Boosting your self-esteem and confidence

Having a healthy level of self-esteem and confidence is crucial for our overall well-being and success in life. It affects how we perceive ourselves, how we interact with others, and how we handle challenges and setbacks. However, many people struggle with low self-esteem and lack of confidence, which can negatively impact their mental health and quality of life.


The good news is that it's never too late to work on improving your self-esteem and confidence, and cultivating a positive mindset can be a powerful tool in this journey.

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem refers to how we view and value ourselves. It's our perception of our own worth and the level of confidence we have in our abilities and qualities. Healthy self-esteem means having a positive view of ourselves, recognising our strengths and weaknesses, and being able to accept ourselves as we are without constantly seeking external validation.

On the other hand, low self-esteem can manifest in self-doubt, self-criticism, and negative self-talk. It can lead to feelings of unworthiness, insecurity, and a lack of confidence in our abilities. Low self-esteem can be influenced by various factors, such as childhood experiences, societal pressures, and negative self-comparison.

What is confidence?

Confidence, on the other hand, is the belief in our abilities and the assurance that we can accomplish our goals. It's the trust we have in ourselves to handle challenges, make decisions, and take risks. Confidence is not something we are born with; it's a skill that can be developed and strengthened over time.

Confidence is closely tied to self-esteem, as having a healthy level of self-esteem can greatly impact our confidence levels. When we believe in ourselves and our worth, we are more likely to have confidence in our abilities and take on challenges with a positive mindset.

Cultivating a positive mindset for improved self-esteem and confidence

A positive mindset is a key ingredient in boosting self-esteem and confidence. It's about shifting our perspective, changing our thought patterns, and developing a positive outlook on ourselves and our lives. Here are some strategies to cultivate a positive mindset:

1. Practice self-compassion

Treat yourself with the same kindness, understanding, and empathy that you would offer to a friend. Be mindful of your self-talk and replace self-critical thoughts with self-compassionate ones. Remember that everyone makes mistakes and has flaws, and that's what makes us human.

2. Challenge negative beliefs

Identify and challenge any negative beliefs you may have about yourself. Are they based on facts or assumptions? Are they helpful or harmful? Replace negative beliefs with more realistic and positive ones. For example, if you believe you're not good enough, remind yourself of your achievements and strengths.

3. Set realistic goals

Set achievable goals that align with your values and interests. Break them down into smaller, manageable steps, and celebrate your progress along the way. Setting and achieving goals can boost your self-esteem and confidence, and provide a sense of purpose and direction in life.

4. Surround yourself with positive influences

Surround yourself with people who uplift and support you. Limit your exposure to negative influences, such as toxic relationships, social media comparisons, or self-deprecating thoughts. Instead, surround yourself with positive role models, mentors, and friends who encourage and inspire you.

5. Practice self-care

Taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being is crucial for building self-esteem and confidence. Make time for activities that nourish your body and soul, such as exercise, healthy eating, hobbies, and relaxation techniques. Prioritise self-care as a non-negotiable part of your routine.

6. Embrace failure as a learning opportunity

Failure is a natural part of life and should not be seen as a reflection of our worth or abilities. Instead of dwelling on failures, embrace them as opportunities to learn and grow. Reflect on what went wrong, what you can do differently next time, and use the experience to become better.

Embracing failure with a growth mindset can boost your self-esteem by showing you that failure does not define you, but rather serves as a stepping stone towards success.

7. Practice gratitude and mindfulness

Gratitude and mindfulness are powerful practices that can shift your focus from negative to positive. Practice gratitude by regularly expressing appreciation for the good things in your life, big or small. Cultivate mindfulness by being fully present in the moment and observing your thoughts and emotions without judgment.

Both practices can help you develop a positive mindset, increase self-awareness, and enhance your self-esteem and confidence.

Getting help from a professional 

A professional, such as a therapist, coach, or counsellor, can provide valuable support in helping you change your life with a positive mindset. A professional can provide invaluable support in helping you change your life with a positive mindset.

Through various therapeutic techniques, guidance, and support, they can help you develop self-awareness, challenge negative thought patterns, build coping skills, set and achieve goals, and foster a positive mindset that can transform your life for the better.

Remember that change takes time and effort, and seeking professional help can be a powerful step towards achieving a more positive mindset and a fulfilling life.

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

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Central Manchester M3 & Bolton BL5
Written by Susan Ann Light, MBACP Registered. ITA. ITAA. GHS. EMDR Ins. Gottman Ins.
Central Manchester M3 & Bolton BL5

Hello. My name is Susan Light and I am a qualified counsellor, psychotherapist, Consultant and Trainer. For the last thirty years, I have gained experience in working with individuals, couples and families. I work with people of all ages and from various backgrounds and cultures.

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