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Boost Your Mental Health: How to Build Self Esteem

By Marco Franzoni July 10, 2023


Key Takeaways

  • Self-esteem is essential for mental and emotional well-being.
  • Low self-esteem can have significant negative impacts.
  • Practical strategies can help improve and build self-esteem.
  • Personal development and coaching can be instrumental in this process.
  • Healthy self-esteem needs maintenance for long-term benefits.
Boost Your Mental Health: How to Build Self Esteem

Can you recall the last time you faced a hurdle and thought, "I've got this"? That inner strength is a testament to good self-esteem. As we navigate the highs and lows of life, it's our self-esteem that often becomes the compass, guiding us through the storms and celebrating with us in the sunshine. So, how to build self-esteem becomes an essential question, not just for personal life but professional realms too.

Having a healthy self-esteem is a cornerstone for a flourishing mental health. But for many of us, it's not always easy to feel confident, to combat negative thoughts, or to avoid the pitfalls of low self-esteem. Instead, we may constantly compare ourselves to others, engage in negative self-talk, and struggle to build confidence.

Today, we dive deep into the journey of nurturing self-esteem, understanding the harmful impacts of low self-esteem, and exploring strategies to boost your self-esteem. So whether you're wrestling with self-esteem issues or just curious to learn more about this vital aspect of mental health, stay with us.

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Understanding Self Esteem

What is self-esteem? It's more than a buzzword or a self-help mantra. In essence, self-esteem is our personal evaluation of our own worth, a reflection of our mental health. It's how we view ourselves, our abilities, our achievements, and our personal and professional relationships.

Self-esteem has two main components. The first is a feeling of personal competency, a sense that we are capable and proficient. The second component is a sense of personal worth, a belief that we are valuable and deserving. These two factors, when in balance, lead to a healthy sense of self-esteem.

In contrast, low self-esteem often manifests as negative self-talk, a pervasive sense of not being good enough, or a constant comparison to others. These negative beliefs and perceptions can seriously affect our day-to-day lives, relationships, and even our physical health.

Maintaining a healthy self-esteem is not about being perfect or excelling in everything. Instead, it's about recognizing your worth, embracing your strengths, and acknowledging but not dwelling on your weaknesses. People with healthy self-esteem respect themselves and others, accept criticism constructively, and are able to cope with life's challenges effectively.

It's important to distinguish between healthy self-esteem and ego or arrogance. While the latter involve an inflated sense of self-worth, often at the expense of others, healthy self-esteem is about maintaining a balanced and positive sense of self.

A great starting point to work on your self-esteem is increasing your self-awareness. To delve deeper into this topic, check out our previous post on the importance of self-awareness.

To delve deeper into self-reflection, check out this post with 45 self-reflection questions to nurture your mind, body, and soul.

The Impacts of Low Self Esteem

The Impacts of Low Self Esteem

Feeling down about oneself from time to time is a normal part of life. However, if these feelings persist and become a constant, you might be grappling with low self-esteem. Understanding how this state affects your mental health and overall well-being is critical in taking the first steps to build confidence and boost your self-esteem.

Individuals with low self-esteem often harbor persistent negative beliefs about themselves. These can manifest in various ways, such as a feeling of unworthiness, a fear of rejection, or an inability to assert oneself. In turn, these negative thoughts can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression, creating a vicious cycle that can be challenging to break free from.

Additionally, low self-esteem is closely associated with imposter syndrome, a psychological pattern where individuals doubt their achievements and fear being exposed as a 'fraud'. This syndrome is particularly common in the workplace, where individuals feel that they do not deserve their position or the success they've achieved. This can lead to increased stress, job dissatisfaction, and a negative impact on one's personal life.

Indeed, low self-esteem and mental health are closely intertwined, and addressing one can often lead to improvements in the other. It's important to remember that seeking help from a mental health professional can be a beneficial step in understanding and addressing these issues.

To understand more about how low self-esteem manifests in professional settings, read our comprehensive article on Imposter Syndrome in the Workplace.

The Role of Mental Health in Building Self Esteem

The Role of Mental Health in Building Self Esteem

Just as maintaining physical health is key to our day-to-day function, nurturing our mental health is equally vital. This is particularly true when it comes to building and maintaining healthy self-esteem. It's crucial to recognize that mental health and self-esteem are interconnected aspects of our overall well-being, each impacting the other in profound ways.

A healthy state of mind allows us to view ourselves with compassion, positivity, and respect, thereby facilitating a higher self-esteem. This good self-esteem, in turn, helps us better handle stress and difficult situations, which further strengthens our mental health. On the other hand, poor mental health can lead to low self-esteem, reinforcing negative thoughts and feelings about oneself, which can further deteriorate mental health in a cyclical manner.

Adopting practices that improve mental health can, therefore, be an effective way to boost your self-esteem. These may include regular physical activity, proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and effective stress management techniques. Additionally, seeking support from a mental health professional or a licensed clinical psychologist can provide the tools and strategies to help foster a healthier self-view, thereby leading to improved self-esteem.

For further insights on enhancing mental fitness, check out our blog post on Navigating the Path to Mental Fitness: Strategies and Benefits.

Strategies to Build and Improve Self Esteem

Strategies to Build and Improve Self Esteem

Building self-esteem is not a one-time event, but rather, it's an ongoing process. Here are some effective strategies that can guide you on how to build and improve your self-esteem:

1. Practice self-compassion: This means treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding you'd show to a friend in distress. Remember, everyone makes mistakes; they are a part of life and growth. You can learn more about this from the insightful book, "Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life".

2. Cultivate self-love: Practicing self-love is a cornerstone in building self-esteem. A positive sense of self-worth is the foundation of good self-esteem. Here's a powerful guide to help you on this journey: "Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It".

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3. Challenge negative thoughts: Negative thinking can greatly affect self-esteem. Whenever you catch yourself entertaining negative beliefs or conclusions, challenge them and replace them with more realistic, positive thoughts.

4. Seek support from a personal coach: A personal coach can provide you with tailored strategies and tools to help improve your self-esteem. If you're interested in learning more, we invite you to explore our Personal Coaching services at Zella Life.

5. Spend time doing things you love: Engaging in activities that you enjoy can help you feel good about yourself, boost your mood, and provide a distraction from negative thoughts.

Remember, building self-esteem takes time and patience. It's about learning to value yourself and feeling confident in your worth. Start with small steps, and celebrate your progress along the way.

Implementing Positive Changes

Implementing Positive Changes

Once you have familiarized yourself with these strategies, the next step is to implement these positive changes in your day-to-day life. Here's how you can integrate these strategies into your routine to boost your self-esteem:

1. Start with small steps: Don't pressure yourself to make big changes all at once. Start with small stuff and gradually build up to larger challenges. Celebrate each success, no matter how small it may seem.

2. Practice daily self-affirmation: Daily positive self-talk can be an incredibly powerful tool to improve your self-esteem. Replace negative thinking with positive, affirming messages.

3. Be proactive in your professional development: Personal growth and professional development are closely linked. As you build your self-esteem, you'll notice a positive impact on your professional life as well. We discuss this link in more detail in our article about professional vs personal development.

4. Engage more at your workplace: High self-esteem can enhance your participation and engagement at work. A healthy sense of self can enable you to express your opinions confidently, contribute ideas, and take up new challenges at work. Learn more about the power of participation in our article on understanding democratic leadership style.

5. Seek support when needed: Don't hesitate to reach out to friends, family, or mental health professionals for support. Talking about your feelings can be a great way to gain perspective and reduce feelings of isolation.

Remember, change is a journey. Be patient with yourself and keep focused on your self-improvement. With each day, you're making progress towards a healthier sense of self and higher self-esteem.

Maintaining a Healthy Self Esteem

Maintaining a Healthy Self Esteem

Developing self esteem is one thing, but maintaining it requires ongoing effort. Just as with physical health, maintaining a healthy self esteem requires continuous self-development and attention. Here are some strategies that can help:

1. Regular Self-Care: Incorporate activities into your daily routine that make you feel good about yourself. These can be simple things like physical activity, eating a healthy meal, or spending time on a hobby.

2. Self-Awareness and Mindfulness: Regularly check in with your thoughts and feelings. Challenge any negative thoughts that might be affecting your self-esteem, and replace them with positive, confident ones.

3. Continuous Learning: Never stop learning and growing. The book "Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me This Before?" is an excellent resource that offers valuable insights into life and the importance of learning.

4. Soft Skills Training: Developing your soft skills can significantly boost your confidence and self esteem. We discuss the role of these skills in your professional success in our article about unlocking professional success with soft skills training.

5. Celebrate Your Successes: Take time to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements. This boosts your confidence, helps you feel proud of your accomplishments, and promotes a positive sense of self-worth.

Maintaining high self-esteem is a lifelong journey. With continued effort, you can improve your self-esteem, feel confident in your abilities, and build a positive, lasting relationship with yourself.


We've walked through the journey of understanding self-esteem, from exploring its definition to the effects of low self-esteem, the role of mental health, and the steps we can take to improve and maintain a healthy sense of self. With these strategies in hand, we can confidently say that self-esteem is a vital part of mental health.

High self-esteem enriches our lives, boosting our confidence and helping us navigate through the ebbs and flows of life with grace. Good self-esteem is not a destination, but a journey that unfolds every day.

Just as a house needs a strong foundation to withstand storms, so do we need a robust sense of self-esteem to face life's challenges. To further support your journey to higher self-esteem, you can explore how to find life balance in 10 simple steps, which can help you create a well-rounded, healthy approach to life. The journey to higher self-esteem takes time, patience, and practice, but the rewards are profound and long-lasting.

Improving your self-esteem won't happen overnight, but every small step you take can make a significant impact on how you feel about yourself and interact with the world around you.

Remember, it's not just about building self-esteem; it's about maintaining it, cherishing it, and letting it guide you towards a healthier, more fulfilled life.

Feel free to explore more on this and other related topics on Zella Life's blog. Each step you take towards self-improvement and personal development is a step towards a better you.

To explore strategies for overcoming adversity and thriving, check out our blog post on Embracing the Opposite of Victimhood.

To gain a better understanding of the developmental aspects of self-esteem, consider reading Erik Erikson's stages of psychosocial development explained in our comprehensive blog post.

Additional Resources

To learn more about cultivating daily habits for improved mental wellness, check out our blog post on 20 Daily Habits to Track for Improved Mental Wellness.

To learn more about the importance of self-love, check out this post on why you should learn to love yourself first.

Read more about: Well-being, Imposter Syndrome, Life Coaching