3 Steps to Build Yourself From a Lack of Self-Esteem

Updated: Jun 22

This was originally posted on March 24, 2017.

This post contains affiliate links at the end of this post. For more information, see my disclosure here.

Before I get started, let me ask you this:

Are you here because there were negative events that happened in your life or you grew up in a negative environment?

Regardless of your answer is, if it involves anything negative that is affecting your current mindset, you've come to the right place.

I was in that same place myself too, one that lasted throughout my childhood to more than half the time I was in college. But I eventually overcame it with the guidance of people I've encountered in my life and I will be helping you do the same.

In this guide, I will be helping you with:

  • Tracing Back the Development of Your Self-Esteem

  • Understanding the Effects of Key Figures and/or Influences In Your Life

  • 5 Actions You Can Take to Increase Your Self-Esteem

Furthermore, I will be sharing with you:

  • My Personal Story on Development (For Those Who Need Someone to Relate and Connect)

  • Expectations When You Encounter People Who Are or Have Been on the Same Path as You Are

Tracing Back the Development of Your Self-Esteem

Since self-esteem can be defined as your own self-worth or your own self-image (or both), the development of it can traced back to the environment you grew up in most of the time. For other cases, it can be very stressful events that happened later in life.

For factors that play in your childhood or much later, they can be:

  • Unsupportive parents or guardians

  • Friends or higher authoritative figures (such as your workplace) who influence bad behavior and thinking, typically causing misery for other people to make feel better about themselves and/or talking down on you

  • Stressful life events such as divorce or moving houses

  • Trauma or Abuse

  • Bullying or Loneliness

For other influences in life, they can be:

  • Ongoing medical issues

  • Belief systems

  • Society and the media (typically negative since it gets more attention than positive things)

Understanding the Effects of Key Figures and/or Influences In Your Life

By having low self-esteem, it's very easy to succumb yourself to having negative thoughts and feelings about your worth and value as a person.

This eventually leads to more than one of the following:

  • Constant self-criticism that leads to persistent feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, anger, shame or guilt

  • Low levels of motivation and interest

  • Inability to deal with normal levels of frustration and anger

  • Poor performance at school

  • Fear of trying [low resilience] - doubting your abilities or worth and avoiding challenges

  • Avoiding new things and opportunities in life [neophobic]

  • Fear of judgement - being very self-conscious and stressed around others while constantly looks for ‘signs’ that people don’t like you

  • Fear of failure

  • Setting unrealistic goals and expectations which leads to perfectionism

This type of negative thinking and behavior will cause problems in developing and keeping relationships with other people such as:

  • Feeling unloved and unwanted

  • Difficulty making friends

  • Constantly comparing yourself to other people which ultimately leads to dissatisfaction (parent, guardian, or a higher authoritative figure can do this to you also)

  • Constantly blaming others for their or your own mistakes

  • Unable to take compliments and show mixed feelings of anxiety or stress instead

This can and may ultimately lead to the following types of behavior if not taken care of and continued throughout life:

  • Lack of self-care – neglecting or abusing themselves such as alcoholism

  • Thoughts of self-harming behavior [ex: eating disorder, drug abuse or suicide]

5 Actions You Can Take to Increase Your Self-Esteem

Other than the high recommendation of seeking help from a therapist (and psychiatrist if necessary), here are the 5 actions I will be showing you to change your mentality:

  1. Start Treating Every Mistake as a Lesson

  2. Instead of Thinking What Things Could Go Wrong, Start Seeing What Things Could Go Right

  3. Remembering You Always Have A Choice In Every Situation in Life

  4. Cut Out Negative Influences In Your Life

  5. Learn A New Skill That Improves Your Life

1. Start Treating Every Mistake as a Lesson

You've made a lot of mistakes in life but did you take the time to reflect on that mistake in life or did you just shrug it off and wait for it to happen again in life once encountered?

When you start taking the time to reflect on every mistake you can remember and analyzing it, think to yourself:

  • What was the problem?

  • Who was involved in this problem

  • How did this problem exactly start?

  • Do I have the ability to be able to stop this problem from happening again?

  • If yes, how can I stop this problem from happening again? What steps should I take to prevent this? (get creative and think outside the box)

  • If I take responsibility for this problem, will the source of the problem completely stop? [answer this question only if you've answered all the questions above]

When you've finished answering all the questions for each mistake you've made in your life, it's time for you to turn those reflections into actions for the future that will help you grow and change as a person.

2. Instead of Thinking What Things Could Go Wrong, Start Seeing What Things Could Go Right