Do you sometimes question your abilities at work? Does a difficult or stressful project ever make you feel like you don’t really know what you’re doing or that you’re doing a bad job? If so, you’re definitely not alone. Everyone occasionally experiences feelings of low self-esteem. But if you feel that way on a daily basis, it can cause problems. Low self-esteem may fill you with so much self-doubt that you lose focus and have difficulty getting things done.

Luckily, however, there are things you can do to boost your self-esteem! Author Kathleen Smith suggests that you try the following:

  • Assess your level of self-esteem – Determine your level of self-esteem by making a list of the qualities that you think describe you best (for example, “cheery,” “driven,” “scatterbrained,” etc.).  Then take a look at your list and see how many of those words are positive and how many are negative. If you have more negative words, this is probably a sign that you’re being much too hard on yourself. Try to focus more on your strengths and talents, and think about other positive words that should be added to the list.
  • Change your thinking – If you’re suffering from low self-esteem, you’re most likely putting yourself down – a lot. You probably have negative thoughts about how you’re “messing up” or “not good enough.” And you might punish yourself for any small mistake that you make. You can reduce the occurrence of these types of damaging thoughts by taking note of what triggers them, determining that they’re mostly (or fully) irrational, and then replacing them with positive thoughts. Try to focus on how competent and accomplished you are, and think about all the success that you’ve had. This might take effort. Changing your thinking can be hard to do! But the more you work at it, the better you’ll get at it and the better you’ll feel.
  • Revel in your successes – If you have low self-esteem, you might suspect that your accomplishments have mostly resulted from luck, rather than your skills and hard work. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. You should feel proud of your successes and celebrate them!
  • Don’t compare yourself to other people – You may have a tendency to compare yourself to people who appear to be extremely successful, and end up feeling like you’re not living up to expectations. This can be very upsetting and anxiety-provoking. If you find yourself doing this, try to stop yourself. Focus on your own accomplishments. Remind yourself that you are capable, competent, and successful. No comparisons are needed.
  • Take care of yourself – Spend time with people who care about you. It’s a good way to remind yourself that you’re great and worthy of all you’ve accomplished. Also, try to take care of yourself. Try to get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and take breaks during your workday. Looking after your health and taking short breaks throughout the day will help you to feel more positive (about yourself and your work), focused, and energized.

Smith, K. (2021, January 22). How to build self-esteem: 5 tactics to change how you see yourself. PSYCOM. Retrieved from: