How to restore your self esteem?

Low self esteem is all about self worth and self value – it is about how we see ourselves in relation to other people and our environment.  According to the Oxford dictionary, self esteem is:

“…confidence in one’s own worth or abilities.”

It can be identified that those possessing low self esteem are typically challenged in the following areas:

  • They lack personal power and so their ability to influence others is compromised.
  • They feel that they are insignificant to others, lacking the affection and attention of others who hold them in low regard.
  • They feel that they lack virtue; they feel plagued by an inherent nagging sense of not being a good person morally or ethically.  They often feel unloved, unappreciated, and unwanted and so they conclude that they must not be good enough to be worthy of such love and appreciation. 
  • They feel that they lack virtue possessing low self esteem often holding themselves as incompetent in one or more areas of life.  They feel they are unable to maintain control of their lives and as a result, they are easily dominated by others who they perceive as being more powerful and capable than they are. 

Self esteem therefore reflects a person’s overall evaluation or appraisal of his/her own worth.  Those with low self esteem resort to certain behaviours in an effort to numb out the pain and escape to a world that allows them temporary release from their suffering and problems.  Low self esteem therefore is the kind of spark plug for self destruction.

Here are some things that may help change your mindset and help begin to build your self esteem.


1.    Go back over your achievements and strengths every day.

Start by making a list of all of your achievements.  Try to add to or at least read that list every day. 

2.    Don’t compare yourself to others.

Always remember that you are an individual and no one is perfect.  Instead of focusing on what other people are doing, stay concentrated on how well you are doing.

3.   Accept compliments and cherish them.

Instead of turning away or dismissing compliments, accept them with a big thank you and a genuine smile, especially when family or friends congratulate you on your sobriety, be proud.

4.  Keep good company. 

Spend time with people who are positive.  If you have a negative influence or person in your life, step back and don’t let them drag you down.  When on a uphill climb of your life; you can’t afford to be pulled down by someone else.

5.  Keep active. 

Regular exercise is a great way to get your endorphins flowing, your body image soaring and your body rebuilding.  If you feel healthy and look good, you can’t help but feel great about yourself.  Start with a short walk every day, gradually working your way up to taking on a more strenuous activity every day. 

6.  Spread the love

You will be amazed at how effective being nice is at boosting your own self esteem.  Try giving one person a compliment each day or doing one thing for someone at least once a week.  You will not only feel better about yourself, but you will begin to feel the positive blowback of your efforts. 

Above all else though, take action, even if it’s just baby steps.  Don’t let yourself get down if you can’t do it all.  Just do what you can and feel good about what you HAVE done. 

Kamalyn Kaur

Key Therapies