Checklist for a Healthy Self-Esteem

confident woman

February is International Boost Self-Esteem Month. Boosting your self-esteem is a great way to tackle anxiety and depression and is important for your overall mental health.

Self-esteem is your overall sense of self-worth or personal value – it’s your confidence in yourself.  It’s an important factor in success. If you don’t have enough self-esteem, you can feel defeated or depressed. People with low self-esteem can make bad choices, fall into bad relationships, or generally fail to live up to their potential. On the other hand, too much self-esteem can turn other people off and damage relationships. A healthy self-esteem is somewhere in the middle — ideally a realistic and positive view of yourself.  

Our sense of self-esteem begins in childhood. Our beliefs about ourselves forms as we move through the world and includes your personal judgements about things like your own appearance, beliefs, emotions, behaviors, thoughts, and intelligence. While it tends to be stable and enduring, but it can change over time.  When you’ve accomplished a goal, it may be at an all-time high, but when you’re under stress or struggling with life events, it can bottom out. 

Signs of Healthy & Low Self-Esteem 

Healthy Self-Esteem 

  • Confidence  
  • Able to say “no” 
  • Able to accept strengths and weaknesses 
  • Able to express your needs 
  • Positive Outlook 
  • Able to deal with negative experiences 

Low Self-Esteem 

  • Negative outlook 
  • Lack of confidence 
  • Excessive feelings of shame, depression, or anxiety 
  • Trouble accepting positive feedback 
  • Inability to express your needs 
  • Belief that others are better than you 
  • Intense fear of failure 
  • Don’t believe in yourself 

Low self-esteem can be a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you think you can’t do something, then you can’t. It doesn’t take much for these thoughts to leave you spiraling down in a cycle of negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  

Everyone has the power to stop this vicious cycle and strengthen their self-esteem. The benefits of doing this are significant.  

Checklist to improve self-esteem:

  • Stop the negative self-talk  
  • Accept your “flaws” 
  • Celebrate your strengths 
  • Practice self-care 
  • Master a new skill 
  • List your accomplishments 
  • Do something creative 
  • Test your comfort zone 
  • Help someone 
  • Heal your past 
  • Stop worrying about what others think 
  • Let negative people go 
  • Create personal boundaries 
  • Care about your appearance 
  • Try to see failure as part of growth 
  • Define success in realistic terms 
  • Face your fear 

Developing a healthy self-esteem is a journey that takes time. Using some of these approaches can help you feel better a little at a time. While self-esteem isn’t a cure for anxiety, depression, or stress, it can help you be more resilent as you go through difficult times.  

If you need help to develop a healthy self-esteem, deal with your stressors, or manage anxiety or depression, we are here to help. Please reach out to us – you’re worth it. 


Elaine Moss is passionate about helping highly intelligent over-achievers find their confidence. She is the founder of Empower Counseling Center LLC. She practices from our offices in Suwanee and online in Georgia and Virginia.


One thought on “Checklist for a Healthy Self-Esteem”

  1. mania says:

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