Building Healthy Self-Esteem

by InnerHour on Thu, 05 Jul 2018

Ever thought that you could be achieving a lot more if only you weren’t so afraid you’d fail? Or maybe you think that you can’t do it or you’re not capable enough. These might be signs that you have low self-esteem.

This term might be thrown around often but what does it really mean? Someone who has low self-esteem usually thinks that they are not capable of accomplishing anything, they are unhappy with who they are as individuals, and they might also believe that they are unworthy of other people’s love and affection. On the other hand, someone with a healthy self-esteem believes in themselves and their abilities; they also believe that they are worthy of other people’s respect and love.

Why Do People Develop Low Self-Esteem?

1. Difficulties earlier on in life 

Early childhood experiences that were filled with traumatic encounters, bullying, or even conflict and abuse within families can cause an individual to develop low self-esteem. This is because children going through these experiences feel powerless to protect themselves from these situations and often end up carrying this belief into adulthood.  

2. Dysfunctional parenting 

Healthy parenting plays an important role in the development of an individual’s self-esteem. Individuals who have had parents who are either too critical or too busy to give them any attention may have lost confidence in their own abilities, and might end up feeling like they are not valuable enough for people to want to be around them.

3. Messages from the media 

Advertisements are created to tell people they’re missing out on something in order to make them desire it. TV shows and movies also create unrealistic standards for how a person should look and behave, causing individuals to believe that they do not measure up. People are constantly surrounded by these messages which inevitably have a negative impact on their self-esteem.

How Can Individuals Build Healthy Self-Esteem? 

1. Practise affirmations 

Affirmations are positive messages that you can repeat to yourself in order to replace the negative messages you might constantly hear from yourself or those around you. Try making a list of 3-4 of these messages and repeat them to yourself every now and then. For example, “I am worthy of love and respect”, “I am a good and supportive friend”, “I like myself just the way I am”.

2. Identify your strengths 

People with low self-esteem tend to focus on their negative qualities and overlook their positive ones. Try keeping aside a few moments of your day to think about how you contributed to your life and other people’s in a positive manner. It could be something small like holding the door for a co-worker or making someone laugh with a joke.

3. Build better relationships 

It’s important to have people in your life who value and respect you just as you are, instead of constantly attacking you. This doesn’t mean that they overlook your flaws, but that they are able to communicate their issues with you in a constructive manner that leaves room for improvement.

If you are struggling with low-self esteem, an InnerHour therapist can help. Please reach out to us at 9167771131 or


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