Boost your self-esteem in six practical ways 

Do you need to boost your self-esteem?

If so, help is at hand thanks to the second article in my series by Jo Hall.

Did you read her popular article about the importance of self care? Do check it out if you’ve not had a chance to yet.

Jo is a Life & Leadership Coach and former Head of Internal Communication. She empowers others to reconnect with their true and whole self, reigniting their spark for life with inner clarity, confidence and calm through her coaching programs, E.A.S.E. Framework, and intuitively personalised approach. You can find out more about Jo and her work via her website or connect with her on LinkedIn.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Jo for years, and regular readers of my blog will know I was a guest on her podcast earlier this year: What I wish I knew before launching my business.

Jo Hall

I’ll hand you over…

Boost your self-esteem in six practical ways

In this competitive, materialistic, busy, always-on world it’s all too easy to slip into the trap of not feeling good enough. 

Outward looking you observe and compare yourself with others; inside you feel you could always work harder, do more, achieve more, be better, gain another qualification. 

Your inner critic loves to point out your flaws, your failures, and sows the seeds of doubt.  It’s a master at seeing others as better, smarter, more successful than you. This is the life-limiting bubble known as low self-esteem. And without even realising it, you never seem to feel good enough.   

Self-esteem is your overall opinion of yourself and your belief in your abilities and worth. 

It affects how you make decisions, your relationships, and your emotional, physical and mental health, so it’s vital to ensure it’s healthy and well balanced.

Here are some classic signs your self-esteem needs a boost:

You find it difficult to 

  • Say ‘No’ when you want or need to
  • Accept compliments
  • Appreciate your skills and value your experience
  • Express and/or honour your needs
  • Make decisions confidently
  • Accept you are good enough just as you are
  • Try new things

You might also 

  • Believe others are better than you
  • Be a perfectionist, people-pleaser and/or
  • Fear failure.

But if any of this feels all too familiar, know that you can change it.

Imagine the opposite of all of the above being true … and it can be.  With some conscious effort, a life where your health, mind, relationships, motivation, resilience, sense of fulfilment and potential are all positively boosted will become your new norm.

Here’s how …

  1. Identify the negative beliefs you have about yourself, then challenge them. Often such beliefs start with ‘I can’t …’ or ‘I’m not …’ Brainstorm them.  Notice them as they pop into your mind as you feel yourself holding yourself back.  Then write out ten opposing reasons or examples of why you can and you are capable of doing that thing. Let those beliefs become your new mantras, your new truth.
  2. Be accepting of yourself, and avoid comparing yourself to others. Other people are not your standard, they’re theirs.  No one person is better or worse than another, just wonderfully different and shaped by their own unique life experiences.  We all have strengths and all have weaknesses.  Invest your focus and energy in appreciating and celebrating all you are.  And if you want to improve in a certain area then do it for the pure joy of self-improvement and personal growth, not because you don’t feel good enough or want to be like someone else.
  3. Identify negative triggers. To increase your level of self-esteem, recognise what people, places, and things cause you to think or feel negatively or drain your energy. You can’t change certain situations, and you most definitely can’t change other people, but you can change how you react to them, accept them and understand them. Pay attention to what makes you feel sad or anxious and look for ways to minimise the triggers.  How could you view them with greater acceptance for who or what they are, and thus reduce your level of associated stress or negativity?
  4. Practise saying ‘No’. I frequently refer to the power of saying ‘No’ and the liberation and empowerment it engenders within us. It can feel difficult or awkward to assert ourselves, but it does get easier the more you do. Start by taking a moment to pause and tune in to your body before you make any commitment and respond from a place that feels good to you.  This process allows you to feel into what is right for you, rather than automatically responding with a ‘Yes’ and end up adding to your stresses and frustration.  Try it, and see just how good it can feel to not overcommit or be so over-worked.
  5. Learn to accept compliments. The next time someone says something complimentary to you, respond with a simple ‘thank you’, just like you would a gift (which this is).  Allow yourself to appreciate and revel in that good, proud feeling within yourself.  And absolutely do not rebuff it, dismiss their praise or follow up with a personal put-down in response – it negates the positive impact of the compliment, plus it’s just rude and hurtful to the other person … and they may never compliment you again!
  6. See failure as a gift of personal growth. If you limit yourself from trying new things through fear of failure, or not being good enough you’re actually missing an opportunity to learn vital lessons about yourself, to grow and improve.  Take on a new challenge and just have the mindset you’ll learn from the experience, no matter what happens.  There is no such thing as failure, only lessons.

Post author: Jo Hall.

Thank you Jo, I hope you’ve found this article useful.

Don’t forget World Mental Health Day 2021 is happening on 10 October. If you want to know how to communicate it, see my previously published articles for some hints and tips.

Further reading: How to communicate World Mental Health Day.

The theme for 2021 is mental health in an unequal world. See the World Mental Health Day website to access resources and ideas to help you communicate inside your organisation.

World Mental Health Day 2021

Thank you for stopping by,


First published on the All Things IC blog 24 September 2021.

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