Self-esteem is how you think and feel about yourself. If you usually like yourself and feel that you deserve good things in life, you have high self-esteem. If you generally dislike yourself or put yourself down, you have low self-esteem.
High self-esteem is important because when you are confident you usually get along better with other people and can get more done. High self-esteem can help you lead a fuller, more satisfying life. If you have low self-esteem, you may be afraid to try things that could bring you success. You may overeat, gamble, drink, or take drugs to make yourself feel better. You may distrust others and have problems getting along with friends and family.
You may have low self-esteem sometimes. For example, older adults sometimes have lower self-esteem because they may feel they have nothing important to do or may feel a loss of control. At other times you may have high self-esteem—like when you reach some of your goals, such as doing well at a job or at school.
If you agree with these statements, your self-esteem is good:
If you have low self-esteem, you:
Ways to increase self-esteem include:
If you have problems with respecting or liking yourself, talk to your healthcare provider or a therapist. Low self-esteem may be linked to depression or anxiety. Seeing a therapist may help you learn to manage your moods and feelings. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.