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How to Overcome Low Self-Esteem

In trying to deal with low self-esteem, focus on the positive. When doing that, we feel more positive, happier and self-assured, right? Our self-esteem is heightened when we are in a positive state of mind.

Let’s consider why it’s been difficult to overcome low self-esteem. The likelihood is that past events or a current trigger has left your self-esteem low, which contributes to your current state of mind, which for many of us can be negative.

The roots of your low self-esteem are not to be ignored, but for the purpose of moving into a happier mindset, let’s focus on the feelings you want to obtain today; happiness and higher self-esteem. By proactively shifting some of your negative behaviors and thoughts in the moment, you can increase your self-esteem tremendously and start to overcome low self-esteem.

Low Self-Esteem Doesn’t Have to Overcome You

Here are some things to remember when your low self-esteem is really kicking you around.

Don’t “Should” on Yourself

The first step in dealing with low self-esteem is to recognize the negative statements you are telling yourself.

  • I should have…
  • If only I would have…

Powerful ways to deal with and overcome low self-esteem.These “-ould statements” are unproductive. They build up and make it difficult to overcome your low self-esteem (we all tend to go to this place on occasion, myself included). My suggestion: don’t should on yourself! This is not the way to deal with low self-esteem. This gets you looped into the low self-esteem cycle of thinking. Instead, focus on what you can do and move forward into positive thoughts. When you catch yourself “shoulding,” rephrase it to:

  • “I am going to” or
  • “Next time I will.”

Give yourself a break and focus on what you can do next time, not what happened in the past.

Put Yourself First with Self-Care

It may not seem like it, but self-care is an important step in overcoming low self-esteem. Self-care is a gentle reminder that you deserve to feel good and produces positive feelings inward, which radiates outward.

Going to the gym, eating a healthy meal, watching that show that makes you laugh are examples of self-care. For me, self-care is taking time away from technology, taking a bubble bat or watching Modern Family while enjoying some ice cream. These are ways I support my body and my mind in feeling my best and they allow me to shift my focus into a positive mindset.

Get Out of Your Head

I know this can be difficult, but often times you have to change your surroundings or your current situation to shift your negative self-talk into a more positive conversation. My suggestion: get out of your head. I often times have to leave my desk, go on a walk, listen to music, call a good friend, meditate, or read something, but I don’t let my mood take over, I distract with loving, proactive activities.

Find out what activities help to increase your self-esteem and share them in the comments below. By you sharing your tools for dealing with and overcoming low self-esteem, you are helping others to find new methods for increasing their self-esteem.

Emily is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are.You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

Author: Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Emily is a psychotherapist, she is intensively trained in DBT, she the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are. You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

20 thoughts on “How to Overcome Low Self-Esteem”

  1. I have come to notice how much my ego wants revenge for every person that ever picked on me, every person that every treated me unfairly. However I can’t get myself to do such a thing because that’s not my true being. However in part the pain and hurtful memories remain in some form though they’re starting to dissipate I want them gone forever. I still find that i’m hard on myself more than anyone else. The anger hasn’t completely dissolved though i’ve meditated and have successfully emptied my mind of thought. I had went the path of spirituality in order to understand myself and came to the conclusion that I couldn’t hide in the closet anymore i was lying to everyone for 11 years. I was Bisexual and that’s who I am, not to mention I also have Asperger’s and have had so much to completely overcome without much help from others. My life has been one of great struggle as i’ve enjoyed certain friends of mine whilst others i never got the chance to completely know. Throughout my life I can’t say i’ve ever been completely happy. Others live such an easy life from childhood onward & don’t even know the meaning of struggle. They grow up with both parents together and a sibling or two to help them. I didn’t have that, in fact my father has bipolar disorder & I do have a half brother but don’t know him that well. Perhaps my life has been for naught & worthless. What do I know. I still don’t get how one of my friends who has been through worse than I can truly let go of such experiences and move on. I see a therapist weekly but nonetheless i’ve always been the type to keep things to myself.

    Sometimes I feel like Magneto from X-Men, misunderstood and coping with pain through persistence

    1. Chris, thank you for your comment, so many of us can relate. It’s okay to be angry and feel that life has been unfair to you. It sucks that other people don’t understand your experience and finding compassion for yourself and others will help you feel freer from these thoughts. I know it seems like everyone has it better but that’s another way our ego messes with us. Everyone has a struggle and a story. Many act or appear like “life’s perfect” but in my new video I even discuss how self-esteem has been hard for me too. You’ve inspired me to talk more about my struggles so that others can see that I too am not perfect and that we can overcome the bullies and the BS that life has thrown our way. You are a very strong and important person. Let’s see what advice your therapist has for finding more compassion and let me know how I can help you.

      Take Good Care,

  2. for a while now I’ve been having this low self-esteem. I don’t believe in myself but now I am willing to focus on getting help.

  3. Self-esteem can make or break or break satisfaction in your life. The effort to build up your self esteem is accomplished only by your desire to do so, yet that can be so overwhelming you can defeat yourself before you even start. Never give up! At 62 I continue to fight. None of us will ever be perfect but with determination we can learn to like ourselves. Really!!

    1. Hi Rebecca! Thanks for writing and I love your enthusiasm. Imperfection is the most amazing feeling, when we allow ourselves to realize that no one is perfect. Keep up the good work you’re amazing!
      Take Good Care,


  4. I love this advice on how to tackle low self esteem. it has really weighed me down and tormented my life. Thanks for this article.

  5. Dealing with low- self- esteem is never easy; but I learn to deal with it because it was something we never talked about in our household. But as of now being of a positive mindset does help, but u have to stick to it – it doesn’t happen over night.

  6. this site is really great and educative for people like me…i learn to focus on my strength while i try to manage my weakness. sometimes its really difficult for me especially when am to face people to make presentations or read report at my work place and all, i feel like there is a spirit in me that springs up and take a whole of my body that am no longer in control of myself and as a result my mouth and legs and hands become timid and i even forget what am supposed to say…my situation has gotten bad to that extent.sometimes i wish its a disease that i need to seek medical care for…i feel great for sharing and i hope to get help from different sources to help me manage the situation. thanks

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