How to Improve Your Self-Esteem During Hard Times

January 25, 2022 Martha Lueck

There are many reasons people have low self-esteem, some of which include hard times involving rejection, disappointments, loneliness, and unemployment. While it is normal to have negative thoughtsruminating on them is not helpful. Instead, advocating for your mental health will help you find acceptance and self-love. Here are five strategies to implement when you are dealing with low self-esteem during difficult times.

5 Ways to Improve Your Self-Esteem During Hard Times

  1. Remember that your circumstances do not define your self-worth. When times are really hard for you, it can be easy to compare yourself to others. You might feel like you are less than someone who seems to be doing really well in life. But please remember that this is not true. The person who seems to have it all might be going through an issue similar to yours. Regardless of everyone's circumstances and milestones, you are a human being worthy of happiness, love, and success. By remembering this, you will learn to accept your circumstances without letting them define your self-worth or your life.
  2. Remember that a change in routine can be good for you. After any type of rejection or disappointment, you might feel like staying in bed every day. If you lose a job or a partner, driving to work and enjoying date nights will no longer be a part of your routine. So you might think it's better not to have a routine at all. But what if your current routine could be better than your old one? Your life does not end just because your routines do. Your life and your routines will just need to change. It might not seem like it at the moment, but in the long run, these transitions could benefit your emotional state.
  3. Set goals that will challenge you. Setting goals can be tough when you have low self-esteem because achieving them requires work. You fear that even if you try hard, you will not succeed. So it can be tempting to set the bar very low. Your rationale is that doing the bare minimum is better than doing nothing, and that's true. But a goal that is too easy for you will not allow you to see and appreciate your growth. Even though challenging goals are harder to achieve, they will help you see your strengths and learn where you can improve.
  4. Counter every negative thought with a positive one. Some situations are either boring or stressful. For instance, you might have to take a boring college course before you can obtain your degree. If you work in sales, you might have to close three deals while working with a difficult client. In these situations, negative thoughts like "this is so boring" and "this is too stressful" can distract you from completing your tasks. By creating positive thoughts in relation to negative situations, you will feel a little more hopeful and optimistic. Positive thoughts increase your confidence and fuel your progress.
  5. Seek help from a therapist. Many people feel like they need to deal with their issues by themselves. This is not true. Everyone needs help sometimes, and that's okay. If you have been struggling with low self-esteem for a long time, consider reaching out to a therapist for support. They will help you identify triggers, process your feelings about distressing events, and learn coping skills. They will also provide information about support groups and various treatment programs.

APA Reference
Lueck, M. (2022, January 25). How to Improve Your Self-Esteem During Hard Times, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 22 from

Author: Martha Lueck

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Lizanne Corbit
January, 26 2022 at 12:17 pm

I found this read to be incredibly comforting. I like your suggestion to counter every negative thought with a positive one. I can see that being the kind of thing that might seem hard at first but once it was put into action, it would become easier and easier to do and the result would be so encouraging. This is beautiful, "you will learn to accept your circumstances without letting them define your self-worth or your life."

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