Tips For Improving Self-Esteem

by Judy Kaminsky, LMFT

Healthy relationships, job satisfaction, and overall happiness depend largely on good self-esteem. When you feel positive about yourself, you have an easier time coping with your mistakes, disappointments, and failures; you are more likely to persevere. Raising self-esteem cannot be accomplished by simply being bombarded with praise from other people. Empty praise is superficial and, as such, it is experienced as meaningless. Self-esteem must be developed through personal accomplishments, individualized attention, and connection with others.

Establish realistic goals and expectations for yourself, and learn skills required to achieve those goals. Believe in your abilities and in yourself. Doing so may require you to change your belief system about yourself. Do you need to replace negative self-talk with more supportive and compassionate self-talk? Keep in mind that it is counterproductive to negatively compare yourself to others. Instead, focus on your good qualities, achievements, and talents. Rather than viewing your perceived failures as inadequacies, look at them as temporary setbacks. Avoid discounting the things that go well for you and refrain from magnifying the things that do not go well. It is more productive to concentrate on the positive experiences, using them as springboards for future successes. When you make mistakes along the way, and everyone does, view them as learning opportunities.

Acknowledge and validate yourself on a daily basis for your accomplishments and efforts as a partner, friend, parent, and/or coworker. Strive for achievement rather than perfection. As the saying goes, “Perfection is the enemy of success.” Recognize and accept that there are certain things you can change about yourself, and certain things you can’t. Don’t waste time and energy beating yourself up about your shortcomings. We all have them!
It’s never too late to raise your self-esteem. If low self-esteem remains an obstacle for you in attaining fulfillment in your personal and professional life, professional counseling can be an invaluable resource.

Judy Kaminsky is a psychotherapist specializing in, but not limited to couples counseling and anxiety management. She has a private practice in Plymouth Meeting. For more information, visit her website at


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