Not good enough? 7 Strategies to building your self-esteem

Updated: May 12

I’m no stranger to that that little voice that says “not good enough” - It was there day I didn’t submit my application because the other students were “better than me”, in the meetings where my idea was “probably stupid” and , it was definitely there all those times that I dated losers for longer than I should have.

We’ve all experienced self-doubt at some point. But if your “not good enough” is holding you back then this is for you.

Contrary to what some may believe, confidence is a skill that can be learnt. We can learn to quiet the self-doubt and show up as the best and most brilliant version of ourselves - Here’s how:

1. Admit that there’s a problem

This may seem obvious but until you recognise the problem, you wont find a solution.

I once had a client who kept talking about getting a new job but never put her CV out. It wasn’t that she was lazy or too busy. She was worried she wouldn’t get interviews. The first step to finding her dream job was acknowledging the problem.

Maybe you can already list the opportunities you haven’t taken, things you thought you’d fail at, or circumstances you’re putting up with .. but if not – think about it now, be brutally honest and set yourself free.

2. Focus on what you have achieved

We are all great at pinpointing our weaknesses and failings. By shifting our focus and recognising achievements we create a balanced perspective and give ourselves permission to acknowledge how far we have come.

For me, I make a point of journaling.

Whether you write a list, keep a journal, have a star chart or an elaborate spreadsheet, make a habit of recognising what you’ve achieved.

Everything counts so think beyond the awards and accolades. Add the obstacles you’ve overcome, the people you’ve impacted, all the big and small things that make you proud. Own your success and accomplishments – they are yours.

3. Create opportunities to succeed

There is no greater confidence builder than seeing ourselves succeed - That thrill when a presentation goes well, when we land a new client or deliver an awesome piece of work. Success breeds success.

Try breaking big scary dreams into smaller, achievable milestones, conduct a “Self SWAT, gather new skills where needed and tackle projects that stretch (but don’t drown you).

Create a trail of small but meaningful wins that fuel your motivation and inspire you to keep going.

4. Accept mistakes as learnings

As a young manager, I once sent an email in a fit of anger, complete with jumbled logic, a sea of bold read text and an excess of exclamation marks. It wasn’t great (and the humble pie was even worse), but I did learn a valuable lesson... now I sleep on emails I might regret.

Mistakes are our teachers.