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The 5 Hidden Faces of Self-Esteem

How to boost the essential pillars of self-esteem

Self-esteem can be a hard nut to crack. Not everyone can have the same level of self-esteem all the time. It is well-known that even the most confident and successful people go through periods of low self-esteem. During this period, they also struggle with low confidence and can hesitate to take up a new project. Low self-esteem can impact all of us in many different ways. It can make us procrastinate and lazy. It can make us hesitant to give our relationships a chance. It can also rob us of our creativity. Low self-esteem can make us socially isolated and seriously affect our worldview. No matter what the signs of low self-esteem one is showing, it can still impact many other areas of our lives invisibly.

When we think of self-esteem, we think of phrases like self-confidence, self-belief, self-worth, self-efficacy, and self-respect. These phrases may seem loosely similar because these are the pillars on which our self-esteem stands. Any one of these pillars, when weak, can directly strain the other pillars. Let’s have a look at these pillars individually and a quick way to boost each one of them.

1. Self-Respect

A healthy level of self-respect enables one to have the confidence to set firm boundaries. When our self-respect is low, we are willing to compromise with our boundaries according to others’ needs. In other words, we put others before us. Not having boundaries can inevitably cause problems such as when people take advantage of us. It further makes us feel bad about ourselves and hampers our self-respect.

Booster: Give respect and take respect.

As they say, treat others the way you wish to be treated. By giving others respect, we are not positioning ourselves lower. In fact, we are setting a bar. By respecting others, you would let them know that you are someone who takes respect seriously and would also like to be treated with a certain amount of respect.

2. Self-Efficacy

Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined self-efficacy as one’s belief in their ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task. If you are someone who has set up a goal in the past and left them midway, then you probably know what low self-efficacy feels like. It can affect our ability to complete the pending tasks. It creates a doubt in the mind regarding every task which we might have to take on in the future. As a result, we do not take up difficult tasks or keep procrastinating even the smallest of tasks, like changing a light bulb.

Booster: Change that light bulb.

We all have a small pending task that we have been putting off for days, weeks, months, or even years. A task that could be completed in a matter of minutes and yet, we keep putting it off for various reasons. It’s time to get up and complete that small task. By completing a task or scratching an item off our to-do lists, we are giving a tiny boost to ourselves. This tiny boost may not enable us to climb Mount Everest, but it can motivate us to complete the next bigger task. And with the completion of every task, our self-efficacy gradually improves.

3. Self-Worth

Self-worth or self-value is our perception of ourselves based on our accomplishments, the things we own, the things/people we can influence, the company we keep, or the surroundings that we live in. Self-worth is a constantly changing parameter and mainly depends on recent events. It’s understandable that a science teacher would experience more self-worth in a classroom full of students than they would experience in a room full of scientists.

Booster: Think of the recent times that made you feel accomplished or important.

It could even be something a person said that made you feel good at that moment. Surely, these things may not make you feel the same way in the future as our self-worth keeps changing, but they are enough to give your self-worth the boost it currently needs.

4. Self-Belief

Self-belief is one’s belief in their own abilities or judgment. It is different from self-worth and self-efficacy, in terms that it is long-term in nature. It depends mainly on the person’s ability to adapt. The more a person is willing to adapt to the changes, the more self-belief they have. It makes them sure about themselves and gives them a sense of security that no matter how the people or situations might change, they would still be okay.

Booster: Try a mindfulness activity.

We always carry our self-belief with us, but we are not able to see it clearly due to the presence of external factors. Mindfulness can separate our mind from those factors and can help us clearly see our self-belief. Believe in yourself, you got this.

5. Self-Confidence

While self-belief is the belief in the ability to be okay, self-confidence is the belief in the ability to bring about a change. In other words, it’s a reflection of our ‘can-do attitude’. Self-confidence is deeply rooted in how optimistic we are.

Booster: Affirmations or music.

Affirmations are positive statements that can help you challenge and overcome negative thoughts. Even a small statement like “I am ready” can make a huge impact on our psyche and help us feel more positive. Similarly, upbeat music has been proven to change moods and help people feel more positive almost instantly. Having a playlist of upbeat songs and listening to it often can keep one in a positive mood and hence, help with managing self-confidence.


Needless to say, these boosters are just boosters. They can help you improve your self-esteem at times when you are feeling low, but there will always be ups and downs. There will be times when you feel a lack of self-esteem. It’s important to not give up. If you need to rest, take a break and apply the boosters. As Frank Sinatra said it well, ‘I pick myself up and get back in the race. That’s life!’

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DonaldDraper is an active listener on 7 Cups since 2015 and has graduated from the 7 Cups Academy Content Development and Marketing Program. They are a blogger with over 50 articles and a published author. They are also a regular contributor on Quora with 5k views a week on average. The areas they usually write about include Self-Help, Life Skills, Academics, Relationships, Healthy Living, Creative Writing, Philosophy, and Spirituality.

At 7 Cups, they currently volunteer as a Healthy Living subcommunity mentor where they host events and discussions, post informative threads, and keep the subcommunity active. They are also heading the pop-up discussions project through which they try and inject positivity into the members and listeners alike. A listener coach and mentor who has helped over a hundred listeners improve in active listening, DonaldDraper has earned various certifications in active listening and community building. In addition, they have graduated from the Leadership Development Program as well as the Internship Program which they graduated with Honors. Their passion for other areas and teams of interest include Mindfulness, Positivity and Gratitude, and the Community Projects team.

Posted: 31 January 2022
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