6 steps to better self esteem

We all have moments when we feel less-than or unappreciated. These feelings can be triggered by something as simple as not getting the response to a text, or as complex as being the victim of an unkind remark from someone else. Whatever sets these negative emotions in motion, it’s important to find ways to build self-esteem and confidence again.

Self-esteem is essentially how you view yourself. It’s a measure of your own personal worth, and it determines how you react to things like criticism, failure, and success. 

If you struggle with low self-esteem, it means you don’t think very highly of yourself and may even feel insecure about who you are as a person. Fortunately there are many ways to build self-confidence and raise your self-esteem so you feel good about who you are on the inside too. Here are six tips to do just that…

1. Recognize the feelings that trigger your low self-esteem

If your self-esteem is low, you know it. But what brings it on? What are the situations, moods, and feelings that make you feel less than? And what are the signs that your self-esteem is rising? Seeing these patterns can help you understand where your feelings of self-worth come from — and what you can do to improve them. Self-esteem often rises and falls with your mood. Feeling happy and positive can make you feel good about yourself and your abilities. Depression, anxiety, and shame can make you feel the opposite. This can help you identify the triggers for your low self-esteem so you know what to avoid and what to work on next.

2. Identify your strengths

When you’re feeling down, it can be hard to think of anything good about yourself. But what if you could turn those feelings around? As difficult as it might seem at the time, you can use low self-esteem as a chance to identify your strengths. This can be as simple as making a list of the qualities you already have. This might include your sense of humor, your creativity, or your strength as a problem-solver. Or it could be things like your determination or your ability to empathize with others.

3. Be proud of who you are

Sometimes low self-esteem really comes down to the fact that you don’t love the person you are. Or maybe you’ve been struggling with a regret or an unresolved emotion that’s holding you back. Whatever the root cause, recognizing it and trying to fix it can give you a much-needed boost of self-esteem. You might also want to make a list of your “ideal traits.” In other words, what makes the ideal person? What would you like to see reflected in yourself?

4. Set small wins

Building self-esteem doesn’t happen overnight. And it’s not something you can force. Instead, you want to look for ways to slowly chip away at your self-doubt and negative thinking. One way to do this is to set small wins for yourself. These can be anything that makes you feel good about yourself, like learning a new skill, getting a promotion at work, or improving a relationship. Another way to break down your larger goals into small wins is to use the SMART model: Make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bound.

5. Celebrate your achievements

One way to build self-esteem is to celebrate the small wins you achieve. This might sound like the same thing as setting small wins — and in some ways it is. But celebrations don’t have to be strictly milestones in your life. Celebrations can be anything that makes you happy and proud, like reading a new book, getting a good grade, or experimenting with a new recipe. Rather than letting these things go unnoticed, try to find ways to celebrate them and build up your self-esteem.

6. Set healthy boundaries

Sometimes low self-esteem comes from feeling like you have to be available to everyone all the time. Maybe you have a tendency to put the needs of others above your own. Or maybe you allow yourself to be treated badly. Whatever the cause, boundaries are one way to boost your self-esteem. Learning to say “no” when you need to and setting healthy expectations for other people can make you feel stronger inside.

Bonus tip 1 – Take care of yourself physically

Not only will this help you feel like your best self, it can also boost your self-esteem. There are many ways you can do this, like getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising. These habits can help you feel both confident and relaxed. There’s also the little things you can do to boost your confidence when you’re not feeling your best, like brushing your teeth and washing your hands. This can help you feel good both inside and out, which is essential to boosting your self-esteem.

Bonus tip 2 – Find a hobby you love

Hobbies are a great way to build self-esteem, especially if they tap into your strengths and passions. If you’re not sure where to start, think about what makes you happy and what you’re good at. Try to find activities and challenges that fit those categories. This can help you slow down and focus on the good things in life. It can also be a great way to meet people and make friends who share your interests.

Bonus tip 3 – Talk to a counsellor or friend

If you’ve tried all these tips and still can’t seem to shake your low self-esteem, it may be time to reach out to someone for help. You don’t have to do it alone! There are tons of professionals and friends out there who specialize in helping people with their self-esteem issues. You can schedule a session with a therapist or find a good coach to work with 1-on-1. This person can help you identify your triggers and deal with them in a constructive way. They can also help you come up with a plan to build self-esteem and confidence over time.


Your self-esteem is a measurement of how much you love and respect yourself. It’s also the level of confidence you have in your abilities and your potential to achieve your goals. Some people naturally have high self-esteem, while others struggle with low self-esteem. Improving your self-esteem can help you to lead a more successful and fulfilling life. Self Esteem is an important part of life. It is important that we all try to improve our self-esteem. This will help us to feel good about ourselves and make better decisions in life.

Local wellbeing services in Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes and Luton

The Mind BLMK website has information on self-esteem with practical tips for improving your self-esteem and advice on where you can go for support. They also do a offer a Mental Health Awareness course which includes: 

  • Basic awareness around mental health
  • What is mental health – good and poor
  • Risk factors for developing a mental health problem
  • Signs and symptoms of common mental health difficulties

Mind BLMK Crisis Support Cafe is a safe, calm and relaxed atmosphere with one-to-one sessions available to help identify positive mental health coping strategies.

As part of Mind BLMK, the Mind Matters Group provides the opportunity to discuss issues of wellbeing and mental health in a safe, confidential place. With weekly sessions running across Central Bedfordshire, in Ampthill, Dunstable, Biggleswade and Leighton Buzzard, they explore a range of different subjects including depression, anxiety, self-esteem, self-confidence and goal setting.

Mind BLMK also offer Peer Support for people who have an experience of mental ill health and can spend time together, connect, share experiences and ideas of what can help. Peer support is also available in the Bedford and Milton Keynes area. 

One-to-one Peer Mentoring support is available. Peer Mentors are volunteers with a lived experience of their own mental health challenges and recovery, to support you to create an action plan to work towards your goals. You can also access this support in the Bedford and Milton Keynes area. 

The Disability Resource Centre has created a short online course called ‘Introduction to Emotional Wellbeing’ which has been popular with many people across the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes areas.

Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service offers free and confidential talking therapies and specialist support to help you feel better. 

Total Wellbeing Luton provide one-off sessions offering information and advice to give you basic understanding of various common wellbeing issues, and strategies to support you with dealing with those issues.

Milton Keynes Talking Therapies Service range of interventions for people who have recently become anxious or depressed. These guided self-help interventions are delivered online and in workshops as well as on the telephone and face to face.

The NHS has a useful self-help guide that provides tips and tricks on how to improve your mental health.

In Bedfordshire and Luton, mental health services are provided by East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) and in Milton Keynes by the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL). They provide links to support including autism, bereavement support, crisis support, domestic abuse, eating disorders, gambling, housing, inpatient mental health, psychosis, dementia, social prescription, substance misuse and talking therapies.

We are here for you in Milton Keynes, Luton and across Bedfordshire

The Disability Resource Centre is a small charity that supports disabled people living in Milton Keynes, Luton, Bedford and Central Bedfordshire.

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