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The Aspects And Building Of Self-Esteem

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What is self-esteem?

Having confidence in your own worth or abilities is defined as having a healthy self-esteem. It is the way you value yourself, the way you feel, think and act in life. It influences your motivation and success throughout your journey. Unfortunately, millions of people suffer from low level of self-esteem. They constantly question themselves whether they are attractive enough, successful enough, or even smart enough. They give a lot of importance and worry about what other people think of them, while the truth is that they are their own toughest criticizers.

Self-esteem works as a state of mind. Having a low self-esteem will lead to a doubt in your own capabilities of success and thus will stop you from succeeding at school or work. On the other hand, having a healthy self-esteem can help you achieve in life and face your challenges with a positive, self-assured attitude and believe you can always realise your goals.

Self Esteem has a multidimensional structure with three elements:

  • Cognitive and it is how you think about yourself.
  • Affective how you feel about yourself
  • Behavioural element the way you behave in matters related to you.

It has an effect on your choice of career, choice of partner and on any decision you take. It is based on your attitude, your values, your achievements, and your potential, also self-esteem has an impact on the way you talk and how you relate to others.

Where does your self-esteem come from?

We were all born with a blank canvas on which to create our self-esteem. It starts evolving and developing throughout our life by every experience we go through and different people and challenges we encounter. Our childhood plays a certain role in shaping our self-esteem. The way we were treated by our family, teachers, and peers contributes in creating our self-esteem. Successes and failures while we were growing up also has a major contribution in creating our self-esteem.

Being lucky enough to be brought up in a family where parents make us feel appreciated, giving the appropriate affection and attention, being listened to, recognize our accomplishments and accept our mistakes and failures this will contribute in developing a healthy self-esteem.

If we were raised in a family were we have been neglected, rejected, ignored, punished, criticised by our parents this will make us feel with little value and thus developing a low self-esteem. Also as a parent expecting perfection from a child at all time (severely punished for getting a low grade, for losing a game etc.) will result in shaping a low self- esteem adult.

What factors influence your self-esteem?

Self-esteem can be one of the main pillars of success at any stage in our life, many factors influences your self-esteem it can either build it up and move forward or pull you down. Family and school environment are all aspects from your childhood that shape your self-esteem. They develop over time and are conditioned by your beliefs and values. Our core beliefs are the ideas that came about and are supported by references (people that say it and you believe it without questioning, whether it is a fact or fiction, and the more references you build on it, your beliefs gets stronger and limits you). Similar to your values that also shapes your character, it guides you in life and plays an important factor on your decision making, however some of your values serves you right and some wrong.

Pressure of society and the obsession with the media (television, social media) also contribute to the self-esteem issues. Especially in today’s youth, to live and dress in a certain way, the pressure to look and act like public figures or even their peers, comparing yourself to others (youth struggle with this even more than adults) and having all time access to social media are all factors that put pressure on you, and lead to low self-esteem.

Low Self-Esteem vs High Self-Esteem

We differ in the way we like or dislike ourselves, it is worth assessing how we feel about ourselves and how much self-confidence we have. It can be high, low or somewhere in-between.

Characteristics of people with high self-esteem:

They trust their own capabilities in solving problems. They smile, have a positive attitude, interest in different activities without fear of failure or judgments. Worry less about the future or past and enjoy the present. Confident enough to ask for help and never feels guilty if others don’t approve.

People with low self-esteem are constantly dissatisfied, afraid to make mistakes, frustrated, have tendency to take negative thoughts and feelings, blame themselves for any result. Have a fear of failure, and inability to try new things and to accept compliments.

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How can we overcome low self-esteem?

By identifying and questioning your limiting beliefs, by shaking their foundation and replacing them with positive thoughts you can move from Pain to Power. Self-esteem can be unlearned and here are some things you can do to overcome it.

  • You must believe that something has to be changed.
  • You are responsible for your own change and nobody else can do that.
  • You can make that change by building a set of references and practice positive self-talk.


Self-talk are the things that we tell ourselves, they can be positive or negative.

The thoughts like “I’m not good enough,” “I can’t keep it up with deadlines,” “Why is everyone else doing better than what I’m doing?” We all have this inner voice that make up our mind to do something different, it runs in our mind as a monologue like a gremlin. This inner voice or “gremlin” combines conscious thoughts with unconscious beliefs. The good news is that we can control this inner critic and challenge it.

As a coach we will be helping our clients to identify those negative voices in their head and know the difference between the negative mental voice and a critical monologue that helps improve themselves. To help clients build some self-esteem they need to practice it every day!

Exercises on building self-esteem

In module 8, I had the chance to experiment some coaching tools and experience some exercises that I will be using throughout my sessions with the clients:

  • “Being your own best friend”, looking to issues from a different perspective, learning to love yourself and being proud of who you are and what you are. This is an effective technique that assures the coachee of his qualifications.
  • “Throwing away old clothes”, is one of my favorite exercises, helps you to overcome the past and step in new beginnings. Living in the past is not good for your own feelings of self-respect and self-worth.
  • “Do what you’ve got to do”: when we know we have things to do but keep finding excuses not to do them, we lose our self-respect and potential, however by picking one thing on your list and doing it you will feel enthusiastic that you have accomplished something. I personally use this technique in my everyday life, and look into my list at the end of the day feeling happy for, sometimes, the little things I was able to do.
  • “Clear your mind”, Set yourself free from the past, clear your mind for new beginnings is an exercise to be done at every stage of your life, to feel the balance in mind, body and spirit is crucial
  • “Taking risks”, if you never take a risk, ask for what you want, you will never get what you want. By stepping out and daring to change you will develop your self-esteem.
  • “Associating with successful people”, success attracts success, put yourself with people you admire this will make you feel positive, inspired and of course increase your self-esteem. It can be used with clients that always feel inferior to others and lack of self-esteem to mingle in public.
  • “Looking for new experiences”, look for something new to experience, a new adventure will make you experience a change of energy and learn something new about yourself.
  • “Listening for a day”, sometimes we forget to listen, showing people we value that we appreciate them will make them feel good and makes us appreciate ourselves.
  • “Making something happen”, ask yourself “what do I want to happen?”, so you will discover your intention, and take action.
  • “Looking in the mirror” learn to love and value yourself. Write the affirmation and release negative thoughts.
  • “Forgiving someone”, when you cannot forgive the angry thoughts will always connect you back. By forgiving, you will set yourself free from the past, this is a powerful way to increase your self-esteem.
  • “Create something”, by breaking the negative cycle and creating something new helps the mind to focus on something new. Whether it is discovering a hidden talent or looking for a new hobby, this is an effectual way to boost your abilities.
  • “Making an appreciation list”, when we take time to focus on the positive things we have to be grateful for, we will switch our minds to raise positivity.
  • “Focusing on your strengths”, instead of focusing on what we are not, let’s focus on the strength and what we are good at, this will raise self-respect.
  • “Creating success for yourself”, visualize positivity, and feel what it is like to be a success and then you can live by it.

All of the above mentioned exercises are effective and can help my client self-develop and walk through their journey with a healthy self-esteem. However, few exercise I feel were more effective with the cases I encountered.

Writing a list of the qualities you appreciate about yourself and what makes you unique. Using positive affirmations and positive self-talk every day is really effective as you will be training your mind to think positively and store positive thoughts. Pick 3 limiting beliefs statements that are stopping you and turn them into positive affirmations.

For example, if you believe you are not a confident person, say it loud daily in front of the mirror that “I am confident” “I can do it” this makes you stronger and you will be connecting with yourself.

Associating with successful people and looking at others characteristics in a constructive way rather than comparing ourselves negatively will help grow our self-confidence. Pick up words and look for people success and add them to your own repertoire will help in moving forward and reaching your goals.

Visualization is also a good routine to practice with the coachee. By letting he/she use the power of their imagination, to feel and experience something in their mind without actually living the experience. After the continuous use of the visualization technique, the client will be able to work on his/her subconscious mind and to overcome the negative thoughts.

Overall, working on developing your client’s self-esteem, is a way to help him/her find the courage they need to try new things, to build the resilience to bounce back from failure, to change their life to the better and make them attract more success.

So many factors can influence your self-esteem, and the only one who has most control over your self-esteem is yourself. Practice giving yourself positive messages; and avoid self-bullying in order to build up your self-esteem.

Developing your self-esteem is something you have to continually work on and it is achievable with the help of a good coach, you can develop high self-esteem, which will lead to a high level of success.


  1. Difference between Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence
  2. Building confidence and self-esteem
  3. How to build self-esteem – the six pillars of self-esteem by Nathaniel Branden
  4. The Everything guide to Self-Esteem – Nanette Burton Mongelluzzo
  5. “Building Self-Esteem”, Module 8, Noble Manhattan Coaching Ltd PCD
  6. Noble Manhattan Coaching Webinars “Self-Esteem”- Linda Qualtrough

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The Aspects And Building Of Self-Esteem. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from
“The Aspects And Building Of Self-Esteem.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022,
The Aspects And Building Of Self-Esteem. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Sept. 2023].
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