How to increase your self-esteem

Reading time 9 minutes
How to increase your self-esteem

Not only to admit one's own weaknesses, but also to accept them as part of one's own person - that's easy to say. However, in the implementation often not so easy. Each of us has it: This inner voice that whispers to us again and again what we could do better. Too disorganized, too lazy, too fat, too thin, too unathletic - the list of reproaches that we like to make ourselves again and again is often endlessly long.

Your inner voice reminds you every day what you could improve. Obviously only for the best, so that you always evolve. But does that even make sense? The answer is clearly, "No!" Of course it is important to always keep things worth improving in mind. However, the decisive factor is in what way.

An inner voice that does nothing but drag you down day after day, making you feel bad and taking away your self-esteem, will not move you forward either. One thing you must never lose is respect for yourself. But what does that actually mean? We want to take you deeper into the topics of self-esteem and self-respect.

What is self-esteem?

Having a high self-esteem basically means nothing else than being aware of your own value. You accept yourself exactly as you are, with all your rough edges. This has nothing to do with egoism or arrogance.

It's important that you accept and respect yourself, because that's one of the keys to your personal happiness. After all, you spend all day with yourself. If you are able to confidently deal with your own weaknesses, you will also be more gentle with others. Acceptance, letting go, and trust are the key words here. Feel free to ask yourself each morning after you get up, "What good can I do for myself today to bring appreciation to myself?"

It is important that your self-esteem shows stability. Don't let the critical words of others or a small failure bring you down completely. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities and don't let them make you insecure and take away your self-esteem. 

Life always gives us challenging situations to test us. And you may check yourself and your reaction in this case: Have I stayed true to myself or fallen back into the old pattern? 

The four pillars of self-worth

The four pillars of self-worth

Four pillars define the self-esteem you bring to yourself. Let's take a look at what they are all about together.

1. self-confidence

Self-confidence gives you a sense of security and forms the basis of self-esteem. If you feel loved by your fellow human beings, your self-esteem develops. Self-worth and gives you the confidence to try new things and gain experience.

Even if you don't succeed in your first attempt, you don't give up right away and don't bury your head in the sand. You feel confident enough to just keep trying.

2. identity

Identity in this context describes the knowledge you have about yourself. By trying new things and getting feedback from the people around you, you learn. This helps you to learn more about your character, your feelings, and your Needs and find out about your abilities.

Your identity is composed of a physical and a social part. The physical part contains your view of your body. The social part, on the other hand, deals with how you relate to other people, which groups of people you get along with best, your position in social life, and much more.

3. sense of belonging

Not only being part of a group, but also feeling like one - that describes the sense of belonging. By groups we mean family, friends, colleagues, classmates, the sports team and all such gatherings.

In their framework you feel liked, understood, feel solidarity and the will to share. There is also good and open communication.

4. sense of competence

Gaining experience, learning new things, succeeding and failing are all part of developing a certain competence. It is closely linked to motivation. Logically, if you know that you have the necessary skills to accomplish a certain task, you are more inclined to take it on.

The probability of success is higher - and that in turn makes you proud. And what rises further with it? That's right, your self-esteem. This gives you a new boost of motivation and the next challenge can come.

Why self-esteem is important

Why self-esteem is important

The answer to this question is actually quite simple: your self-esteem is incredibly important for your inner Satisfaction. Having self-esteem is simply a need of every human being, as a look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs shows. You may know it by the name of the pyramid of needs. It describes people's motivations and needs and basically considers them to be good. Thus, this model opposes the often pessimistic approaches from psychoanalysis and behaviorism.

The pyramid is divided into five levels:

1. physiological needs

2. security needs

3. social needs

4. individual needs

5. self-realization

Each person can ascend within these levels, that is, develop higher and higher desires, or choose to dwell on one.

What do these levels mean and where does self-esteem rank?

The physiological needs form the basic level. These include, for example, homeostasis, but also food supply and reproduction. Order, stability and protection mark the level of security needs. It is firmly linked to the Fear anchored in losing control over one's own life. Once these two levels have been sufficiently served, the social needs are addressed.

Man is a social being and desires the company of others. This includes building a community on the one hand, and experiencing affection on the other. The next level is about recognition and standing out from the crowd.

Many people want to be special and stand out from the rest. All this belongs to the individual needs. Self-esteem is also part of this level. The top of the pyramid makes up self-actualization. Here, among other things, it is also about meaning of life to understand, to leave footprints on the earth.

Where does poor self-esteem come from?

You are not only the architect of your own happiness, but also of your own self-esteem. The whole thing starts in the head. Poor self-esteem is clearly based on a negative self-image. You see yourself as incompetent, worthless and simply not special. This probably also shows in your own behavior.

Those who have low self-esteem often make themselves small in conversation with others. This applies equally to your choice of words and your posture. You prefer to stay in the background because you think your opinion is not important or you prefer to say something other than what you really think in order not to upset anyone?

You don't dare to do anything because you think you have no chance of success anyway? You pay much more attention to others than to yourself and completely ignore the warning signals of your body? Then it's clearly time to work on your self-esteem.

What are the causes of poor self-esteem?

A look back at childhood can often provide insight. Positive experiences in the early years and supportive behavior on the part of parents are crucial for healthy self-esteem. Those who repeatedly tell their children they are no good and discourage them make it very difficult, if not impossible, for them to gain a certain level of self-esteem. But fortunately, this doesn't have to be a permanent state. Like almost everything in life, you can learn to value yourself more.

How to improve your self-esteem

How to improve your self-esteem

Just as gaining poor self-esteem is a process, so is improving it. No one can just flip a switch and value themselves to the highest degree right now. Start by opening your own eyes. With a lack of self-esteem, confidence in yourself is often lost.

You think you've done a good job, but the next moment you have doubts about whether everyone else sees it the same way. A small critical remark is voiced, you don't dare to defend your work and think your initial Self-confidence was not at all justified. Consequently, you trust yourself less and less and your thoughts only revolve around the one topic. ... This vicious circle must first be broken. If you can't trust yourself, then who can you trust?

Maybe you're ready for a little trip back to your childhood? Back to the situation when you first lost trust as a child. This could have been an action between you and your parents, grandparents or a teacher. In any case, you made a decision for yourself at that time that still shapes you today and guides your actions and thinking. This can be, for example, the belief "I cannot trust myself". 

And you may dissolve this thought now as an adult. Become aware of the moments in your life in which you were very much aware of your Feeling you were able to leave. Remember these experiences fondly to reinforce the positive feeling within you. You may also be ready to work on a new belief. Something like, "I trust myself!" Feel free to close your eyes for a moment, say your new belief out loud three times. Belief Set. What solves this positive affirmation inside you?

Do not blindly trust the words of others and gain experience

Keep thinking about whether the criticism you may receive is really appropriate. The answer is "no"? Then dare to stand up for yourself and go into the conversation openly. Clear things up and success will be on your side. These are exactly the experiences you need to regain confidence in yourself and to motivate yourself to continue in the same way.

As we have already discussed, self-esteem is based on experience. Everyone is strongly influenced by their environment, no matter how old they are. Constant criticism and rejection raises doubts, this is quite normal.

It is then important to differentiate what is justified and what is not. Never forget that the term "self-worth" includes the little word "self". What counts is what you think of yourself, not what others want you to think.

4 steps to overcome low self-esteem

4 steps to overcome low self-esteem

1. stop comparing yourself

You are you and the others are the others. Keep reminding yourself of that. There is no one who has experienced the same as you, has your personality and your abilities.

Making comparisons on that basis simply doesn't make sense. There will probably always be someone who can do a certain thing better than you. But there are also things that you can do better than others. Nobody is perfect.

2. set limits

The only thing you should orient yourself on are your own demands. But remain realistic. You are a human being with rough edges and not a robot. To be in the Perfectionism losing is not the right approach.

Be merciful with you and forgive mistakes. Of course you can be ambitious and have high goals. But don't let setbacks get you down and take away your self-respect. Learn from it and next time it will work out.

3. renounce everything that is not good for you

As we have already discussed, the environment plays an important role in the development of one's self-esteem. Surround yourself with people who are good for you, who support you and whom you can trust. These contacts are what count. You don't need acquaintances and supposed friends who always talk badly about you and belittle you. Detach yourself from them and their negative thoughts.

This is an important liberation for your psyche and helps you to finally look in the mirror in a positive mood again. Once you have understood that the opinions of people who only want to drag you down should have no value for you, you will finally become freer and more independent. This helps you to trust in your competencies again.

4. give yourself the recognition you want from others

It's not easy for everyone to praise others when they want to be the best. If you are surrounded only by such people, you may not hear words of appreciation as often as you deserve. But that's exactly the kind of balm you need for your lack of Self-confidence. What others don't want to give you, you simply take from yourself.

Self-praise is disreputable, but it's okay to acknowledge good performance - even if it's your own. Just because others don't give you credit doesn't mean you don't deserve it. So don't tell yourself otherwise, but also feel free to say to yourself once in a while, "I did good." Don't worry, it doesn't make you a narcissist. High self-esteem and narcissism are two different things, in fact. scientifically confirmed.

Want to boost your self-esteem?

To get your Successfully strengthen self-esteemyou may first get to know yourself better. In our new webinar "More Confident Through Coaching" our coaching experts Christina & Walter Hommelsheim explain to you how you can gain more self-confidence through their unique coaching method and thereby attract positive changes into your life. In this webinar you will also learn:

  • why your self-confidence affects so many areas of your life
  • which beliefs shrink your self-confidence & keep you small
  • how to change your future with the power of your thoughts
  • how to learn to stop letting your subconscious control your reality
  • which coaching method you use to gain more self-confidence

You want your Life finally self-determined and courageously live and make your vision come true? Then sign up now for our free webinar and learn from the best in the coaching industry how to boost your self-esteem in just 1.5 hours.


So you finally become really self-confident

In just one and a half hours, learn how to improve your self-esteem through a simple coaching method.
approx. 60 minutes
Theory & practice
Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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