by Alimot Akinsanya

How to overcome low self-esteem has been a question on everyone’s mind, especially people who tend to feel they are not good enough.

These people tend to put others’ needs before theirs. While it might seem like their fault, it is something that happens due to one factor or the other.

Dealing with and learning how to overcome low self-esteem goes a long way. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t happen immediately.

It affects everything you do, including your thoughts, perceptions, and emotions. It plays a role in how you treat yourself and allow others to treat you. It affects the motivation to go after your passion and your dreams.

Some signs of low self-esteem can be apparent, but in some cases, they can be subtle.

Some common signs of low self-esteem are outlined below:

• Difficulty speaking up and prioritizing your needs, wants, and feelings
• Difficulty making your own choices
• Saying negative things and being critical about yourself
• Feeling sad, depressed, anxious, ashamed, angry, or worthless
• Feeling inferior to your peers
• Having a negative outlook on life
• Having trouble accepting positive feedback
• Inability to say no and set boundaries
• Frequently experiencing fear, self-doubt, and worry
• Having an intense fear of failure

Low self-esteem ultimately makes you see yourself in a different light.

Causes Of Low Self-esteem

It is normal to lack confidence at some point, but when low self-esteem becomes a long-term problem, it affects our mental health and day-to-day life.

One of the best ways to overcome low self-esteem is to understand where it starts. Unfortunately, finding the root of your low self-esteem can be difficult and even complicated, especially for people who can’t remember things they have gone through while growing up.

Low self-esteem often begins in childhood. Some people have gone through emotional abuse and neglect while growing up, especially from their parents.

Parents, friends, teachers, and siblings often remind them they are not good enough. Unfortunately, this message tends to stay with them, and this is what they keep remembering till they grow into adults.

Poor academic performance also has a part to play in having low self-esteem. Not meeting up to expectations in school can lead to low self-esteem.

Stress or difficult life can cause low self-esteem, unemployment, financial trouble, relationship breakdown, serious illness, and others.

You should know that these causes vary depending on the individual, and this helps you to know how to overcome low self-esteem.


Effect Of Low Self-esteem

If you have low self-esteem, you are likely to have relationship problems. It would be hard for you to relate with people, communicate your needs and express your emotions.

You will try to avoid things that look challenging, hide away from social situations, stop trying new things and shy away from your hobbies.

You may also have an increased vulnerability to drugs and alcohol abuse as a way of coping and getting your mind off issues that annoy and irritate you.

Living with low self-esteem can harm your mental health. As a result, you will suffer from depression and anxiety.

While all these will look safe, it reinforces doubt and fear in you. In some cases, it stops you from finding ways how to overcome low self-esteem.

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How To Overcome Low Self-esteem

Overcoming low self-esteem can be difficult, but you must try it. Here are four ways how to overcome low self-esteem:

1. Challenge Negative Thoughts

One way to boost your self-esteem is to identify and challenge the negative thoughts that come to your head. For example, if you have repeatedly told yourself that you are not good enough, start reminding yourself that you are.

Start your day with thoughtful affirmations; repeat them every morning when you wake up. If this seems complicated, pick a journal and write out the positive things you want for yourself.

When you feel negative, pick up the journal and read through.


2. Stop The Social Comparison

Parents are used to comparing their children with others. “Can’t you see Tolu — she is better than you in academics. Why can’t you be like her?”

I know this sounds familiar. We have been compared all our life. Yet, there are times we feel we will never meet up to our parents’ expectations.

Due to this, we compare ourselves to everyone we come across, such as friends, colleagues, coursemates, and even our siblings.

Do not compare yourself to anyone. Instead, remind yourself you are good at what you do. You are capable of your abilities.

3. Be Assertive

If you want to boost your self-esteem, you have to learn to be assertive.

Assertiveness can help you communicate effectively and stand up for your feelings. However, while respecting the feelings of others, you should be sure you will be treated the same way.

It is not about being selfish. It is about who you are. Stand up for yourself. Be confident. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel less of yourself.

Value yourself and your rights, voice your needs and wants confidently, express yourself positively, and above all — learn to say, ‘No.’

4. Acknowledge The Positive

Do not ignore your positive traits. There are the good things in you that you have pushed aside because of your low self-esteem.

Start acknowledging them. Acknowledge your achievements. Accept your mistakes and learn from them.

Don’t be afraid of compliments. Accept them with a smile on your face. Do not ignore the positive sides.

If no one can see them, you can! Allow yourself to learn and grow.


There you have it. I have given you tips on how to overcome low self-esteem. However, if you feel you cannot do it alone, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.

Seeking professional help helps you identify the problem and provide ways to overcome them easily.

Give yourself time and remember that overcoming low self-esteem takes attention, effort, and daily practice.

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About Author

Avatar of Alimot Akinsanya
Alimot Akinsanya
Alimot Akinsanya is an experienced content writer. She creates high-quality, compelling, engaging, relatable, and research-backed long-form content for individuals and businesses. She believes in the power of words to communicate effectively with audiences.

She is a devoted lover of personal development, mental health, self-awareness, and social inclusion. 

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