How to Build Your Self-Esteem

Are you seeking ways to enhance your self-confidence? It’s especially useful if you want to get better at dating, right? Well, you've just found the perfect article. Every so often, someone comes along who makes our hearts race. They make us feel fantastic in a very special way.

What do we do then? It could be the person at the local coffee shop you see daily or the marketing team member who always greets you cheerily. You like them, yet it seems like you can't find enough courage to start a conversation

The most common reason people are too afraid to make a move is low self-esteem. Low self-esteem affects not only how you view yourself but also how you interact and build relationships with other people.

boy and girl confidently conversing with each other

Easier said than done, right? Well, not really. We do understand that you might be afraid of how they'll respond. But know that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain once you try. Time flies and things change. You will never know when this guy stops showing up at that coffee shop, or when that girl stops waving at you, so better grab the chance and talk to them.

How? There is quite a lot to learn about starting conversations and being sociable. But for now, we'll stick to the necessary foundation of what makes people's dating lives and relationships successful, and that is confidence.

Lucky for you, confidence can be learned, and we have everything you need to know!

Causes of Low Self-Esteem

People are not born with self-esteem, nor are they born without it. Confidence is a skill. It is not innate to us, and it's something we can master. That means that efforts can be made to improve it.

If you struggle to make the first move or make relationships last, there may be some events in the past that have caused you to lose your self-confidence. 

You may ask, why is confidence such a big deal? Well, you see, confidence plays a vital role in making relationships work. People who are confident in themselves and as well as on their partners are usually the ones who have healthy romantic relationships.

So, if you're the type of person who is too afraid to strike a conversation, or is having a hard time keeping a healthy relationship, you might want to search your heart and assess where this is coming from.

We have also come up with a shortlist of possible causes of low esteem:

#1 Negative Thought Patterns

Our confidence also lies in how we look at things. Negative thought patterns are usually the reason why people have trouble seeing their actual value. If you focus too much on the negative things, it is difficult for you to appreciate what you are and what you have.

Woman looking at herself in the mirror

#2 Body Image

We can't change the fact that there exists a body standard for both men and women, and this is causing people to be more conscious about how they look. Because of the pressure to fit into the norm, a lot of people will succumb to believing that they are not thin enough to be pretty, or masculine enough to be handsome, which causes confidence issues to oneself.

#3 Lack of Experience

Most of the time, people are scared to pursue someone because they think they don't have "enough experience" when it comes to relationships (and sex). This does not only affect those who never had a girlfriend or boyfriend but also those who have just recently gotten out of a long-term commitment.

If you start overthinking about your relationship skills, this will only make you feel like you are never enough.

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#4 Previous Relationship and Bad Breakups

Not all relationships are perfect. You may be one of the many who have experienced physical or verbal abuse (or both). Or maybe you have been continuously shut down by your exes. These unhealthy relationships may have had affected how you talk and behave, which dramatically affects how you look at yourself and how you act towards other people. 

Bad breakups can also affect your self-esteem. Breakups usually sum up a relationship, and it's what usually leaves a mark in peoples hearts. Good breakups are rare and bad breakups are the worst. It is often when all the hidden hurts and hatred are said. Words we hear on these heated arguments may scar people's confidence. It makes them wonder if the same fate awaits them on their next relationship, thus adding insecurity and doubt to your relationship capabilities. The same goes for those who don't get the right closure. 

There is an end to these causes of low self-esteem. Continue reading and grab a free copy of this unique texting guide for men.

What Happens When You Have Low Self-Esteem

If you really think about it, you will realise that a lot of unwanted behaviours in either dating or courting stem from a person's lack of confidence. Listed below are some of the common things that happen when you have low self-esteem:

#1 You have trouble communicating

Being unable to start a conversation is a clear manifestation of a person's lack of self-esteem. Confident people aren't afraid to speak out their mind and communicate with anyone. 

#2 You become toxic and possessive. 

Man without self-esteem

When you engage in a relationship without dealing with your insecurities first, you will most likely channel your insecurities to your partner. As a result, you become toxic in a way that you affect your partner with your negativity. Trust will be hard to develop because most of the time, insecure people feel like they are not worthy of love and don't see why someone would love them as they are. This also is the reason why there are possessive people who tie their partners down for themselves, fearing that they'll lose them to someone else. 

#3 You are over sensitive

Whenever comments are made against you, or jokes are somehow related to you, you get easily offended and hurt. Being overly sensitive is unhealthy for any kind of relationship. It causes unnecessary fights and hurts between the parties involved. 

Tips on How to Build Your Self-Esteem

If you want to be more effective in dating or in keeping relationships, you have to start building your confidence. That's why we have listed these effective ways to help you be a better version of yourself. 

#1 Take care of yourself

Meditate, exercise, or find a hobby. Try to engage in activities that will help you get physically, mentally, and emotionally balanced. Have empathy for yourself. Take time to search and know the things that make you happy, because, above anyone else, you are the one who should know yourself better.

#2 Believe that you're enough

Stop striving to be perfect and start believing that you are enough. Aim for excellence instead of perfection. And if you don't do as you expect, remember that there's always the next time. Do not be too hard on yourself when you fail, but keep on improving yourself and do better when the next opportunity comes.

Man focusing on what he achieved

#3 Stop comparing

One of the reasons why people are insecure about themselves is because they compare. There will always be somebody better than you, so there is no point in comparing yourself with other people all the time. Maximise your strengths and celebrate other people's uniqueness. You will never be satisfied with yourself if you compare yourself with others.

#4 See yourself as an individual

As an individual, we are unique and have our differences. Do not let other people dictate who you should be. Discover your passion, find what you genuinely enjoy and want and be yourself. As long as you are not stepping on other people, you are good.

#5 Accept Compliments

Even when you think that the compliments people are giving you are flattery, believe it. There's no harm in appreciating yourself. Sometimes, we only see our flaws, and we need other people to show us what we're worth. But always to do a heart check, and keep those compliments close to your heart (not head), and your feet on the ground. 

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#6 Change your mindset

Change your mindset from negative to positive to help you build your self-esteem. Your perception has a huge impact on your confidence level. One's quality of thinking determines a person's future, whether it will be dark and miserable or bright and successful. Choose to have a winning mindset, it will keep your head high when the odds are not in your favour. A positive person does not easily back down when facing difficult situations, instead, he/she finds a way to make light of the problem and get through it.

#7 Focus on what you have achieved

Celebrate your victories, both big and small. It will remind you of your worth and your strengths. Instead of sulking over your failures, appreciate your successes. Look how far you have come and how much better you are now than yourself five or ten years ago. Think about the people you inspired and helped in your little ways. When you focus on your accomplishments, you will be inspired to do more and become better. 

Bonus Tips

Now, if you're looking for quick tips that could help you gain confidence in a second, you might want to read for more!

1. Smile More

Woman smiling with confidence

Nothing screams "confident" than wearing a smile on your face. Smiles assures people that you know what you are doing and that you are secured about yourself. Everyone loves a person who smiles. 

2. Have a good posture

Straighten up! If you want an instant confidence booster, then void slouching when you sit or when you stand. This simple posture correction has a big effect on how you feel about yourself.

3. Watch your hygiene

Keep yourself clean. Shower regularly and don't skip your dentist appointment. Doing these little things for yourself will not only help you feel good about yourself, but this will also attract more people to actually be with you. Find a scent you like, and wear it every time you go out for work. 

The Difference Between a Confident Person and a Person with Low Self-Esteem

Confident people are not afraid of the future. They compose themselves properly and makes a good impression towards others. Thus, people who are confident have healthier relationships and are more capable of making friends with people even of different social classes. The graphic below contains a clearer comparison of those who are confident versus those who are not.

Characteristics of a confident person
Insecure person characteristics table


It's amazing how self-esteem can help you with gajillion things, especially in love and relationships. Trusting and believing in yourself can be difficult. The process takes a lot of time and patience, but when you finally learn it, you'll realise that it was worth it.

Right now, you might still have self-doubts, but that's okay. In fact, that's normal just don't look down on yourself. Stay strong and keep motivated through your ups and downs. You are amazing, and start seeing that!

Chris Pleines, Author at
Chris Pleines
Founder of Datingscout and Author of the book "Online Dating for Dummies"
Chris founded Datingscout 15 years ago, and today he is one of the leading Online Dating Experts. He is the author of the book "Online Dating for Dummies" and the author of the Internet's largest online dating study analyzing 20 Million Profile Pictures with artificial intelligence. Chris Pleines holds a master degree in media science and appeared in numerous television interviews and publications to give expert advice as well as tips about online dating.