Self-esteem is a tricky business. Too little and you set your expectations too low, rely on others for approval, or feel as if you don’t deserve the good things that come your way. On the other hand, having too much self-esteem can lead someone to feel smug or superior, or displaying bullying behavior. Adding to the challenge is the fact that boosting low self-confidence is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. There are many great, documented ways to raise your confidence levels, but what if they’re not right for you? If you’ve attempted to follow the standard ways to build your self-esteem but were unsuccessful, consider these options to see if you can’t find that inner burst of confidence to build upon.

Get Enough Sleep

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 30% of Americans are not getting enough sleep. This can cause injuries in the workplace and is also bad for our mental and physical health. The impact of lack of sleep can result in low self-esteem because sleep-deprived people are more likely to be oversensitive to situations, which results in feeling fear, frustration, and self-doubt. When we don’t get enough quality sleep, we are often too tired to focus on our goals and plan for success. Soon we are in a cycle of impatience, frustration, self-anger, and even depression that further damages self-esteem.

The solution is obvious but can be difficult to implement, which is to get more sleep. Practicing good sleep hygiene will make a big difference, and begins by knowing how much sleep you need to wake naturally and feel energized throughout the day. A consistent amount of quality sleep can boost your self-esteem.

Learn Something New or Improve Skills

Learning and becoming proficient at a job skill, home task, or other topics that you find meaningful will build your confidence and self-esteem. Learning provides personal satisfaction and can boost your career. With so many online free and low-cost courses available, you can take existing skills to the next level or find a topic you love and take a deep dive. Don’t try to learn everything at once, but pick one topic, such as the new software system at work, and become as proficient as possible. Not only will you have more confidence in your ability to perform your job, but you will be able to speak knowledgeably about the subject in meetings or informal groups and your self-esteem will flourish.


When you serve others in your community, it brings a natural sense of accomplishment. You are making an impactful difference in the lives of others and you will come away feeling better about yourself every time. Find volunteer opportunities in your area and select an option or two that really interest and excite you. Try them out to see if they are a good fit. Once you find the right volunteer setting, you will become part of a larger community of both those you help and others who are also volunteering their time and talents. You will apply your current skills, maybe develop some new ones, and discover how much you have to offer to the world.

Make One Change

Often low self-esteem derives from the fact that we feel stuck with no ability to change our circumstances or ourselves. This can result in staying in a bad relationship or job, or struggling against a situation that doesn’t meet your needs. Shift the dynamics of your life by making one change, just one, to pull yourself out of the rut. Select something that you are dissatisfied with, something manageable, and change it. This could be your hair, clothes, or couch pillows. It doesn’t matter. Just make one modification from something that doesn’t work to something that makes you feel better and you will soon be ready for the next step. You don’t need to reinvent every aspect of your life, just focus on those things that aren’t fulfilling and try something new.

Lose Weight

Our physical appearance and self-esteem are intrinsically connected. It isn’t so much how other people see us but how we view ourselves. Many experts recommend losing weight to build self-esteem and this can be a positive step in the right direction for most people. However for someone who struggled for years to lose weight this option feels unobtainable, which drags their self-esteem down another notch. For this group of people taking a new approach, such as a liposuction procedure or bariatric surgery, can significantly increase their self-esteem and quality of life. This path isn’t for everyone but sometimes it’s the only way to achieve the best outcome, both physically and mentally.

Bottom Line

 Self-esteem is important because it allows us to thrive in the world rather than feel beaten by life. There is no one way to boost your self-esteem and often it is a combination of actions that really make a difference. The key is to find what works best for you and let your confidence soar.


  • Brian Hughes

    CEO of Integrity Marketing & Consulting

    Brian Hughes is the founder and CEO of Integrity Marketing & Consulting, where he helps his clients build powerful brands through content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, pay-per-click advertising and web design. A seasoned digital marketing expert, Hughes is a frequent contributor to,, Small Business Trends, and When not helping clients cut through the digital clutter to conquer their online niche, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, doing ministry or playing golf.