What Is Self Esteem And How To Build It?

Elvis Elvis

Building self esteem? What is self esteem? According to thesaurus, one simple answer is: a reasonable or justifiable sense of one’s worth or importance.

Building self esteem is associated with words or phrases like, high self-esteem, low self-esteem, positive thinking, self-confidence, self image, self assurance, self worth, self respect, pride, dignity. The list goes on and on.

As you read the above words, you cannot help but reflect on how they apply to your life; you immediately want to examine yourself to see if you measure-up to what other people think about you and how they want you to act.

After thinking about this topic, I came to the conclusion that this may be the most important topic I write in this website. I felt very inspired and encouraged to share my thoughts about building self esteem and some tips on how to become a better person. I believe that Building self esteem is vital to personal development.

Understanding ourselves…

It is fascinating to know that in our life-span and human development, we are constantly interacting with others; we experience life in many different ways and for the most part we strive to co-exist peacefully, understand others differences in an environment where we differ in gender, race, cultural backgrounds, social class and uniqueness.

What Is Self Esteem And How To Build It?

It is even more fascinating to know that each one of us has dignity and worth, and play a unique and significant role in relation to others and the world in which we live. All this relates to our upbringing and how we see ourselves from childhood on through the different stages of our lives.

But, how does building self esteem fit into all this?


Without self esteem you may become frustrated, anxious, doubtful and uncertain about making decisions that affect your life and daily living. The root cause of this could be that from a child, your parents or guardian, for whatever reason, made all the decisions for you. Decisions that affected your life.

They probably did not allow you to make your own mistakes and learn from them. They may even think you were not capable of doing so, they told you how to think and feel. You may have this experience throughout the different stages of your growing up years. Building self esteem is important at this stage of development.


The ability to think things through and make the right decisions independently, may have been a problem. For example; the inability to select the right courses in high school may have prevented you from pursuing the course of study that best reflected your ability and talents; making the wrong choice of a partner which may have resulted in unhappiness and regrets. There are many examples of which you may be able to think. Add them to this list.

Don’t get me wrong. It is the parents that care, nurture and make good decisions for their children. I am merely saying that as the child grows older parents should include him/her into decision-making that affects his/her life and future.

In education, for example, the child should be able to choose the career that best suite his or her ability, talents and aptitudes. We as parents tend to have the final say as to which profession the child chooses. Notice I use the word, profession. Not every child wants to be a doctor or lawyer.

Many people find it difficult to tackle problems or talk to someone about what is troubling them. Perhaps in the growing-up years they may not have been taught the necessary life skills of how to examine what’s right and wrong, one’s failures or mistakes.

As they grow up they would likely have had feelings of negative thoughts, insecurity and self doubt.

How then can you build self esteem? Here are a few tips…

Building self esteem is a process we have to adopt in our individual lives, daily. Each one working on a different level, stage and pace.

  • Spend time alone examining your life, not as the world sees you, but as you see yourself. Think back to your growing-up years and try to pin-point where it all began. You are unique and special so let your higher self reveal the answers during your meditation or quiet time. Jot them down.
  • Know your talents and use them to the best of your ability. This is vital to building self esteem.
  • Build self image and self worth by educating yourself. Take a course or two. This can be done full-time or part-time. This can also be done at a community college, private studies with a tutor or on-line.
  • Gain acceptance by expressing your feelings. Try not to have other people make sole decisions for your life. Speak-up and say how you feel about what’s been discussed. After-all it is you they are talking about.
  • Although it is the inward appearance that radiates to the outside, you should, look, dress and feel the part. For example change your wardrobe periodically, get a fresh hairstyle, new shoes, jewelry to match. The sky is the limit as to choices. Show pride and dignity with the way you walk and talk. Let the world stand up and take notice. This should not be done in an arrogant manner. Be yourself.
  • Set tasks and complete them.
  • Whereas you may figure out where the problems lie and who is at fault, do not spend time laying blame. Move on with ways to heal yourself. This way once you reach your goal you can be proud of your accomplishments.

Feelings of self-worth, dignity and self respect will be realized with constant practice on a daily basis. Do not become despondent. Do not give up. Stay the course. Have faith in your abilities to get things done.

Appreciate the progress you make in life regardless of how little that progress is. Train your mind to think positive thoughts and stop worrying, instead, seek out ways to accomplish your goals. This will help you to become a better person.

If after reading this topic and building self esteem is something you would like to do, get help if necessary. You may need help restructuring your life. For example, financial planning, housing, job, education or whatever the case may be. Start by joining a support group in your community. Seek help from your family doctor, social worker, family and friends that you trust.

You may be able to add to the above list. Only you know your life’s situation. Remember that your situation is not unique. There are others who share similar life experiences. Regardless, hold your head up high and do not be afraid of the dark.