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Have you ever wanted to do something or try out something but couldn’t because you felt down about yourself? It is quite normal when it occurs from time to time, but if it stays for the long ride, it usually indicates low self-esteem/self-worth.

This post is for you if you have low self-esteem and want to build it up or generally want to improve your self-worth, and of course for general consumption to learn how to build self-esteem and, also to help others.

Self-esteem reflects a person’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of his/her worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as attitude towards the self. It is about how you value yourself, your perceptions and beliefs in who you’re and what you’re capable of.

There are few theories postulated around self-esteem. Abraham Maslow placed self-esteem as the fourth step in his hierarchy of needs.

Terror management theory opines that self-esteem serves a protective function and reduces anxiety about life and death.

Humanistic psychologists theorized that the origin of many people’s problems to be that they despise themselves and consider themselves worthless and incapable of being loved.

self-esteem based on love

“Every human being with no exception for the mere fact to be it is worthy of unconditional respect of everybody else; he deserves to esteem himself and to be esteemed.”

Low self-esteem can be precipitated by one or more situations that include heredity (genetic factor), body physique, appearance or weight, mental health issues/problems, socioeconomic status, bullying/abuse or peer pressure, loneliness/social isolation, poor grades, neglect, unemployment, feeling different, personality and temperament, relationship with other people, negative thinking pattern, discrimination and stigma.

When low self-esteem begins to set in, some people brush it off as just a normal day setback and the chain continues until they hit a really low point before they realize and accept that their self-worth is low. It is, therefore, significant to be able to tell when your self-esteem starts getting; low in a significant sense and implement measures to take care of the situation.


Here are some manifestations of low self-esteem to watch out for:

low self-esteem

  • Intense self-criticism and dissatisfaction.
  • Feeling you can’t do well in public.
  • Extreme sensitivity to criticism.
  • Strong will to please.
  • Excessive indecision and fear of mistakes.
  • A desire for perfectionism.
  • Dwelling on the intensity of past mistakes.
  • Increase hostility and defensiveness with irrational irritability.
  • Pessimism.
  • Green-eye
  • Inability to overcome setbacks
  • Rejecting compliments.

Now…how to build up your self-esteem. After much studying and researching over a period of time, I came up with 18 things you can do to boost your self-esteem. They’re all sorta self-explanatory to I won’t dwell much on the details. They include:

  1. Be in total control: Don’t be so critical of yourself to others. Learn to have self-control on your thoughts and complaining so much about yourself. To be honest only a few really care; the rest are indifferent about it while others are glad about your predicament.

2. Be optimistic: Learn to think positive.

  1. Learn to appreciate yourself: Don’t put yourself down, give yourself some credit. You’ve been struggling and fighting for long. Celebrate your accomplishments no matter how small you think they are.
  2. Don’t compare yourself with others- people are different. Your situation is different from others. Don’t follow a false light.
  3. Don’t always give excuses for setbacks, learn to take responsibilities for your actions.
  4. Do things that make you happy. The joy and satisfaction derived from such activities will help in boosting your self-esteem.
  5. Focus on expressing your talents and hobbies.
  6. Maintain adequate hygiene (both physical and environmental) and dress nicely.
  7. Give yourself a break, learn to relax.
  8. Learn to be assertive- say what you believe in and stick with it.
  9. Exercise regularly.
  10. Be sure to get enough sleep.
  11. Learn to manage your stress levels: Some people engage in deep breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation, hot baths, etc to achieve that purpose. Do whatever works for you.
  12. Challenge yourself from time to time. Try new things.
  13. Be helpful and considerate towards others.
  14. Spend more time with close friends, family, significant others and support persons.
  15. Avoid people or situations that make you feel bad about yourself.
  16. Don’t strive for perfection.

It is difficult to launch yourself from low self-esteem to positive self-esteem overnight. Start with baby steps and make improvements over a period of time.

good self-esteem



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