Overcome Low Self-Esteem with Mindfulness: 7 Incredible Strategies

Posted by on January 11, 2019 in Conscious Living, Meditation, Thrive with 0 Comments

Mindfulness is a state of attention to this very moment. It involves observing your feelings and thoughts without judging yourself.

By Berta Melder

Almost everyone knows how challenging it is to struggle with low self-esteem. Even the most successful people sometimes are not completely satisfied with who they are. We all have an image of perfect ourselves, and sometimes we can’t fulfill our own expectations. Low self-esteem makes you think that you are the problem. You’re too lazy, too fat, you have no talent… But what if you get it wrong? What if the problem is not who you are, but what you think of yourself?

Of course, every one of us has weak sides, nobody’s perfect. On the other hand, not everyone is really concerned about it. The thing is, you have these negative thoughts for some reason. You cannot estimate yourself objectively, so maybe you’re wrong, and things are not so bad, after all?

What Causes Low Self-Esteem?

To become more self-confident, you need to identify the source of your low self-esteem. There are countless reasons why people may think that they are not good enough. Usually, a problem lies in a childhood. People who experienced abandonment, emotional or physical abuse when they were kids, often have problems with self-esteem throughout all their lives. Children are dependent on what adults think of them. Just like anybody else, they are looking for support and validation, and when they don’t get it from parents, they cannot get it anywhere else. However, this is not the only reason for low self-esteem.

Most people who lack self-confidence have one thing in common: They are very critical about themselves. Of course, self-criticism isn’t a bad thing. It may help us achieve important goals and improve our skills, serving as a natural motivation. On the other hand, too much self-criticism leads to the lack of self-confidence, anxiety, and depression. Self-compassionate people have many advantages over their self-critical buddies. They set realistic goals, they don’t stop trying if they fail, and mistakes don’t make them lose faith. Thus, you need to be more self-compassionate, which is impossible without learning and practicing mindfulness.

What Is Mindfulness?

Simply put, mindfulness is a state of attention to this very moment. It involves observing your feelings and thoughts without judging yourself. Mindfulness implies paying active attention to your current experience instead of criticising your past and estimating the future.

Mindfulness is one of our basic abilities, but the challenges of the modern world sometimes make us forget about it. Work, relationships, and many other things that form our everyday routine don’t leave much time to reflect our lives and think what is actually happening around right now. We get overwhelmed and overreact. Mindfulness can help you overcome these problems, but it requires practice. You need to be aware of your current emotions and feelings. Sometimes, all you need to do is just stop for a while, take a deep breath, and focus not on your fears, frustration, anger, and disappointment, but on what actually happens now, and who you actually are.

How to Overcome Low Self-Esteem with Mindfulness

  1. Manage your self-criticism
    The main reason for low self-esteem is negative thoughts. You need to change your opinion about who you are, and this task is quite possible. The same as you change your haircut or wardrobe to feel better about yourself, you can also change your emotional setting and don’t get down on yourself so hard.
  2. Think of what you’re doing well
    We know that it’s not so easy to “think positive,” however, it will be much easier if you remember things you are really good at. What happens when you criticize yourself is that you’re noticing your mistakes and focus on them. Try to do the exact opposite, just remember to do it before those negative thoughts start to attack you. Every time you catch yourself thinking about mistakes, think of what you’re doing right. There’s nothing wrong with saying “good job, thank you” to yourself. You’ll immediately change the game and notice the difference in your mood. Another good practice is writing down a list of your accomplishments. Creative writing will also boost your creativity and put you in a better mood.
  3. Stay in this very moment
    Most of our negative thoughts are memories of what bad happened in the past, or what problems may happen in the future. Such thoughts make you feel less confident, moreover, they won’t help you solve the actual problems. There’s a big difference between planning and worrying about the possible outcome. When planning, you just set goals and think what you need to achieve them. But when you start thinking of what probably is going to happen, what is almost impossible, and what is too difficult for you, this is not planning anymore — it’s just destructive worrying. You need to focus on the present. Bring your awareness back to this very moment, and concentrate on current tasks.
  4. Talk to yourself as to a loved one
    Self-critical people are usually more compassionate to other people than to themselves. Anytime somebody asks you for help, you likely don’t rush to say what’s wrong and how bad is somebody’s failure. Perhaps, you try to analyze the problem itself and look for possible solutions, instead of judging. Try to be as compassionate to yourself. After all, you are your own closest friend.
  5. Don’t judge
    Judging others and yourself quickly becomes a bad habit. Sometimes you may not even realize that you judge others all the time. What judging is? When we judge somebody, we compare him or her to somebody else or to our beliefs of what is right and wrong. Such a habit to compare is the shortest way to low self-esteem, as every time you see somebody is better than you, it boosts your self-criticism. The best way to stop judging is to read newspapers and not to make an opinion about what happened. Don’t think who is right or wrong, just focus on actual events. Remember this mindset and bring it back every time you deal with others or think about your own problems.
  6. Get organized
    Every problem has its solution, you just need to focus on problem-solving instead of criticizing your past decisions. Set realistic goals for every day and organize your mind. Set your priorities and stick to the plan.
  7. Act “as if”
    You may have noticed that people with high self-esteem act differently. They develop another model of behavior, and you can learn it only by practicing it. Imagine yourself an actor. Perhaps, some friends will be baffled by your new type of behavior at first, but it shouldn’t discourage you. The key to success is to be consistent and practice mindfulness every day. Remember, you can change your habits and attitudes, you just need to start.


Perhaps, you think that self-criticism is good for you. Maybe, you think that you deserve to be criticized. There’s nothing wrong with self-criticism itself, but you shouldn’t forget that it becomes useless and even dangerous without self-compassion. Your opinion is just thoughts, and negative thoughts are what makes your self-esteem suffer.

Mindfulness is what can help you be more realistic about yourself and focus on things that are really important. You just need to change some habits, and you’ll see how your life immediately changes for the better. Struggling against low self-esteem may take forever, but you can get rid of its causes. It’s simple, just replace old habits with the new ones, and you’ll feel more freedom, becoming your own best friend.

About the Author

Berta Melder is an experienced content strategist and co-founder of the Masterra, contributor and guest blogger for many websites. Specializing in brand management, she cooperates with different education courses and helps participants develop the brand management skills. Follow her on Twitter

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