Do You Struggle With Self-esteem? 5 Ways To Bounce Back

How to enhance self-esteem

People around me could never hurt my self-esteem, not because I was never in such a situation but because I never let them! Even as a child when I was asked to apologize for no fault of mine, to please somebody’s ego, I refused. I knew I would be punished but I didn’t care!

My mirror has never told me that I am not the best or I can’t excel. I always knew I am much better than many.

Criticism of others affects me in a positive manner. I try to introspect and dismiss the judgment of others as their opinion. I try to work on my imperfections in such a manner that enhances my self-esteem.

What lowers self-esteem?

  • Negative home environment
  • Broken families
  • Bullying
  • Insensitive friends
  • Shaming by a parent or a teacher
  • Self-blaming
  • Intimidating or controlling partner
  • Demanding boss
  • Dwelling on your weaknesses

Self-esteem is not given; it is earned; it is cultivated and it is snatched when others try to smash it.
“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” Michael J. Fox

I have faced the worst of criticism and ridicule for being too thin and tall, for failing in Math, for writing beautifully and neatly but not completing a given test within the specified time, for keeping aloof and being arrogant. The list is very lengthy but the reality is that my self-esteem could never get shattered with the insensitivity around me because I knew those were hollow observations of jealous people. I always knew I am enough!

What can help?

Positivity: Read positive quotes, think positive thoughts, spend more time in the company of positive-minded people. Walk away from those who don’t respect your opinion. Try to understand that there is no age for personality enhancement and your growth and development is an ongoing process. Have faith in yourself and your capabilities. Don’t compare yourself to your friends or colleagues. Stop blaming yourself just because others try to shift their responsibilites.

Face your fears: If you let your fears hibernate, if you don’t discuss them even with yourself, they could shrink your heart, wound your spirit and keep consuming the remnants of your mettle to fight them. Let those alligators out of your mind. Discuss them with a confidant or a therapist. Learn to accept the fear of failure because only when we fail do we rise with renewed zeal and energy.

Forgive yourself: Forgiveness is that virtue, which sets us free and acquaints us with the finest emotions. It unshackles the chains of guilt that we weave around us. It soothes our mind. We can emerge out of those dark corridors of fears and insecurities that people around us pushed into. We can see ourselves in a new light. Self-forgiveness, even if we may be guilty of hurting others, is of utmost importance to build our self-esteem.Self-esteem quote

Quit self-criticism: Self-judgment is more detrimental than the nasty remarks of others. It makes us doubt our own intentions, it ruins our confidence, it pulls us back into the dumps of depression and lowers our self-esteem. Self-reflection is good as far as it encourages us to work on our weaknesses. It is better to train your mind to think positive, to remember that those who attack our self-esteem are actually dealing with their own insecurities.

Take pride in pursuing activities you love: Invest in yourself. Search within. Spend time with yourself and indulge in those activities that you enjoy. Stop pleasing people around you. Be proud of yourself and your little accomplishments. Self-love is not being selfish, it is being kind to yourself. Don’t allow anybody to disrespect what you like to do. Count your strengths and your blessings. Be yourself. The best freedom is being you.

Always remember – ‘the more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.’

“Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?” Brigham Young
Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, as they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

42 thoughts on “Do You Struggle With Self-esteem? 5 Ways To Bounce Back

    1. Thank you for taking the initiative to visit Emotional Shadows. I am so glad that you liked this post…we can easily connect with this topic. 🙂

    1. Thanks Robbie. Probably I owe the strength and forbearance to my genes. A child doesn’t have much of defense but is quick to learn from circumstances.

  1. It’s a terrific post, Balroop. Timely – since bullying is commonplace. I like how you responded to bullying and there is a lesson in it that parents and anti-bullying campaigners could note. Searching within is crucial for we spend hours conflating “he belittled me” “she insulted me” “why me?” etc. There’s a he, a she, a me within us – befriend them, love them, adore and respect them; it’s perhaps one of the ways to quit self-criticism. But for a lot of people and children this is easier said than done. Empathy I’ve begun to understand is one of the most underrated virtues. We must nurture those in need with compassion. I’m stepping out of my home right now, and I want to wear tenderness and a smile on my face. I want to help and in turn be helped. Thanks my friend for triggering these thoughts!

    1. I mentioned a personal story to highlight the significance of my message Mahesh though all children can’t stand up for themselves. I have seen even grown ups dither in the face of bullying and criticism, A message shrieks within…’you! you! you are at fault’. I agree, it is easy to say but those who tread carefully, grappling with fears eventually arrive at the same path, which I took impulsively. 🙂
      Thank you for sharing an in-depth analysis of this most important aspect of personality. I am glad it has trigged positive thoughts…wear that smile dear friend, it is magical.

  2. *Self-love is not being selfish, it is being kind to yourself. Don’t allow anybody to disrespect what you like to do. Count your strengths and your blessings. Be yourself. The best freedom is being you**

    YES. YES. YES!

    Beautiful post.


  3. Your post are inspiring. Of all the complications, I feel most complicated are human relationships which plague almost every one. While people get over job and money related issues but it takes a long time to recover from the one that I mentioned.

    Your post certainly provides a great guideline to live by.

    1. I agree with you arv, it is easier to dismiss the problems that we face at work place and if a colleague tries to befool, we just ignore and move ahead but relationships within families and friends are most touchy. We have to tread carefully and despite our best efforts we end up hurting somebody.
      I am glad I could inspire you. Have you faced any such issues of self-esteem?

      1. I feel everyone faces these issues especially in a social kind of society like ours. We meet and interact with so many people on a daily basis. From what I know most issues are based on either ego or expectations. There are very few real issues to resolve. Personally, I find negative environment difficult to get through. Sometimes it is difficult to find solutions though. Generally, I just overlook to stay positive. Thanks for asking and care.

      2. Ego are expectations can never be satiated, we have to overlook till they create big problems. Negativity is more a matter of a perspective as all people hold their own definitions. 🙂

  4. I think many women suffer from low self esteem in the US. For all the reinforcement I gave my daughters, society took what it could away from them. Adolescent women can hardly help comparing themselves to ridiculous role models in written as well as visual media. Yet there’s always the opportunity to let challenges build character instead. And they have done all right. Yet I can still detect times when self esteem seems lower in them than at other times and it makes me sad. Still, life is for learning and if we’re still breathing, we’re still learning. Or that’s the hope! Me, too.

    As for me, I have long known humility was important, and before I possessed more discernment, I thought continually berating myself was in service to this ideal. So old habits die hard, I’m still very much a work in progress.

    In short, good post with some great pointers for anyone. Aloha 😘

    1. Low self-esteem is a universal problem for many women and you are SO right, society plays a nasty role in diminishing their power. Adolescence is an impressionable age and peer group plays an important role in developing personality and perspective. Negative-minded persons leave a mark on our thoughts unless the issue is discussed seriously. Thank you for sharing your experiences Bela…learning is a continuous process. 🙂

  5. You are so right in saying self-esteem is earned. It comes from accepting ourselves as we take criticism and believe in what we do and what we hope for. Forgiving ourselves is so important in this process as we all make mistakes and sometimes things are the way they are because of our actions. Being ourselves can be hard. But it can be done and we can take small steps to building confidence, then going towards where we want to be.

    1. When we let others take advantage, let them say whatever they want even when it hurts and don’t address the issues that seem sensitive, we are responsible for not respecting ourselves…that is how self-esteem gets side tracked.
      ‘Being ourselves’ seems hard only for those who happen to be people pleasers and try their best not to displease anybody. I have never faced such a situation. 🙂

  6. Such good advice. It’s harder to follow but worth the work. Loved your Michael J. Fox quote. With his health problems, he certainly knows what he’s talking about.

  7. Wonderful “bounce-back” ideas, Balroop. They’re all so powerful that even doing one of them will make a difference in one’s happiness. Great post. 🙂

  8. It feels really humiliating when we have to compromise with our self-esteem to satisfy someone else’s ego. We face so many situations in life, some of them are really hard and, we get hurt, our self-esteem often gets a jab in the ways you’ve mentioned. It’s up to us to bring it back in shape. It might take a long time sometimes, but it definitely works. Thanks for such an inspiring post… 🙂

    1. You are right Mani, when somebody tries to belittle us, self-esteem gets a setback but it is better to convey with looks or words that such a behavior is unacceptable so that the other person gets the message. Nobody could hurt my self-esteem twice even though some people are quite vindictive. It becomes difficult to deal with such situations in families. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
      When are you going to post your review of Timeless Echoes on Goodreads and Amazon?

  9. A most excellent post Balroop. You’ve hit several nails on the head here. And by the sounds of your little breadcrumbs about growing up, sounds like we’ve experienced many of the same scenarios. We are indeed warrior women! 🙂 x

    1. Thank you Deb, glad to know you could connect with my experiences! I look back and feel I did my best in the little battles I had to fight but it must have been hard, emotionally though I emerged stronger. 🙂

  10. This is an excellent post with awesome advice, Balroop. I’m sure everyone experiences low self-esteem at some time in their lives. After all, our emotions are triggered negatively or positively. However, it’s how we react to the negativity that will make the difference in our self-esteem. What you wrote about “forgiving yourself” and “taking pride in pursuing what you love” is essential and so true. Accepting the fact that we, as humans, are not perfect, that we make mistakes, will make it easier to forgive ourselves during those times – the key words being acceptance and forgiveness. And immersing ourselves in doing things that make us happy, that bring contentment, will surely keep our spirits lifted, along with keeping our minds busy in a constructive manner. Great inspirational write-up! 🌸

    1. I am so glad that you like this post Lauren… self-esteem is close to everyone’s heart and you are so right that everyone experiences those moments of doubt, of being put down but broken selves can only be healed with self-assurance. When we dismiss the unhealthy criticism as superfluous observations of people do we emerge out of the darker moments. Many thanks for sharing your analysis of self-esteem. 🙂

  11. I LOVE this post so much, Balroop! I really needed to read this today. So, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your tips and tricks to maintaining and building self esteem. These are all perfect reminders that we often forget during tough times of failure, strife, conflict, loss.

    1. Yes Lisa, we tend to forget the power within ourselves when people try to pull us down, that’s why we need constant reminders – ‘I am enough!’…I often say that to myself 🙂

  12. Right on the money. When I married my wife, the thing that most impressed me was her faith in herself, and before long it rubbed off on me. For years, I listened to Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect anyone else to believe in you? Great post!

    1. Thanks Joe. Self-belief is a fabulous asset…we just have to discover it and positive thinking is contagious, glad you found both around you.

  13. Such wonderful advice for us all..
    “Always remember – ‘the more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.’ ”
    As someone who used to struggle with self esteem, I resonate deeply with your thinking forgiveness and letting go of fears is the key to releasing one from self-blame and guilt.. And when one learns to like oneself, one then begins to Love oneself.. And Life takes on a whole new perspective..

    Thank you dear friend for your wonderful words of truth you have spoken here.. I hope it helps others ‘bounce back’
    ❤ Love and Blessings .. Sue

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