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Girl looking out window thinking about her self-esteem issues.

Dr. Elizabeth MacGregor

Theravive Counselor


Most Insurances Accepted, including Medicare

Self-Esteem – Building Confidence

What is Self-esteem?

girl with low self-esteemSelf-esteem is the value you have of yourself and your sense of self-worth It’s when you have a healthy self image and hold yourself in high regard without thinking you’re better than or more worthy than other people.

Good self-esteem is honestly accessing your strengths and weaknesses and honoring and respecting yourself regardless of the outcome of your appraisal.  Low self-esteem is focusing only on your weaknesses and not appreciating your good qualities and feeling you’re not worthy of self-respect. It’s allowing external influences to have a negative effect on your thinking and actions.

The Nature of Self-esteem

How you feel about yourself is transmitted to others in subtle ways and tells them how you expect to be treated. When your opinion of yourself is low, you will not treat yourself any better than others. You make bad decisions that have far-reaching consequences.

How to Build Confidence and a Healthy Self-Esteem

a woman hiding her faceSelf-confidence is one of the most important aspects of self-esteem. People with low self-esteem wonder how to build confidence and how to achieve the changes that will bring the freedom of living in their truth. The first step to gaining confidence is by being more aware on a conscious level of the things you do and say on a daily basis. Here are some important qualities in how to gain confidence in your daily life:

Appreciating your own individuality and what makes you unique is what gives you a strong self-image. It’s having a sense of your own distinctive qualities from that of friends, family and society.

When you live within integrity, you’re living according to your values. An important part of self-esteem is matching your words with your actions.  People who compromise their values and don’t honor what they believe at their core - jeopardize their self-esteem and live with insecurity. Most of the time the reason people contradict their own integrity is for financial gain, power, status or simply acceptance.

Personal power is not about conquering other people. It’s about moving beyond your own perceived limitations, “hot buttons” and stale habits so that you can finally be in control of yourself. And being in control of yourself is what gives you the power to positively influence others.

Overcoming insecurity allows you to take calculated risks in work and life.  Learning to persevere despite the possibility of failure allows you to accomplish your goals because your self-esteem no longer hinges on the success or failure of one decision or one endeavor.

Moving past the idea that you’re never good enough and speaking to yourself with positive self-talk is one of the most powerful and most difficult acts you can accomplish. Oftentimes, people with extreme low self-esteem have been abused as children, either emotionally or physically, and negative self-talk and self-criticism is reflective of the victims’ damaged attitude toward themselves and the world. Changing the constant disapproving tape in your head is life changing.

Having self-respect is honoring yourself and it’s impossible to have respect for others until you first respect yourself. Often your own lack of respect manifests in behaviors that have negative consequences. Cultivate relationships with people who like and accept you for who you are and beware of those who put you down. Don’t waste your time or energy with people who will mentally and emotionally drag you down.

People with a healthy self-esteem also have healthy relationships. Good supportive relationships are built on respect and trust. We choose partners who treat us like we think we deserve to be treated – good or bad. When our relationships, including business partners and co-workers, friends, family and romantic partners are formed in accordance with our values – we build a strong foundation for them to thrive. Actively working on your self-esteem also sets a good example for your children.

Self-esteem is the basis for success in business and personal relationships. Achievement is accomplished when all of these qualities are active and strong.

Getting Help Overcoming Insecurity and Building Self-Esteem Understanding all of these qualities is the awareness you need to build confidence and have a good opinion of yourself. You can unlearn the negative habitual thinking and behavior that is responsible for ingraining low self-esteem in you. A caring professional counselor can help. Reach out to a therapist who is skilled and experienced in helping with self-esteem issues.