Building Self-Esteem

Building Self-Esteem | Wellspring Counselling Inc.

How to Increase Self-Esteem: Self-esteem is essential for our emotional and psychological well-being. It affects how we see ourselves, interact with others, and our overall quality of life.

This blog will cover self-esteem, its benefits, techniques for building self-esteem, and an experiential exercise called the letter of self-appreciation.

By the end of this blog, you will have a good understanding of self-esteem and practical tools to improve it.

Table of Contents

Self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves. It includes what we believe about ourselves, like “I am good at things,” “I am lovable,” and “I deserve respect.” Self-esteem can change based on our experiences, relationships, and how we think about ourselves.

There are two main types of self-esteem: overall self-esteem and specific self-esteem. Overall, self-esteem is a general feeling of self-worth and self-respect.

On the other hand, specific self-esteem is about how we feel about particular parts of our lives, like how we look, what we can do, or our relationships. Many things can affect our self-esteem, including:

  1. Childhood Experiences: Our self-esteem is greatly influenced by our early interactions with parents, teachers, and peers. Positive reinforcement, affection, and support help develop healthy self-esteem. On the other hand, criticism, neglect, or abuse can lead to low self-esteem.
  2. Social Comparisons: Comparing ourselves to others can affect our feelings. Some comparisons can motivate us, but others can make us feel like we’re not good enough.
  3. Achievement and Competence: Feeling good about what we have achieved and being seen as skilled in different areas of life can make us more confident. On the other hand, repeatedly failing and feeling like we need more skills can make us less confident.
  4. Inner Dialogue: How we talk to ourselves can significantly impact our self-esteem. Positive self-talk can boost self-esteem, while negative self-talk can lower it.

Understanding self-esteem is important because it affects almost every part of our lives, from relationships and work performance to mental and physical health. Building and keeping healthy self-esteem is a continual process that needs conscious effort and practice.

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Benefits of Self-Esteem

Having high self-esteem is good for you. It helps you feel better emotionally, think more positively, make friends, and stay healthy.

Emotional and Psychological Benefits

  1. Resilience: People with high self-esteem can better handle stress, setbacks, and challenges because they believe in overcoming difficulties.
  2. Positive Self-Perception: Having high self-esteem helps you have a favorable view of yourself and be kinder to yourself. This positive outlook allows you to handle life’s challenges with a balanced perspective.
  3. Reduced Risk of Mental Health Issues: People with high self-esteem are less likely to experience mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. High self-esteem is linked to healthier thinking and behavior, which reduces the risk of these conditions.

Social Benefits

  1. Healthier Relationships: People with high self-esteem tend to have better relationships. They are better at talking to others, setting boundaries, and expressing their needs without worrying about being rejected or causing conflicts.
  2. Greater Empathy and Compassion: Individuals with high self-esteem can better understand and care about others. This is because they feel secure and not threatened by others’ feelings or experiences.
  3. Improved Social Skills: Remember: Confidence in yourself leads to better social skills. People with high self-esteem are more likely to participate in social activities and form meaningful connections. They can also easily handle social interactions.

Professional Benefits

  1. Increased Productivity and Performance: People with high self-esteem are more motivated and driven to succeed. They set ambitious goals, persevere through challenges, and perform well.
  2. Leadership Qualities: Effective leadership requires confidence and self-assurance. Individuals with high self-esteem can take on leadership roles, inspire others, and make well-informed decisions.
  3. Career Satisfaction: People with solid confidence are more likely to pursue careers that match their interests and skills. This leads to increased job satisfaction and fulfillment in their professional lives.

Physical Benefits

  1. Better Health Choices: Individuals with high self-esteem are likelier to make healthier choices. They tend to exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and avoid harmful behaviors such as smoking or excessive drinking.
  2. Improved Physical Health: Individuals with high self-esteem experience lower stress levels, which can reduce the risk of stress-related health issues such as heart disease and hypertension. Research shows that a positive mindset associated with high self-esteem can lead to better physical health.
  3. Longevity: High self-esteem is linked to living longer. It also leads to better mental and physical health, less stress, and healthier lifestyle choices, contributing to a longer life.

Techniques for Building Self-Esteem (How to Increase Self-Esteem)

Building and maintaining high self-esteem is an ongoing process that involves conscious effort and practice. Here are several effective techniques for enhancing self-esteem:

Practice Self-Compassion

Remember to treat yourself with the kindness and understanding you would give a friend. This means recognizing your imperfections and mistakes without being too hard on yourself. Being kind to yourself can help you have a more positive view of yourself and boost your overall self-esteem.

Set Realistic Goals

Remember to set realistic goals to feel good about yourself. Start with small steps and celebrate your progress. This will make you more confident and help you feel positive about yourself.

Challenge Negative Self-Talk

Remember, negative self-talk can hurt how you feel about yourself. You can fight these negative thoughts by asking if they are accurate and replacing them with positive ones. For example, if you think, “I’m not good enough,” tell yourself, “I can do it, and I deserve success.”

Surround Yourself with Positive Influences

Surround yourself with supportive, positive people who lift you. Limit time with negative influences that make you feel bad about yourself. The people you spend time with can significantly impact how you feel about yourself.

Engage in Activities You Enjoy

Engaging in activities you enjoy and are good at can make you feel better about yourself. Doing hobbies, sports, or creative projects that bring you joy and a sense of achievement can make you more confident and increase your self-worth.

Take Care of Your Physical Health

Taking care of your body is connected to how you feel about yourself. By regularly exercising, eating well, getting enough sleep, and taking care of yourself, you can improve your mood and energy levels and feel better about yourself.

Practice Gratitude

Regularly thinking about what’s good in your life and being thankful for your strengths and accomplishments can help you feel better about yourself. It can shift your focus from what you don’t have to what you do and help you see yourself more positively. Gratitude is a powerful tool for boosting self-esteem.

Seek Professional Help

Talking to a therapist or counselor can be helpful if you struggle with low self-esteem. They can provide tools and strategies to help you understand and improve your self-esteem.

Volunteer and Help Others

Helping others can make you feel good about yourself. It can boost your self-esteem by reminding you of your value and capabilities. Volunteering your time and skills to support others can give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Reflect on Past Successes

Reflecting on your successes and achievements can help you feel good about yourself. Keep a journal of what you’ve accomplished, even the tiny things, and look at it when you need a confidence boost.

Experiential Exercise: Letter of Self-Appreciation

An effective way to improve self-esteem is to do activities that make you think about and be kind to yourself. One helpful activity is writing a letter to yourself in which you talk about your good qualities and achievements. This can make you feel better about yourself.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Letter of Self-Appreciation

  1. Find a Quiet Space: Find a quiet and comfortable place to think without interruptions. This will help you concentrate fully on the exercise and your thoughts.
  2. Set a Positive Intention: Consider a positive goal Before starting the exercise. Remember, the aim is to recognize and value your unique qualities and achievements.
  3. Reflect on Your Strengths and Achievements: Take a moment to think about your strengths, accomplishments, and positive qualities. Consider various areas of your life, such as personal, professional, and social aspects.
  4. Write from the Heart: Remember to start your letter as if writing to a close friend. Use kind and understanding language, and focus on specific examples showing your strengths and achievements. Try to avoid saying anything negative about yourself.
  5. Include Affirmations and Gratitude: Remember to include positive affirmations and expressions of Gratitude in your letter. For example, you can write things like “I am grateful for my ability to persevere through challenges” or “I appreciate my kindness and empathy towards others.”
  6. Be Specific and Detailed: Please be specific and detailed in your letter. The more specific you are, the more impact your exercise will have. Please mention particular instances or achievements that make you proud.
  7. Read Your Letter Aloud: Read it aloud once you finish writing it. Listening to your words can strengthen the positive messages and enhance the impact of the activity.
  8. Reflect on the Experience: After the exercise, take some time to think about how it made you feel. Notice any changes in your mood or how you see yourself. You can repeat this exercise regularly to help boost your self-esteem.


Good self-esteem is essential for our overall well-being. It affects how we see ourselves and how we deal with things. When we have good self-esteem, it helps us handle our emotions, have better relationships, and stay healthy. Building and maintaining good self-esteem takes work, and we must try to do it.

Remember these tips to boost your self-esteem:

1. Be kind to yourself and set achievable goals.
2. Challenge negative thoughts and focus on positivity.
3. Engage in activities that make you happy.

Try the letter of self-appreciation exercise to celebrate your strengths and accomplishments!

Remember, building self-esteem takes time. Be patient and kind to yourself as you work on feeling better about yourself. If you stay dedicated, you can raise your self-esteem and live a more confident, empowered life.

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