Strategies for Boosting Self-Esteem

Jun 12, 2024 | Self Esteem

With social media and the art of comparison at play, maintaining a healthy level of self-esteem feels impossible at times. Especially for those in the younger generations, it might feel like an uphill battle. According to the American Psychological Association, high self-esteem is linked to better health, good social behavior, and a higher resilience to stress. Because of this, it’s become more important than ever to take care of ourselves and work towards a positive self-image. In this blog, we offer some more insight into what self-esteem is and provide tips to begin improving it.

What is Self-Esteem?

First and foremost, self-esteem is our internal sense of worth. It influences our trust in ourselves, our ability to solve problems, and our courage to tackle new challenges. High self-esteem is not about arrogance or narcissism but rather it’s about recognizing your intrinsic value as a person. 

Many people who have high levels of self-esteem developed this via their parents. When parents are reassuring, uplifting, and kind, children are given a much better chance of developing a positive self-image. This carries them through their teen years and adulthood as well. On the opposite end of the spectrum, children who are raised with harsh, judgmental, and negative parents are much more likely to struggle with their self-esteem throughout their life. 

For those that find themselves experiencing lower levels of self-worth, there are some actionable ways to change course and build up self-esteem.

Practice Self-Compassion

Be kind to yourself, always. Practicing self-compassion involves treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer a good friend. Acknowledge that you are not perfect and that making mistakes is a part of being human.

Don’t Expect Perfection

Unrealistic expectations will lead to feelings of inadequacy, even when progress is made. Rather than expecting perfection out of yourself, focus on the progress. With this, recognize that progress is not always linear and that setbacks are part of the experience. 

Fight Off Negative Beliefs

Identify any negative beliefs you have about yourself and replace them with more positive, affirming thoughts. This might involve mindfulness or cognitive-behavioral techniques, which can help change your pattern of thinking about yourself. If you find yourself struggling with this, consider reaching out to a counselor or therapist, as they can help you build this skill.

Highlight Your Strengths

Everyone has strengths and talents so identify yours and focus on them. Spend time doing things that allow you to use these strengths as well. You might find that you are great at listening to others, which makes you an excellent friend. Or, maybe you find that animals are drawn to you. If that’s the case, you might consider spending time volunteering at an animal shelter. This focus can boost your feelings of self-worth and accomplishment.

Take Care of Yourself Regularly

Taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health is crucial. Make sure to do the simple self-care tasks, like regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep. Self-care also means setting boundaries and saying no, when necessary, especially if it involves your energy.

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Comparing yourself to others is a surefire way to lower your self-esteem. Remember that everyone is different and comparing isn’t worth the time or energy. Focus on your path and your progress, without letting yourself get sidetracked by what others are doing.

Surround Yourself With Positive, Happy People

The people you spend time with influence your self-perception, meaning that you need to take inventory of who those people are. Surround yourself with supportive, positive people who uplift and encourage you. Avoid those who are critical or negative as they can harm your self-esteem.

Practice Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations can reinforce your sense of self-worth. Choose affirmations that resonate with you and repeat them regularly. This practice can gradually change your subconscious mind’s view of your self-worth.

Work on Self-Improvement

Personal development is a huge aspect of building self-esteem, believe it or not. By continually learning and growing, you reinforce your sense of competence and achievement. This could be as simple as reading a self-help book or as involved as taking a course on finances.

Be Gentle With Yourself

Building self-esteem is an ongoing mission, not an overnight transformation. Be patient with yourself and recognize that it’s a gradual process. Over time, you will begin to see progress, which will reaffirm your goal.

Final Thoughts

Improving your self-esteem is a worthwhile endeavor that might just enhance every aspect of your life. Though it takes patience and consistent effort, it can be done, regardless of your situation. The goal is not to become perfect but to become comfortable and confident in who you are.

New Dimensions Can Help!

If your self-esteem is low and you are having difficulty with feelings of hopelessness, New Dimensions can help.  We provide treatment to help you cope with life’s difficulties and increase your sense of self-esteem and accomplishment.  The Intensive Outpatient Program increases your ability to manage anger and stress, address mental health issues, and/or overcome substance abuse.

To learn more about our services, including Psychological Testing, Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP), Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), and Interventions for Substance Abuse, contact us at 800-685-9796 or visit our website at  To learn more about individual, family, and couples counseling visit


Keywords: Self-esteem; Boosting self-esteem; Personal development; Self-compassion


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