Why Developing Skills Improves Self-Esteem

February 20, 2019 Sam Woolfe

Developing a skill can help build low self-esteem. Learn how developing skills help you combat a negative attitude towards yourself at HealthyPlace.

Developing skills helps improve low self-esteem, and it's worth it to try. You see, when you have a healthy level of self-esteem, you are able to realize what your capacities are. You understand what you are capable of doing – and who you are capable of being. But if you suffer from low self-esteem, this kind of perspective becomes obscured. You struggle to see exactly what you are capable of. Low self-esteem can lead to extremely negative views, like how you aren’t capable of doing anything right, achieving anything positive, or progressing in any shape or form.

It’s vital to disprove these sorts of beliefs and developing skills to help improve low self-esteem is one way to do it. Sure, gaining reassurances from yourself or others about your capabilities is possible, too, but if you really want reassurance, a clear sign of evidence against your negative self-talk, then it’s important to take action in the real world. You can then use the fruits of these actions as an argument against the negative attitudes you have towards yourself.

Self-Esteem and Developing Skills

One of the best ways to take action in this way is through the learning or development of a skill. By gaining a new skill or sharpening an existing one, you can rationally respond to the harsh and exaggerated thoughts you have about yourself. Of course, if you suffer from low self-esteem, you may read this and think, "I really don’t have any skills and I’m not interested in learning any new skills."

However, the skills don’t have to be plain and boring. They can encompass a wide variety of activities, many of which you may naturally enjoy, such as:

  • Creative hobbies (e.g. drawing, sculpting, painting, poetry, fiction writing, non-fiction writing, storytelling, photography, knitting, playing musical instruments)
  • Computer and digital skills (e.g. coding)
  • Languages
  • Sports, yoga, and different forms of exercise (e.g. strength training, calisthenics, running, rowing, swimming, cycling)
  • Communication and social skills

Whatever skill you decide to pursue, just make sure that it is something you are either passionate or curious about. Don’t learn or develop a skill because you feel expected to in the name of career success or outside pressure, such as family, friends, or peers trying to coax you into doing something. Develop a skill for your own reasons. Think of something engaging, enjoyable, and a bit challenging that you would look forward to practicing every day.

You don’t have to set yourself any lofty goals when developing a particular skill to help improve your self-esteem. You don’t need to make money or gain widespread recognition in order to know that you’re capable of doing much more than you previously thought you could do. What matters is that you can see a clear path of progress in your endeavors. And there may be achievements along the way, whether that’s learning how to play a tune on guitar all the way through being able to hold down a conversation with a native speaker of another language, running a distance you never thought you could run, or confidently attending social events by yourself and striking up conversations with strangers.

By learning a new skill or developing one you already have, you will realize that you are capable of making progress and improving yourself as a person. No one is a lost cause and lacking competence. We can all gain skills that allow us to feel fulfilled as individuals and strengthen our connection with others. So whenever your self-esteem is low, think of a skill you have – or could learn – and take steps to work on that skill. You’ll end up feeling a lot better about yourself when you learn skills to help improve your self-esteem.

APA Reference
Woolfe, S. (2019, February 20). Why Developing Skills Improves Self-Esteem, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 25 from

Author: Sam Woolfe

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