What defines your life

Self-esteem - This is how you learn to value yourself

Self-respect makes your life better. What that means exactly, how you get there and why it is sometimes not that easy to find yourself well.

Self-esteem definition: what is self-esteem?

Self-esteem has been the subject of psychological research time and again since the beginning of the 20th century. Accordingly, there are many theoretical approaches that illuminate and define the concept of self-respect from different perspectives.

Their lowest common denominator in the definition of self-esteem is that Appreciation of oneself. If you have self-respect, you are by and large satisfied with yourself, can draw boundaries, have a reflective relationship to your own strengths and weaknesses and value yourself for who you are.

With self-respect you are able to perceive and communicate your wishes and needs and show understanding towards yourself. Even if you fail or something does not go as you would like it to.

The psychologist Carl Rogers, one of the pioneers in personality research, assumes that every person is driven by the pursuit of self-realization. Which concept people have of themselves is essentially based on childhood experiences that contribute either to high or low self-esteem.

Based on this, people develop a self-image and an ideal self-image against the background of which their own personality is assessed. Self-esteem is when your self-image is realistic and you are basically OK with yourself, although you may not correspond to your ideal image.

Why Self Esteem Makes Your Life Better

Self-esteem may sound obvious, but it isn't. There are myriad social, cultural, and psychological factors that influence the development of your self-image and self-esteem. This is where self-respect is so important. It comes before your professional or athletic performance.

Only if you respect yourself will you be truly happy in the long run. Self-esteem is also the prerequisite for real self-confidence and Self love.

Only with self-respect can you develop a healthy self-confidence that allows you to go through life more relaxed: Those who are fundamentally at peace with themselves and do not constantly doubt themselves need little (more) confirmation from outside.

If you know you're ok, you don't have to prove yourself or stand out. Instead, you can relax and do your best and be how you want without worrying about what others are thinking.

How do I get more self esteem? 13 tips for more self-esteem

The good thing is that you can learn more self-respect. It's not always easy, but it's definitely worth it. Our 13 tips will help you. If low self-esteem is a profound problem for you, talk therapy or targeted coaching may be worthwhile.

Lesson one for self-esteem: Investing in you is always worth it.

# 1 Try to understand the cause

Where does your low self esteem come from? Why do you feel insecure and less worthy in some situations? Try to identify the triggers and understand what is behind them. Try to break these beliefs, spirals of thought, or behavioral patterns. If necessary with professional support.

# 2 Question your thoughts

What actually happens in your head when you feel inferior again? Which thoughts speak up and what experiences are they based on? The communication expert Friedemann Schulz von Thun sees people as a pluralistic society: In you you unite many souls, all of which have been heard and taken seriously. This metaphor sounds abstract, but it's pretty simple:

If someone suggests that you go hot air ballooning tomorrow instead of going to work, different aspects of yourself will come up: the adventurous who wants to go right away, the conscientious who doesn't want to skip work, the fearful who are somewhat suspicious of hot air ballooning is and so on.

This also works in complex situations. The next time you think your opinion isn't worth hearing, try to figure out the mechanism.

# 3 Change perspective

If you ever judge yourself again, look at yourself from the outside: If there were someone in your place whom you respect and appreciate, how would you talk to them? Are these the same words that you use to speak to yourself now? No? Why do you apply different standards for yourself than for others?

# 4 Swap perfectionism for a sense of reality

Of course you should do your best. But that's not always what is generally labeled as “perfect” in your head. Who even sets the standards for perfect?

Retouched Instagram photos, competitive athletes and other people who look good, who have turned top athletic performance or healthy eating into a profession are great inspiration - but not a measure of perfection. Ask these people if they think they are perfect or if they are free from self-doubt. Probably not.

# 5 Question your claim

Where do your ideas of how you should be actually come from? Do they correspond to your own values? What you find good and important? Or are they values ​​that you have adopted from your parents or those around you? What is your measure of your own worth?

# 6 Forget about performance pressure

As long as you do what feels good and right, everything is fine. Or to whom do you have to prove that you can still do a little better? Yourself? Then ask again where the belief comes from that it has to be.

# 7 Focus on your behavior

You don't always have to think you're great or justify your behavior. On the contrary: recognizing and admitting wrongdoing and the associated feeling is a strength. You will and may make mistakes. At work, in a relationship or in sports. Again and again.

You can act stupid and still be a good person and have self-respect. Try to differentiate your behavior and character and behave more carefully in the future instead of judging your whole person based on stupid behavior.

# 8 Don't compare yourself

Better said than done. How much value you attach to yourself shouldn't be compared to other people. You are ok the way you are When others can do something better, see it as inspiration. Life is not a competition, neither with yourself nor with others.

That doesn't mean that you should sit back and pat on the back all the time. Of course it's important to yours weaknesses to know, work on them and develop yourself personally. But just at your own pace.

# 9 Set boundaries

Act in a way that is compatible with your own value system and worldview. In this way you avoid internal contradictions, so-called cognitive dissonances. Those who act as they see fit do not have to reproach themselves for throwing their values ​​overboard or for the umpteenth time relieving their colleagues of the unpleasant work. Setting boundaries and saying “no” is an essential act of self-respect.

# 10 Choose your words purposefully

Use positive words and vocabulary that give you room to maneuver. Especially when you are talking about yourself or what you want to do. How you talk about yourself has been shown to influence your self-image. For example, speak of “can” and “want” instead of “must” and “should”. Evaluate each situation individually and avoid generalizing words like “always” or “typical me again”.

Positive psychology likes to use affirmations. This means that you regularly say a certain sentence to yourself, for example “I am a lovely person”.

The effect of positive affirmations has not been proven - some people and study results strongly suggest that they work, others claim the opposite. We believe: Trying can't hurt.

# 11 Work on your posture

This is more about self-confidence than about self-esteem directly, but one thing is related to the other. Studies have found that an upright posture has a direct positive impact on your self-esteem and self-confidence.

Immediate measures already help, such as simply standing upright, not letting your shoulders sink down at the back and smiling openly. Targeted training improves your posture long-term and sustainable.

# 12 Find your calling

What do you really enjoy doing because you are convinced that it is important and right? Find your topic, what is really important to you, corresponds to your values ​​and visions and try to make a difference in this area. Whether full-time or on a voluntary basis, together with others or just for you: Do what you can and what makes you happy.

# 13 Do something good - for yourself

How often do you think, "I'd love to cook now, but it's not worth the effort on my own?" Why not? Who in your life is worth more than you? And why?

A first step towards more self-esteem and more self-love is to deliberately treat yourself to something good. What better way to do that than with a good meal? Good quality foods and dishes are the best way to express your appreciation for yourself.

What you eat affects your overall wellbeing. Here are ours 6 recipes for a helping of self-love.

How do you recognize low self-esteem?

Low self-esteem likes to hide behind more obvious feelings or states of mind. That is why the signs of low self-esteem are unspecific, varied and, above all, individual.

Here's how you can spot low self-esteem:

  • You avoid starting something because you think you are too bad or the task is too difficult.
  • You are afraid to speak your mind because people are afraid that it may be found wrong or uninteresting.
  • You find what happens to you less important or less interesting than what happens to others.
  • You do not pay attention if you are feeling physically and / or mentally bad. Typical sentences are “What must it have to”, “Will be again” and so on.
  • You get stuck in situations that feel wrong.

Where does low self esteem come from?

Self-esteem is a complex psychological phenomenon. The causes of low self-esteem are unique to everyone. From a destructive social environment to learned beliefs to trauma, low self-esteem can have many causes. If you notice that it is difficult for you to see through, to grasp and to resolve, it is best to work with a trained coach or therapist.


  • Self-esteem describes the value you place on yourself. Regardless of external factors and evaluations from your environment.
  • Self-esteem is the prerequisite for self-confidence and self-love.
  • You can train self-respect - even small everyday gestures will help you cultivate more self-respect.


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  • Körner, R., Petersen, L. & Schütz, A. (2019): Do expansive or contractive body postures affect feelings of self-worth? High power poses impact state self-esteem, in: Curr Psychol, https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-019-00371-1 [01.10.2020]

  • Morin, Alain (1993): Self-Talk and Self-Awareness: On the Nature of the Relation, in: The Journal of Mind and Behavior, 14 (3), www.jstor.org/stable/43853763 [09/24/2020].

  • Rogers, Carl R .: The development of personality. 2012.

  • Schulz von Thun, Friedemann, Stegemann, Wibke: Then inner team in action. Practical work with the model. 2013.

  • Wood, J.V., Perunovic, W.Q.E., & Lee, J.W. (2009): Positive self-statements: Power for some, peril for others. Psychological Science, 20 (7), 860–866.