, and you envy the lives of others.
  • You are almost all day long on edge.

Why is it important to have high self-esteem?

Increasing self-esteem is essential for the person because, in this way, they can succeed in everything they set out to do more easily. The individual will be willing to move forward in everything, thus achieving goals and achieve them because he will have reasons to encourage the full development of his potential.

No one can raise your self-esteem, it is only in your hands, but if your actions, way of thinking, treatment, depend on others, you show low self-esteem.

Raising your self-esteem is not a one-time thing; It requires consistency, greater attention to the beliefs that sometimes limit you.

Besides, having low self-esteem can make your health problems worse. A study by the doctors V. JuthJ. M. Smyth, and A. M. Santuzzi for the Journal of Health Psychology showed that sick people with low self-esteem are likely to have all their symptoms worsen.

How do you overcome low self-esteem?

How do you overcome low self esteem?

Be aware of your thoughts.

The first thing to keep in mind is that you must be mindful of your thoughts. Both about yourself, about others, and the world in general.

It has been proven that if you have negative thoughts, they will influence your body, mind, and health in general; therefore, these thoughts will lower your self-esteem.

Think about your virtues

If you focus your attention on your defects, they will become more evident. Begin to think of positive aspects that counteract the negative aspects. When you have negative thoughts about yourself, balance them by thinking something positive. Every day you write down three things about yourself that make you emotionally happy.

Change your thoughts of I can't, because I'm going to try, I'm going to succeed, or I'm going to do well.

Set a goal that you can achieve instead of looking for perfection

Many times people do not realize what they have in mind because of their desire for perfection. Instead, they think that you are good at what you are doing and that you enjoy it.

Romans didn't build Rome in a day, look for achievable goals, and you will see how little by little you will improve in what you set out to do.

Be realistic

Accept when the things you do are right and learn from them by valuing what you know how to do correctly. You have to be realistic about your strengths as well as your weaknesses.

Consider mistakes as learning opportunities.

When you make a mistake, accept that you are making it because every person makes a mistake, it is part of learning in life. You need to know that people's attitudes are always in constant development and that each person excels at different things. We can't all excel at the same thing.

Don't compare yourself to others.

Each person is a different world, and only you own your world, so focus on you and your life. Never envy the experience of others; what you get is to feel frustrated. Try to find something you are good at something you can contribute to achieving your goals.

Overcome your obstacles

Don't live dragging things into your life that doesn't satisfy you, like relationships that are harmful to you and don't give you anything. If you have habits that you don't like, try to change them; take control of this situation and think positively.

Try new things

Always acquire new skills, because when you experience some brand-new activity, and you like it, you will enjoy it. You will also feel proud of any progress you make in it.

Distinguish what you can change and what you can not 

When you think about something that is yours and does not make you happy, if you have the opportunity to change it, do it at once. If you can't change something like your skin color, age, or height, don't focus on it anymore. Start working on loving yourself as you are.

Set goals

Analyze what you want to achieve, then work on a plan to achieve it, focus on this plan, and write down the progress you have made. Try to make the goals you set realistic and achievable, easy to reach, so that little by little, you can increase them and get what you want.

If you fail in this, learn, and don't blame yourself for your mistakes, keep trying. When you crash, you learn how not to do it; you know that you have to try the next time differently.

Be proud of your opinions and ideas.

When you express your ideas or opinions for something you feel good about, don't be afraid to tell them in front of others.

Collaborate in a social work

Contribute something and recognize that you are helping others. With this, your self-esteem increases. You can start by example:

  • Help a family member or neighbor in need.
  • Join an NGO or association that helps others.
  • Clean up your neighborhood.
  • Give classes to someone who needs it.
  • Participate in charitable actions.
  • Be a volunteer for an association.


Practicing any physical activity will lower your stress level so that you will be healthier and happier.

Have fun

 Enjoy your life at every moment with the people you care about, especially doing the things you love.

Think about the positive things that have happened to you during the day

When you go to bed at night: 

  • Think of the positive things you've had in the day.
  • Think about the challenges you overcame.
  • Reflect on the mistakes you have made and how you can improve this.

Exercises to improve self-esteem

You will feel better

Use non-negative language.

Eliminate from your vocabulary any word with negative connotations such as fat, ugly, stupid, or can't. Continually using these words can destroy your self-esteem.

Use accurate language

Try not to exaggerate the negative aspects. On the contrary, always try to bring out something beautiful, like, "I am not beautiful for others" You should not say that you should replace this phrase with "some people found it beautiful and others less so."

Use a specific language instead of a general one.

For this, you must eliminate all terms like: never, totally, always. An example is to change "I hate being alone" for how "I want to have company when I am alone sometimes in my house."

Make a list of your strengths.

Make a list where you have written down the praises that other people have given you. List the capabilities, strengths that you consider you have. Then list the things about yourself that make you proud.

You may be interested in "How can I improve my mood and energy? 7 Ways to feel good"

Techniques to improve self-esteem

1) Search and find the source of your low self-esteem

To increase your self-esteem, the first thing you have to find is your low self-esteem. To see this origin, ask yourself why you are afraid.

2) Do it, try it even if you fail

When you feel afraid of something, you try to avoid it, not face the problem, this being the most comfortable way out of this situation. In this way, you eliminate the anxiety that this situation causes you. For this reason, if you can face your fears, your self-esteem will increase exponentially.

3) Substitute your goals for values

When you don't achieve your goals, it can lead to frustration and a sense of worthlessness. That happens because you are obsessed with achieving it, but if you better put into practice the values you have, such as perseverance, dedication, and perseverance, you will overcome it.

4) Identify your strengths

From the moment you are born, you have several characteristics, qualities, or things you are very good at. When you have low self-esteem, this makes you think you don't have them, and it will be harder for you to identify them. To get your strengths identified, practice the following

List your top 5 achievements

Think of 5 achievements you have made throughout your life, then analyze what positive personal characteristics are essential to achieve each of these achievements you have noted; with this exercise, you will know your strengths.

Practice Gratitude

That is a practice that will give you immediate mental strength and is very much related to self-esteem. Write a letter to yourself as if you were writing it to a person you love very much.

You should write this letter in the third person, and you will have 20 minutes to do it. In this letter, you will note the desire you have to see that person (which is yourself); then describe their characteristics: 

  • Physical.
  • Psychological.
  • Social and positive about you.

You have to choose those things you like about yourself, the pride you feel in being you, and what you need to feel more comfortable with yourself.

5) Turn your negative thoughts into rational responses

Identify what negative thoughts you have about yourself. Change them to other ideas that are more realistic and objective.

6) Stay away from fears

 If you are afraid, do not ignore it as if it did not exist. Don't deny your fears, but instead of denying them, separate from them. If you spin them too much in your head, you will fill your mind with negative thoughts and what you should do is stop focusing on them. When fear invades you, practice this:

  • Don't let fear block you, but rather give it space and think. Become familiar with your anxiety.
  • Let the fear flow and leave using the Mindfulness technique. This technique is relaxation, which teaches you to be aware of your emotions to eliminate the anxiety or frustration from not changing some situations.

7) Forgive yourself

 Learn to forgive your mistakes by treating yourself the same way you would treat your best friend. It would be best if you understood yourself instead of criticizing and judging yourself.

Punishing yourself will accomplish nothing; learn to forgive yourself, and your life will change incredibly.

8) Increase your confidence with power postures

When you are sad, you often show it without realizing it by shrinking your body. Believe it or not, body language influences your mood. 

To feel better and more confident, practice power postures (head up, shoulders back, and hands-on-hips). 

Maintaining a power posture for 2 minutes has been shown to boost your confidence and self-steem.

 Believe it or not, these postures increase testosterone levels by 20% and decrease Cortisol levels (stress and anxiety hormone) by 25%.

9) Exercise

Doing medium intensity exercises is very useful for increasing self-esteem. By practicing 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day, you reduce cortisol levels and release endorphins.


Self-esteem is involved in almost every aspect of your life in what you do. If you have confidence in yourself, you will be better in your studies. You will be a better person, succeed in your life, and be more professional in your work. When you are happy and confident, you can take on the mistakes and failures calmly.

It would be best if you worked on your self-esteem daily to achieve your goals, and even that, the opinion of those around you is positive. With all this, you will be happier with yourself and with others.