Five steps to improve your self-esteem

To say we have low self-esteem is a subjective evaluation of ourselves. There is no proof of it. However, we can think of ourselves as not worthy, or not good enough and believe this to be true.


Events happen in our lives and we tell ourselves stories based on these. This is negative self-talk and we keep telling ourselves these negative stories until they become our truth. When our self-esteem is low this can cause us to shrink and hide away.

Follow my five steps towards improving your self-esteem.

Improve your self-esteem

1. Turn your negative self-talk into positive self-talk.

Begin by identifying the trigger to feeling low/unworthy etc. There is always a trigger before the emotion. Identify what this trigger is for you (e.g. seeing family member, being alone, getting ready in the morning, work pressures piling up etc.)

Question’s to consider asking yourself:

  • When do you feel you have low self-esteem?
  • What can you do to limit the situation happening often that leads to low self-esteem? (e.g. Limit the amount of time exposed to the situation/person if you can, use distraction techniques if the thoughts creep in when you’re alone, what could you put in place to reduce these thoughts?)
  • What can you do to limit your response to the situation? To limit the impact it is having on you. (e.g. pre-prepared conversations, topics, responses, setting time limits, catching the negative thoughts and reframing them each time etc)

If it is people that cause your low self-esteem, what people? Individuals? A collective? Can you limit how much time you see these people so we can build your esteem in the meantime? If it's not possible to limit the exposure to others, can we limit the amount of impact it has on you?

Why do you feel unworthy and unaccepted around this/these individuals? What is really causing this feeling? Is this really true? Have the individuals suggested you are not accepted? Or is this your story?

If it's your story, can we change that just a tiny bit today? Try and reduce the impact on you just a little. Take a step from the negative talk towards positive.

2. Interrupt your thoughts

Tell yourself to STOP. When a thought creeps in that doesn’t serve you, say to yourself “STOP, I AM IN CHARGE OF MY THINKING”.

By interrupting your thoughts suddenly your brain has to stop and listen to this new thought pattern. Now you have its attention, actually take charge of your brain! You are in charge of your thought process.

Ask yourself: What is this cycle going on? What is my brain constantly telling me to be, the truth? (Even if there’s no fact)

Now really challenge those thoughts: Is it true? e.g. Is it actually true that I am unworthy? Can I prove it? Can I find evidence?

Remind yourself, “I can choose my thinking. I can choose my self-talk. I can choose my thoughts”. Consciously make your thoughts something that creates a more positive experience for yourself.

How does it sound to choose to think more positive thoughts and expand into that? By exploring a more uplifting space, what could this do for you? You can choose a positive thought process here.

It’s really key to illuminate our negative self-talk because our self-conscious takes things in and 95% of our day is ruled by our subconscious mind. Our brains only know what we choose to tell them. Your thoughts become your reality, so decide what you want to tell your mind.

3. Have clearly defined expectations

Instead of the low self-esteem that you have creeping in, what do you want instead? Most of our expectations are undefined, we want to have great health but don’t define what that means. What is great health to us? Get specific here.

When we don’t get clear on what we mean, our expectations often become a mirror to someone else’s narrative, who is probably using someone else’s. Try and really define what you want. When you’ve got this, add a timescale onto it. When do you want this to happen specifically?

Take a few moments to really define what you want and write this down.

4. Journal your accomplishments

Sometimes we can really undervalue just how powerful journalling is. Start to capture how you are feeling, your thoughts, concerns, dreams, and worries.

In particular, start to journal about your progress. Write down all the positive things that you have done on this day, week or year. Keep note of those positive steps you are making to help with your low self-esteem. It doesn’t matter how small or big you perceive something to be - they are all steps towards growth and progress and it’s important you shine a light on this and recognise it.

In your journal take time to compare to yourself a year ago or a few weeks or months ago to see your progress. I invite you to start writing today.

5. Use positive and powerful sentences

If you create a positive narrative in your mind it will help you get out of negative loops faster. Try writing down some positive and powerful sentences that you can repeat back to yourself regularly throughout the day.

Make a note of these if that is helpful and display them around your home, on your phone etc.

Here are some examples:

  • I am enough
  • I am accepted
  • I believe in myself
  • I trust myself
  • I accept myself
  • I am a positive influence in the world
  • I have strength
  • I am grateful
  • I am whole

Capture powerful and positive words and sentences that you connect to and start to embody them. Repeat them and connect to their meaning of them every time you do. Keep going with this and your self-esteem will rise.

So there we have it, five ways to help you work on and move away from low self-esteem.

If you would like more information about self-esteem or want to talk to me about your own levels of self-esteem then I would love to hear from you. Book 30 minutes in my calendar via my website Sohaila Sophia Coaching or take a look at my Life Coach Directory page.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO5
Written by Sohaila Sophia, Life Coach & NLP Practitioner, ICF & ANLP accredited
Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO5

Sohaila Sophia is an accredited Life Coach & NLP Practitioner, an advocate for mental wellbeing & passionate about supporting people to believe in themselves and live fulfilling, purpose-led lives. Founder of ‘Find Your Happy’ coaching programmes - the 10 step approach to re-evaluating and living with more fulfilment and meaning.

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