23rd April 2021

Improve your confidence

Suffering from low self-esteem?

Check out our handy guide below to getting more confident.

Do you feel like you find it difficult to speak up for yourself?

Are you not wanting to say “yes” to new opportunities for fear of failing?

If this is the case then you may be suffering from low self-esteem.

Would you love to try new things without always worrying?

Don’t worry.

We will help you.

You will go from understanding what the signs and causes are to how you can start to overcome low self-esteem.

Let’s dive in…

What is the definition of low self-esteem?

Low self-esteem, put simply, is not thinking much of yourself. In a room full of people, you constantly rate yourself as amongst the ‘worst’ in whatever context; looks, ability, confidence, personality etc.

Who does it affect?

Low self-esteem affects everybody from every walk of life. From children to CEO’s of huge companies.

Some people in high powered jobs (or who have received a promotion), may feel a sense of imposter syndrome where they feel like they are a fraud or don’t belong in that position because they are not ‘worthy’.

This can be due to low self-esteem or lack of self-worth.

What are the signs of low self-esteem?

Over-apologising. You may say ‘sorry’ for things, even if they aren’t your fault.

Not wanting to speak up for fear of ‘rocking the boat’.

Feeling like you don’t deserve good things to happen to you.

Not setting boundaries for people around you. You are accessible all of the time.

Fearful of making choices. You may be scared of always making the wrong decisions, so instead choose to not make any decisions at all if you can help it.

Being a people pleaser. You may feel like you have to spend excessive time or money for people to like you.

Negative self-talk. From the moment you wake up, you tell yourself you’re not good
enough or don’t belong amongst successful, attractive, rich people.

Do YOU do any of these things?

What causes low self-esteem?

There are many possibilities.

Some reasons may be:

Childhood trauma. If you had one or both parents being overly critical when you
were growing up, which can lead to low self-esteem in adulthood.

An unhealthy relationship with a partner. If your partner is overly controlling, critical
or hostile, it may leave you feeling like you can’t speak out for fear of negative

Overly critical boss. You may feel like you can’t do anything right at work so work
in fear of ridicule.

Relationship breakdown - such as divorce. Throughout the process, you may feel
like a failure or ‘less-than' and tell yourself everything was your fault.

Criminal past. You may feel like you have worked towards a more positive life, but
are still reminded about criminal activity from years ago and feel like you are
constantly labelled.

Bullying – at school or in the workplace. This can leave you feeling isolated and
unwilling/unable to speak out for fear of repercussions, therefore you keep everything inside and just hope to ‘blend in’ and ‘not make a fuss’.

Feeling different in some way. This could be within the family, religion, culture.
Examples could include sexuality, choice of dress, partner, occupation etc. If you are
constantly feeling like (or treated like) you are different, your self-esteem may take a

Do any of these sound like you?

What are the typical consequences of low self-esteem?

Living with low self-esteem is tough.

The consequences can be exhausting.

You may start to feel:

Anxious – through fear of what is going to happen that day where your low self-
esteem could be exposed.

Stressed – You may become irritable through lack of sleep because you are
constantly worrying about what DID happen or what MIGHT happen.

Lonely – You could feel like you can’t open up and share your views/thoughts with
anybody, which then leads you to feel isolated and lonely.

Depressed – Due to a lack of positive human engagement, your mood could dip to where you are depressed.

Your work performance is suffering – Through a poor sleeping pattern, you may
feel like you can’t concentrate at work and may start to miss things.

Self-medication is becoming normal; through drink, drugs, food, sex etc. - To
adjust or soothe your mood, you may resort to seeking pleasure in things that affect
your work-life, friendships and family relationships. Increased drug use to ‘feel
better’ may lead to poor hygiene and sleep making work performance worse.

Any of these sound familiar?

How do you fix low self-esteem?

Even if you become aware that you HAVE low self-esteem, that is a start.

These are some simple things that you can start doing to improve your self-esteem.

STOP - Acknowledge how you are feeling. Slow things down, be aware of your

Start judging yourself by your intentions, not your mistakes. Remember, you are a
good person!

List 10 things that are positive about you. Yes, there ARE 10 things! Think of
things like ‘I care about people, I give attention to detail, I always remember my
friends’ birthdays’.

Next to these things, write ‘why these are positive’. For instance: ‘I always
remember my friend’s birthday - this will make them feel loved and special’.

Practise saying “no” to things that don’t serve you. Start with easier things and
then build up. You will start to see that the consequences are not as bad as you think.

Start journaling – write down how you are feeling and what made you feel good that
day and then start focusing on prioritising that in your life as much as possible.

Give yourself challenges to boost your confidence. Start small, even if it’s a fitness
challenge to ‘walk 5000 steps a day’ or ‘speak to 1 new person every week’. The
more you slowly come out of your comfort zone, the better you will feel.

Prioritise your health. Start with the basics; sleep, diet and exercise. Make and keep
appointments that benefit your self-esteem, hairdressers, dentists, spa, gym etc.

Speak to somebody you can trust. When you start to share how you feel or the
situations that have hit your self-esteem hard, you will start to recognise patterns in
your thinking and behaviour. This is sometimes difficult to do unless it is with a
trained person who can recognise certain patterns.

Low self-esteem treatment

If your self-esteem is severely affecting your mental health, we recommend that you seek help as soon as possible with your G.P.

Also, we have people you can speak to who are trained to listen and to help you start living a more positive life.

Why don’t you start having those positive conversations now?

Find your therapist

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By Chris Hampson
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By Chris Hampson