How Can I Improve My Self Esteem?

If you lack self esteem, here’s a tip!ย  Attacking people who have self esteem won’t help!

Have you earned your self esteem? Tell us!

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How Can I Improve My Self Esteem? — 67 Comments

  1. I have. With moon/pluto and sun/saturn squares in my natal chart I guess it was never going to come easily…but it has finally come.
    I’ve earned my self-esteem by accepting my faults. As in:not beating myself up and accepting that being as deeply flawed as I am, I’m essentially alright.

  2. Elsa, it is so true that some folks gain a false sense of self-esteem by attacking others, I have seen this in my life almost on a daily basis. The ideas put forth in your video are an example of your great gift: to cut away all the crap and describe what’s been exposed.

    I also agree that self-esteem is an earned thing. Even if a child is cherished and loved and kept safe from harm from the cradle forward, that child is still going to have to learn to stand on their own two legs and doing that will give them the kind of self-esteem that no one can take away from them. I think we humans find out what we are made of only when we are tempered by the fires of adversity.

  3. what a GREAT video! I have finally gained some self esteem , and you are exactly right! It is definitely earned through hard knocks and learning curves (and counseling in my case),NOT by putting down others. Keep up the good work and thanks again for all you do.

  4. The best thing that ever happened for my self esteem was to lose everything at once, and still survive it. After the spiritual awakening that ensued I realized that nothing about me is defined by anything or anyone outside of me. That freed me totally of the disempowering ‘people pleasing’ “need” which makes so many people do so many things that are not healthy for themselves and others.

    But I do remember being that shy child who lacked self esteem, and the last thing she would have thought to do is attack someone else to improve her own self esteem. That kids was afraid of her own shadow and never would have had the assertiveness or self-regard to even stand up for herself, let alone pick on others. The way I see it, picking on people seems like a really twisted way to go about trying to get some self esteem, and I am kind of curious about the astrology of that. Something to do with the second house, I’ve heard.

  5. You know what’s funny, I have such a better sense of self and larger self-esteem since I’ve become more subdue, mature, laid-back, etc…
    I think that’s kinda odd for a Leo, no?

    It feels amazing though. Never been more content with who I am.

  6. I would also be interested in the astrology of being a bully, since I am so repulsed by them.

    As far as earning my self-esteem, I should probably have much more of it than I do. It is easy to get caught up in wondering why everyone else’s life seems so much easier/better/charmed/secure, etc. I went through this a great deal when I was first made aware that yes, I have a child with special needs, and my journey with this child was going to be completely different than I envisioned. What did I do wrong, and why am I being punished, why is she being punished, but that all passes, and she is just my child, and I am her mother. I have seen other’s “perfect” children grow up to be drug addicts, college drop-outs, got pregnant in high school, whatever, I am just saying I realized that thinking someone else’s life is worry-free is of course ridiculous. I have always risen up to every challenge life has thrown my way, so yes, I do believe I have earned my self-esteem.

  7. yes, i’ve got it, and yes, i’ve earned it, by trying to do and be my best all of my life. from making sometimes hard decisions that felt right in my gut instead of capitulating to others’ opinions, even when they meant well. even when it cost me greatly to forge my own path. and i find my own self-esteem enhanced by trying to build others up, and diminished by the flip side of tearing down, regardless of my perception of “rightness.”

  8. I guess I just don’t give a shit what other people think about me.

    I like me. I think I’m awesome. I have some sticking points, but all in all I love the person I am.

    In truth, the only person I have choice but to be with for the rest of my life is me. I’d rather I be happy with me than have other people like me.

  9. So you’re saying that you have to do things you believe are deserving of self-esteem to have it? I.e. show a strong character, show your good qualities in some way. And then you respect yourself as the sum of your qualities? Do you mean that by “earning” your self esteem? As in doing something to earn your own respect? What if you have it right off the bat?

    I tend to think that personality, the character traits you show to the world, is a complex layer that must be distinguished or peeled away before someone has a sense of their true self. When I imagine my true self without comparing myself to other people, the sense is almost empty. But then again, in astrology, the Rising Sign is part of who you are.

  10. Elsa, you are so open and authentic, and it’s clear that this is so because you have accepted all parts of yourself. It’s strange how this causes some people to try to break this down. Could be jealousy because they don’t know how to get there. Would have to be so deep that they are unaware… if they were aware, they wouldn’t be breaking themselves against you. Your authenticity is so attractive, and probably the reason we are all here… including those who are attacking. We all want to have this higher self. Thank you for sharing it.

  11. Michele, thank you. I’ll tell ya, I can’t ^(%@$ understand it. I have had a life no one would want to live – a life that would inspire compassion from the hardest of hearts anywhere on this planet and still I draw fire everywhere I go.

    I swear if people knew who they were shooting at they would die of shame.

  12. If a strong sense of self & self-esteem are NOT based on real time experiences, we find out when Saturn comes along by transit. This is often why the first Saturn Return is full of hard, hard lessons.

    I grew up knowing what I was capable of doing physically but was terribly unsure of myself socially. It really wasn’t until after my Saturn Return I started to believe I did have something to offer others . . .

    Elsa, you are a great human being, no doubt about it. There are plenty of us who love you as you are! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I remember watching this video a while back. At first I wasn’t quite clear what “earning self esteem” meant until I made it through the peak of my Saturn Return.

    I have a Venus/Saturn earth trine and I would say that self-esteem really IS earned. It’s hard work! The work you did for yourself really cannot be taken away from you – it’s your own!

    I used to be a person without it, but after the self-exploration that I’ve done in the last few months, I would say I have self-esteem now and I’ll continue to earn my dues through working harder!

  14. I’m not past making incredibly foolish mistakes, but I do have stronger self-esteem now…born of honesty and self-awareness and an ability to both forgive and laugh at myself. I have definintely become more aware via astrology, Elsa and this blog. As for the bullies…my understand is that their true self image (not the puffed up fighting one) is less than zero and self-loathing is projected outwards. Someone didn’t love them, they don’t love themselves and you’re in front. Working with kids, I often see bullies in the making and I work hard to find the ways to help them feel good about themselves and to turn it around.

  15. I think a couple of things have caused me to develop self esteem. Coming from an abusive household, thrust into foster care at age 16 (while my brother was sent to an elite private shool… I was told by my father that the male child has all priority- I KID YOU NOT!) I have learned everything the painful way. I do wish they’d teach self esteem in Jr. High to these young girls, it would give them a short cut around the crap that is dished out on young women these days.
    Self Esteem Earners
    Know Thyself
    Know Thy Shadow, Embrace Thy Shadow, Love Thy Shadow
    What really matters is the quality of your heart and soul
    Walk your walk and talk your talk
    Don’t waste one minute of your time with abusive people
    Walk a mile in another person’s shoes
    The Attitude is Gratitude
    Surround yourself with kind people (sometimes this is hard, esp. at work)
    Stand up straight
    Say what you mean and mean what you say
    And because we live in such a shallow world: develop a sense of style.
    Don’t take yourself seriously
    And try not to take things personally (that’s really really hard!)

    • I believe you about the school thing. I am the only girl with four brothers and was told to learn how to type because there was no money for me to go to college. My brothers would grow up to the breadwinners and it was more of a priority to educate them. I’m sure it’s not that rare but if I had a daughter, I would definitely NOT make her brothers’ education a priority over hers.

  16. Know thyself
    Love your shadow
    Love yourself
    Walk you walk and talk your talk
    Develop integrity
    Never do anything for the money
    Develop an attitude of gratitude
    Walk a mile in someone else shoes
    Gain wisdom from your challenges

  17. Elsa,
    I would love to compare notes with you. Maybe sometime we can swap stories.
    And hey, do you have anything to say about Women Who Are Jealous of Other Women for no particular reason? There are lots of websites dedicated to the Horrible Things Women Do To Other Women. It’s an old story but I’d like to hear your philosophical (or astrological) take.

  18. Someone told me this awhile back, “To have self esteem one must do something esteemed” if that makes sense. It just hit the nail on the head for me. Those who are esteemed have no problem seeing those deeds when others do them. And saying job well done. I was not raised like that but you can bet your sweet bippy (ah, when does one actually get to say that?) my kids are. And my grand kids will be too.

  19. so hu….an aries with capricorn rising and cancer moon is not born with self esteem??? what?

    lol

    aries are so egocentric and it comes so naturally either from a place of insecurity compensation or tremendous earning POWER.

    as an aries i agree with you 100 percent…it if weren’t for my crazy mother…i would not be as confident as I am today…what a blessing to be forced to speak publicly at a young age…or embark upon a project and complete it…completion not winning but completion and follow through is where self esteem comes from…
    go with in find the inner child develop her/he and follow through, face challenges, complete projects, follow through with commitments..yes integrity is self esteem.!!!!
    true validation comes from within…
    V for validation!

  20. i am here for your authenticity BTW….i randomly found you not so randomly..lol
    and i can smell BS a mile away (because I am full of it!) lol you are not a bullshitter…hey the world wants to live in denial…so when you tell the truth….you will draw fire….every truth seeker and truth teller, soothsayer is persecuted…
    join the ranks miss goat!

  21. …You just haven’t earned it yet, baby
    You just haven’t earned it, son
    You just haven’t earned it yet, baby
    You must suffer and cry for a longer time
    You just haven’t earned it yet, baby
    And I’m telling you now …
    __The Smiths

  22. i have to go with neith here. i didn’t even start to build a solid sense of self worth until my first saturn return.
    i’m still trying to figure that stuff out (it wasn’t all that long ago)

  23. Self-esteem can be thwarted at the outset of life (even in the pre-natal stage) by the messages we are imprinted with by our primary care-giver(s).
    This means not only 2nd house issues, here, but 1st and possibly even 12th house in some cases.
    If we have been imprinted with deep, subconscious messages of inadequacy, no matter what we do to gain self-esteem back will never be enough. We need to address our core beliefs. Early childhood regression and karmic astrology are great tools for becoming more aware of the dynamics of self-esteem problems/solutions.

  24. What Paul said, above, is very true. I am aware on a deep level of having not been wanted, the angst my natural mother went through becoming pregnant, 1955, without a husband. I can “hear”, stamped on every cell of my body, my mother being told that because I existed, her life was ruined. Add to that, my adoptive mother not wanting adoption, wanting me, it’s been a long, difficult road.
    All that being said, my self esteem is hard won. Many Pluto transits destroying what I saw as my life, many Phoenix risings from the ashes. But I have it, the sense that I am a strong, caring woman, deserving of respect and kindness, since that is what I try to give to others. Best part is, nobody will ever be able to take that away from me again.

  25. Hang in there, I know you can defend yourself Elsa but no one should have to put up with being attacked.

    I think that would be the opposite of trying to acquire self-esteem.

    I see self-esteem as a form of comfort of one’s self and attacking another is a form of bullying and the cowards way out. That is not comfort with one’s self.

    As for me, I can hold my own and would not say I have self-esteem, but I will defend those I care about with my dying breath.

  26. For those that get this there is nothing more to say. For those that don’t get it yet continue to attack and ridicule others to pump themselves up, what can we say?

    Perhaps for me just being thankful for the opportunity to face and overcome the fear of ones self-esteem being attacked, and coming out of it strong!

    Bye bye south node.

  27. Love this video! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I agree, you have to earn your self-esteem ๐Ÿ™‚ By attacking others you earn nothing, it’s simply rude and will take you nowhere. Be nice and behave, respect yourself and others, is a good start (in my opinion) to earn some self esteem ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. I agree. Elsa must have loads of self esteem so people are only hurting themselves! Elsa I don’t know if you know this but my therapist once told me to have more compassionate on myself first then to others. This helps me when I feel attacked or when I want to attack myself for LACK OF SELF ESTEEM. I think you went to the root of the problem. Well yeah I earned a degree so what? What am I going to do with it! No wonder! Thanks for opening my eyes to this aspect. But I would have more self esteem if a job would keep me and if I had made better choices .I feel like Saul never finding his true destiny. I need reassurance every day! If only I had enough self esteem to reassure myself against other people’s sway over me I would have been in a better place today. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. I was raised by a bully and suffered bullies in silence, turning the other cheek, until I was 20 and then 25. Two times I had to stand up against malicious cunning bullies to defend a group of students, then fellow staff members. I learned that I had the power of self-belief and shut the bullies down. My self esteem, tentative til that point, solidified. I have been through a not-soft life so far, earning self-esteem the hard work way and that is fine, and I have helped others and still stand, as do you. I am nice as pie, but if a bully self- identifies and tries to throw down, I laugh and show them the door. In short, I wish them healing and light, but I have a paw of claws ready to go. Bullies hate it when they see your self-esteem smiling back in pity…. they hope to harm, but actually it backfires and they make you stronger.

  30. “earning” self-esteem…so true. One needs to become comfortable with one’s self and become aware of one’s power of self. Many people rely too much on the opinions of others.

    “Go out and earn your own self-esteem”
    Love it.

  31. Well, I’ve worked very much to earn my self-esteem. I’ve got Sun 0 Saturn 180 Moon, with Cappy Asc, so I really had to work hard for it ๐Ÿ™‚
    That’s something my Dad told me a few years ago: you know, we have not raised you to have a lot of self-esteem, because neither your Mom nor I were raised in that fashion. We just didn’t know how to give that to you, so you will have to work on it. I know it is not easy, because I also did some stupid stuff to feel good about myself and my beliefs.
    I realized then he did not make anything up: especially when relationships are in focus…

  32. Elsa, thanks for sharing video. I’ve had to work hard all my life to gain self-esteem. I still do and guess what some people try to attack me for it. You are on point with this video!

  33. So true, Elsa. Gaining self-esteem was the most important lesson I learned in my life. The great thing is that once you earn it, no one can take it away from you.

    I was one of those kids everyone made fun of. I was skinny and had buck teeth with braces. I was such an awkward child and painfully shy. I was the middle child, so my parents ignored me. I have Neptune in my first house conjunct Mars, so I would go back and forth between self-pity and anger. It took me until my late 20’s to gain some self-esteem and come to terms with all the ridicule I endured. I say gain “some” self-esteem because it took until I was about 50 to really become fully comfortable in my own skin and feel that I was truely “worthy”.

    Life is a long and winding road. At 60, I look back at all the personal trauma and missed opportunities in my life that were caused by my lack of self-esteem. If I only knew then, what I know now, I could’ve saved myself a whole lot of grief.

    I saw this story today and I can so relate to this child’s feelings. It definitely helps to look better, but takes much longer to fix the emotional damage on the inside.

    http://www.today.com/video/today/53971923/#53971923

  34. I have Saturn in my 2nd house and Mars in the 2nd as well and my Venus is conjunct Chiron, intercepted in Taurus, with no other aspects. So grew up thinking I was worthless and I was attacked by low self esteem angry people a lot. I know what it means to work hard (Mars) and for a long time (Saturn) to earn your self-esteem (2nd house). I am still not quite there, but I am still working. And I would never try to belittle somebody else so that I would feel better about myself, I think I would feel worse about myself I did that. Those attackers should be dealt with as soon as they start and quickly. It is self-destructive to invest a lot of energy to deal with such people because they are basically energy vampires, feeding on any kind of attention you give them. I guess I would just ban them if it were my website.

  35. “Anything will talk to you if you love it enough.” That’s a quote botanist and inventor Washington Carver, a man born into slavery when asked about being able to hear plants talk to him. Connected in that way to Nature, he developed an esteem for himself and his gifts in life. That is what I’ve been taught with time (Saturn) and commitment to learn to be loved enough to really hear my own best self: earning self-esteem. Capricorn rules my astrology, so the long climb of learning through experience is my signature. I have lost everything and found what and who really matters. “Striving” is a habit that wears me down, so I have to learn to take my foot of the gas when my other foot is on the brake.

    I remember when you first posted this video, it made a lot of sense to hear you then and does today, five years later. The learning curve is hard, you gotta give it all you’ve got. You Elsa, continue to give it all you’ve got. What a consistent example of that you are! I know that. Even now, an old goat of a gal like me has plenty to learn. And that’s the joy of living, learning to be and when I get it so no one else could ever take it from me? I give it away. That’s the true gift. Taurus in the North Node 5th House, born in the year of the pig:)

  36. I agree, working my whole life at gaining my self-esteem,

    was born with Saturn conjunct IC cusp squaring my 12th house sun, so message I am not enough, never going to be enough, not good enough, etc. was imprinted in my core self growing up, I have to work REALLY HARD at gaining some. And I agree with what someone said already-esteem issues are NOT just 2nd house.

  37. I got reemed once on here for suggesting “Fake It Til You Make It” as a strategy to help but it helped when when I was young before I could earn it/age (I have Saturn/Cap).

  38. We can be born with self-esteem issues stemming from past-life experiences. Of course, there are those examples where we did something wrong or had a wrong perpetrated on us and it has left a karmic mark on us where we either indulge in self-pity or self-punishment (kind of the same), but to show how powerful thoughts and beliefs are, if we thought we committed some wrong in a past life, but actually someone else did it, we could be carrying self-imposed karmic burdens of negative self-esteem for no reason.
    It is my belief that if we even thought, imagined or fantasized about something in a past life that we believe to be immoral, then our spirits translate that into something that actually happened in the physical, and we then carry that psychic toll with us, punishing ourselves until we feel the score has been balanced. When we learn to understand each event as a learning tool of experience and to be more gentle on ourselves, we can drop this paradigm of victim/perpetrator and see the collaboration. Then, we can set about insisting on milder, more gentle conditions for ourselves and dissipating energetic charges before they build too high.
    I think Bluestar made a good point of following your North Node. For me, the journey toward self-esteem has brought me an appreciation for gentleness-on-self and others (Leo Rising, Mars in 3rd show that these lessons need to be learned) as well as strength, definition of boundaries, realistic expectations and grounding of all the (possibly negative) psychic signals from others. (Weak Saturn in 4th, Pluto the only planet in Earth sign shows I need to learn these.

  39. I can’t watch the video but there’s a lot of great stuff on this page. The strongest lesson I’ve learned is you have to really be yourself, unapologetically. I spent 26 years apologizing for everything I am because something about me offended someone or other. I’m not quite done yet but I’m learning not to give other people so much power over my life. I can’t let them tell me who I am or who I’m not. Real self-esteem is gained by going through those challenging moments where I have to really declare for myself “this is me dammit and you can’t do anything about it!” It comes through practice. The world isn’t easy. Moon-conjunct uranus I will always feel weird so I have to learn how to get up every single day and love myself & embrace my interests when no one else around me will.

    Self-esteem isn’t being around people who tell you how great you are, it’s looking in the mirror and knowing it for yourself. I can’t wait til I get to the point when I’m so damn sure of myself that I don’t even blink when someone tears me down.

  40. Cici, I can definitely relate with what you have experienced, in regards to self-esteem, as well as the ways you have sought to improve the situation.
    I’m wondering if your Saturn placement/aspects, planets in the 11th house, or the house with Capricorn on it’s cusp have told you anything about the dynamics of creating firm boundaries.
    Myself, with Saturn in Sagittarius, trine Uranus, what I get from that is that I needed to spiritualize myself, possibly following a traditional method from a land far away. Having Uranus in the 12th has assisted this spiritualization.

    • Very interesting perspective Paul! Well, the majority of my planets are clusterd in the 11th and 4th houses but my 10th holds chiron, vesta, and venus. I have noticed a strong connection to that house and what I feel I need to restructure or accept. My capricorn 5th house is something of a mystery to me although I am realizing that I used to be so open and accepting to all kinds of people and now I’m making distinctions. The casual friendships matter as much as the romantic ones. I don’t need everyone to agree with me, but I do need to feel like its ok for me to be wrong. LIke when someone makes me feel bad for attempting to use my creativity in any way, I need to remove myself from the situation. I’m not able to block it out yet, so right now I need to surround myself with whatever I need to build my foundation.

      Oddly enough I have been more deeply drawn to ancient rituals like buddhist mantras and meditation over the past few months. I’ve always been spiritual but its taken on a new flavor for me. Lol so yeah, i’m right there with you looking to far away places for hope and sustenance.

      • Cici, it sounds like you may have some planets in Sagittarius. That may help explain your interest in Buddhism (I am assuming you are in the U.S.)
        I have been thinking about Neptune, recently, and it seems to me that those of us with a strong Neptune (major aspects, either hard or soft) are particularly succeptible to self-esteem issues if it is not backed up with a strong Saturn.
        Myself, My Neptune is conjunct Sun (ruler of chart) and N. Node, while trining Moon. Saturn is somewhat separated from all the action with only one very curious aspect: Trine Uranus in the 12th. Saturn is trying to do a lot of the work that would normally be done if I had planets in Earth signs or in houses whose ruler is of Earth, but it is being somewhat obfuscated by impulsive, erratic Uranus (in its detriment) in the very shadowy 12th house. You get my point.
        Never-the-less, I think that all spiritual seekers must go through a period (which may be several lives) of self-examination and even self-doubt or loathing before they can proceed to wipe the slate clean and begin anew with no karmic baggage.
        I suggest the book: Personalizing The Outer Planets (various authors contributing), edited by Noel Tyl, on Llewellyn. I think if we look at our self-esteem issues from a karmic perspective, we see the hard, heavy work being done and can congratulate ourselves for having the courage to view the more undesireable facets of ourselves and the desire to do something about them.

        • I’ve gone through several periods of reassessing and shedding my karmic debt. Now truly feels like a rebirth and i’m happy about it. I have heavy neptune and saturn and sag. lol optimism during the process.

          • That’s great to hear, Cici. Especially the re-assessment part. That kind of sounds like what I was saying about the victim/perpetrator paradigm.
            It’s so easy to condemn ourselves, and, of course, this tendency could be familial.
            For example, I was at a Shiva Kirtan the other night (my first), and the travelling monks were many miles from home. When I got home, I suddenly realized, “Why didn’t I ask them if they needed a place to stay?” I felt a little selfish and scatter-brained. It was very cold and icy.
            Breaking out of the tendency to see things in a victim/perpetrator paradigm, I can, instead, decide to have faith in the process. Realistic expectations versus perfectionism is important, too. I can look at this event in this way: “I will be more observant and responsive to people who may be in need, next time”.
            Having the patience and faith to work on yourself, systematically, one-step-at-a-time is mostly Saturn, and you mentioned Sagittarius, so yes, the optimism and good-nature sure does come in handy when doing our homework! We can develop our grounding and accepting of our spiritual reality by working on the first three chakras.

    • It’s a major lesson that all of us must learn, and it takes a long time, GT. Just try to remember to never place anyone above you and try to realize that a lot of their actions stem from insecurities and fear.

  41. I have self esteem. And I had to earn it. It’s not something that they are selling or that you can get out of a book. I had to get mine from walking around land mines, jumping over canyons and rivers… it was hard earned. It probably took me a little longer than others. But I earned it. No one could ever take it away with words or actions. You’d be hard pressed and pissing up a rope.

  42. I think you know that you have self-esteem, when you are really not thinking about it. You are doing what you need to do based on connecting with your unique self, you look forward and not sideways (sideways looking to me means making comparisons with others.) If you have a not-so-good day, you forgive yourself, and move forward, or take a nap for a while. Also, paradoxically, you know you have self-esteem, when you know you do not have to have perfect self-esteem to get through life. Ultimately it is self-acceptance that develops from living, experiencing, forgiving and working. Yes, working, doing your thing, working on yourself–working, that’s how it grows.

    • I was wondering. Louise Hay says that ‘you do not have to earn love. You are loveable because you exist.’
      What do you think of that?
      Is it the same as earning self esteem?
      Also, Louise Hay recommends abandoning all self criticism and practicing affirmations to gain self love. That would be like just loving yourself for no reason. What do you think?

  43. with venus opposing saturn and a scorpio dad single parent, and a number day four work work work, worthless work sometimes, any who, i’m sure my dad was not aware of the horrible feelings of scorpios. and now i understand his quick laugh, but stone silence. NOT much laugh. and walk with power, we all scurried away.

  44. OH my frkn point yeah, some of us do not learn self esteem . i think in the young ages where we got encouragement and had some accomplishment makes a huge difference. now biology psychology sociology astra ology all does have meaning… and socio ty suks

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