Self-Esteem and How to Help Boost Confidence

Self-esteem is how we value and understand ourselves. It's based on our opinions and beliefs about ourselves, which can sometimes feel really difficult to change.

Your self-esteem can affect whether you:

  • like and value yourself as a person

  • are able to make decisions and assert yourself

  • recognize your strengths and positives

  • feel able to try new or difficult things

  • show kindness towards yourself

  • move past mistakes without blaming yourself unfairly

  • take the time you need for yourself

  • believe you matter and are good enough

  • believe you deserve happiness


The situations that affect our self-esteem differ for everyone. Your self-esteem might change suddenly, or you might have had low self-esteem for a while​ – which might make it hard to recognize how you feel and make changes.

Difficult or stressful life experiences can often be a factor, such as:

  • being bullied or abused

  • experiencing prejudice, discrimination, or stigma

  • losing your job or difficulty finding employment

  • problems at work or while studying

  • Ongoing stress

  • physical health problems

  • mental health problems

  • relationship problems, separation, or divorce

  • worries about your appearance and body image

  • problems with money or housing

You might have had some of these experiences, and you might also have had difficulties that aren't listed here. Or there might not be one particular cause.

Tips to Improve Your Self-Esteem and Confidence

  • be kind to yourself

  • look after yourself

  • try to notice the good things

  • build a support network

  • talking and arts therapies

  • learn to be assertive

  • set yourself a challenge

  • find support for connected issues


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