Five Simple Ways to Increase Your Self-Esteem

To increase your self-esteem, you must treat yourself with kindness. After all, you're precious and you deserve to get rid of those burdens of the past and enjoy a genuine quality of life.
Five Simple Ways to Increase Your Self-Esteem
Sara Clemente

Written and verified by psychologist and journalist Sara Clemente.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

It’s always a good idea to increase your self-esteem. As a matter of fact, in your journey through life, you’re obliged to continue strengthening your self. Furthermore, to build a strong, secure, and focused identity and self-worth with which you can relate much better to others and, above all, with yourself.

The psychiatrist, Luis Rojas Marcos, explains in his book, La Autoestima (Self Esteem) that this dimension consists of the pleasant feelings of appreciation or unpleasantness and rejection that accompany you every day. It’s almost like a costume that you put on that either makes it easier or more difficult for you to move around comfortably. In fact, it mediates almost any activity and process that you develop in your daily life.

You can choose to wear a heavy diving suit which weighs you down and makes you gradually sink into unhappiness. Or, you can remove layers, armor, fears, and indecision in order to shape a healthy, safe, and more competent future. Always bear in mind that nothing can be more devastating than to stop loving and respecting yourself.

Appreciate each fragment of your being and you’ll enjoy a better quality of life. Let’s take a look at how to do it.

“You yourself, as much as anyone else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”


Woman hugging herself to raise self-esteem

1. Increase your self-esteem by remembering your successes

It’s normal to have an almost obsessive tendency to focus only on the negative aspects of your life. You do it when you’re feeling down. Indeed, at these times, you give more importance to your failures, mistakes, and disappointments.

However, it’s better to think positively about what you’ve achieved. It’s also healthy to learn to treat yourself with respect. This means you generate positive evaluations of yourself.

Kristin Neff, from the University of Texas (USA), conducted a study in which she claimed that if you’re able to treat yourself with greater kindness and self-compassion, you can increase your self-esteem in a healthier way.

Think of all your good qualities and remember the successes you’ve achieved in your life, however small they may seem to you. Keeping these good thoughts in mind will help you value yourself and raise your self-esteem.

2. Don’t compare yourself with others

Each person has their own qualities and, of course, you’re no exception. Stop worrying about the attributes that you’d like to have and that you admire in others. Focus on yours and, above all, on your human potential. You have great virtues and the person you see in the mirror every day couldn’t be more perfect.

To increase your self-esteem, value aspects such as your health, your personality, the people who love you, and those mental faculties you possess that make you an intelligent person. Remember the good opportunities that your work offers you and what you contribute to others. There are probably many who’d envy all that you have today and that, perhaps, you don’t value enough.

3. Find the root of your lack of self-esteem

Perhaps your low self-esteem is due to having had a complex childhood. Maybe you felt that everyone praised the other children, while no one paid attention to your achievements. Did the nickname you were known by at school make you feel inferior to others? Were you too tall or too short compared with other children of your age?

You need to get to the bottom of your negative feelings. Everyone has some aspect of their personality that they don’t like. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean you should focus solely on it, because that’ll only make you feel bad.

Instead, try to analyze how these thoughts relate to the way you feel now. Analyzing your thoughts properly will help you increase your self-esteem.

4. Give yourself the value you deserve

woman smiling

Self-esteem is related to how you perceive yourself. Look at yourself in front of a mirror and list the qualities you see. If you can’t spot positive traits in yourself, that’s an indication that your self-esteem is probably at rock bottom.

Sometimes, it helps to write down your flaws. Then, by reading them one by one, you can work out if they really are faults and things that need changing. As a matter of fact, you may even discover that, in some cases, what you consider negative in yourself is perceived as a virtue by those around you.

Always remember that you’re the one with the last word. Indeed, only you can know if an aspect of your personality makes you happy or not. When carrying out this analysis, avoid falling into the extremes of justification or ruthless criticism as both attitudes are equally harmful. Although it’s difficult, try to be objective and fair with yourself.

5. Don’t get stuck in the past, let it give you momentum

If there’s something in your past that makes you feel ashamed, let it go. Everyone makes mistakes. If you’ve already thought about it and the affected party has forgiven you, don’t insist on torturing your self-esteem thinking that you’re a failed person. If you insist on putting your finger on the problem, you’ll only underestimate yourself.

The past is nothing more than a rearview mirror to look in from time to time so you can see your way toward the present and the future. To increase your self-esteem, you must focus on what really matters: the here and now.

Finally, don’t forget that self-esteem is like a muscle that needs exercising every day. If at any time, you feel that you can’t exercise it and you feel weighed down and uncomfortable, you shouldn’t hesitate in consulting a specialized professional.

They can help you detect your lack of self-esteem, and help you work on it. In fact, it’s often necessary for someone external and impartial to tell you what you may be doing right and wrong in your daily life and how you can increase your internal well-being. It’s a healthy practice.

Remember that you’re not a machine and it’s likely that, throughout your life, you’ll have periods when you focus more on your weak points and others when you believe you’re invincible. It’s good that someone brings you back down to earth and makes you understand that, in those moments when you’re at your most vulnerable, you need to return to a point of balance.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Rojas Marcos, Luis (2007) La autoestima, vivir mejor. Madrid: Booket
  • Neff, K. D. (2011). Self-compassion, self-esteem, and well-being. Social and Personality Psychology Compass5(1), 1–12.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.