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Self-esteem - what is it? It is a mental state whose genesis is how we evaluate ourselves. Our self-esteem is the result of experiences, upbringing, cultural norms, beliefs about the world and ourselves, a sense of agency and attractiveness. It is self-esteem that largely determines the quality of life. Read a psychologist's advice on how to build your self-esteem!

Self-esteem , the way we see and evaluate ourselves affects many everyday decisions, including what work we choose, with whom we engage, what activities we take or how we feel in social relations.


  1. What is self-esteem?
  2. How to build self-esteem?

The value we assign to ourselves is not something fixed once and for all. Self-esteem is changing. Some experiences can quickly lower it, but it is worth remembering that there are ways to develop your self-esteem. The point is not to artificially and excessively inflate the vision of yourself, but to learn about your strengths, learn to respect yourself, extract your own resources and use them consciously.

What is self-esteem?

One definition of self-esteem says that it is "a tendency to experience oneself as competent to face the challenges of life and also deserving of happiness" (Dr. N. Branden). When developing or enhancing a positive and adequate self-image, it is worth thinking about building a tool that helps in a satisfying life, not patching up deficits. I encourage you to discover and develop your resources and not to look for "faults to be repaired".

It's not about jumping to extreme, uncritical self-love, but about getting to know ourselves and gaining trust and respect for the person we really are - without being modest, but also without being overly uncritical. The way we think about ourselves affects many areas of everyday life, i.e. family, work, relationships, relationships, activities undertaken. Therefore, it is worth thinking about strengthening self-esteem - let itresults from a reliable assessment of experiences, not the opinions of others about us.

Feel free to create your definition of self-esteem. When thinking about working on self-esteem, it is worth asking yourself a few questions: "What does self-esteem mean to me?", "Why should I have high self-esteem?", "What will it change in my life (what will I do differently, how will I think what emotions will accompany me then?) "," How do I know that I have a strong enough self-esteem? ".

Self-acceptance: how to feel good about yourself?

Complexes: how do they arise and how to deal with them?

Happiness: what is it and what helps to achieve it?


People aware of their value:

  • they experience a sense of security, agency and peace more often;
  • cope better in difficult and crisis situations;
  • they are more willing to undertake activities in line with their own needs, giving them a sense of satisfaction;
  • making decisions less susceptible to the influence of the environment;
  • are open to criticism or the opinion of the environment about themselves, but they are not the foundation of how they think about themselves;
  • they are more often accompanied by a sense of independence, self-determination.

How to build self-esteem?

Know yourself

Often people with low self-esteem have little knowledge about themselves. Sometimes they know more about others than about themselves, e.g. what family members, friends or colleagues like, and when asked about their preferences they have difficulty listing basic preferences. I also encourage Dali to write down the answers to the following questions on a piece of paper:

  • Who am I?
  • What do I like?
  • What gives me pleasure?
  • What roles do I play? (e.g. husband, partner, daughter, father, architect, runner, etc.)
  • In what situations does he feel at ease and comfortable?
  • What do I dream about?
  • What is important to me?

Reviewing the basic information about yourself can be the first step to further work.

Avoid generalizing

Messages such as: "I always", "I never" are not conducive to understanding neither with the outside world, nor with oneself. Therefore, it is worth sticking to the facts, not generalized judgments. A statement like "I can never get along with people?" When we take a closer look at it is a huge abuse.

Usually, however, we have friends at school, we are able to communicate with the team at work, etc. Therefore, the real sentence may be: "He doesn't get along with everyone." Anotherthe question is whether we need to get along with everyone in order to have sufficient self-esteem. I encourage you to consciously pick out a few generalizing beliefs about yourself and to edit them.

Assertiveness, i.e. the ability to express your opinion

How to love yourself? Ways to boost your self-confidence

High self-esteem affects how others perceive you

Treat failures as a lesson

Challenges, not obstacles, lessons, not failures - this sounds like a motivational speaker slogan, but when thinking about change, it is also worth changing your perspective and checking if it does not affect the way you talk about yourself and your we think about experiences.

Try to recall an experience that can be assessed as difficult, such as losing your job. The next step is to try to broaden the perspective with which we see this experience. For this purpose, it is worth answering a few questions:

What have I learned from this event?

Losing a job is not the end of the world, I can verify my list of friends and well-wishers, I saw how large a network of social contacts I built by announcing that I was looking for a job, I made sure that I could count on my relatives etc.

What good did I learn about myself in this situation?

I can experience a lot of stress and regain balance after that, I am creative when looking for a new job, etc.

What characteristics did I show in this experiment?

By force, because despite the crisis, I made attempts to find another job. Courage, because I was able to try to work outside the current industry, stubbornness, because despite the initial lack of a job offer, I continued to apply for new positions, etc.

What good did this difficult situation give me?

I know that after losing my job I will manage somehow, I found myself in a situation of change and I feel that I am better prepared for the next changes, etc.

We rarely analyze crises in terms of positive sides, but I encourage you to try this exercise.

Make a list of your successes and achievements

It is worth approaching this task by trying to turn off self-censorship and internal critics. It can be difficult at first, but you have to try and shamelessly prepare a promotional brochure for yourself. Let the list include achievements in every area of ​​life, even small ones, and obvious to us, e.g. that you speak a foreign language for a large percentage of popups is quite an achievement, even if you think that success can only be beaten after learning the fifth language. Keep an eye ononce in a while, supplement it with new discoveries about yourself.

Limit comparing yourself to others. Finding ten, one hundred or even a million people who we judge as inferior to ourselves will not translate into a permanent increase in self-esteem. Comparing yourself to others is an extremely impermanent method, because there will always be someone smarter, faster, better built, richer, etc.

The time and effort it usually takes to compare yourself to others is worth using for inspiration. If I admire my colleague for his style or figure, it is worth asking or observing what he does, what he does, where he gets the motivation for it, etc. needs.

Refer to the facts

It's important to work on the habit of making what we think about ourselves real. Often, beliefs about ourselves have nothing to do with reality, so it is important to confront negative messages with facts, e.g.

- belief: "I'm stupid", facts: "I have a diploma that confirms my qualification, I can comment on many topics, I have several interests - what else do I need to recognize that I am smart enough?";

- belief: "nobody likes me", facts: "I have friends, acquaintances, relatives in my family, in the fitness club I got in touch with one interesting person - what else do I need to recognize that I am liked enough?".


After updating your knowledge of yourself, preferences, needs, values, etc., start making decisions based on your knowledge of yourself. Gradual taking over the helm will not only strengthen the sense of agency, but also allow you to build positive beliefs about yourself.

Help from a psychologist, therapist

Sometimes self-made attempts to strengthen one's self-esteem do not bring sufficient results. Then it is worth asking a specialist for support. Working with a psychologist will allow you to discover the deeper causes of difficulties in the area of ​​self-esteem and to develop effective and adequate to individual needs ways of strengthening self-esteem.

By working through specific experiences from the past, we can influence how we feel and function today, thereby improving the quality of everyday life.

Worth knowing

What makes some people aware of their worth?

The shape of self-esteem is largely influenced by childhood and adolescence. It was thencapital is built with which we go out into the world as adults. Beliefs about us, messages that we receive from the outside world create a kind of filter through which we see ourselves and the surrounding reality. Of course, the role of the self-esteem built during this period cannot be underestimated, but it should be remembered that you can always work on it. It is worth considering whether the choices we make in adulthood are based on an adequate assessment of our abilities and preferences or the opinions of third parties.

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