Self-Esteem: A Guide To Understanding Its Impact On Mental Health

Discover the Power of a Healthy Self-Esteem and Its Connection to Mental Well-being

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

As individuals, we all have unique experiences and stories. One thing that connects us all, however, is our mental health and self-esteem. Each of us has an innate desire to feel good about ourselves. Yet, despite this shared experience, many people need help to fully understand the concept of self-esteem and its impact on overall well-being.

To shed light on this vital topic, in today’s blog post, we will discuss what exactly self-esteem is, how it affects our emotional states, and how you can start building a healthy sense of esteem for yourself!

Self-Esteem and Self-Image

Self-esteem is crucial for our success in life as it determines our potential achievements.

Low self-esteem is not a diagnosis or a sign of deficiency — it merely reflects our perception of ourselves and our self-worth.

Occasionally, stressors can elude our perception, meaning we only sometimes notice what our stressors are precisely. Numerically measuring our self-esteem can help us see how it might hold us back and highlight areas where we can improve it.

In fact, self-esteem can be measured using a questionnaire that takes only a few minutes.

The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) assists you in gaining a better understanding of yourself by analyzing your perspectives on your abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.

The questionnaire will prompt you to contemplate your level of self-esteem.

Measuring Our Self-Esteem

The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale questionnaire has you answer 10 questions, considering how strongly you agree or disagree with a statement about yourself. The results you receive from the RSES do not define you as a person. The questionnaire can assist you in comprehending how you perceive your own worth.

The purpose of the 10 item RSE scale is to measure self-esteem. Originally the measure was designed to measure the self-esteem of high school students. However, since its development, the scale has been used with a variety of groups including adults, with norms available for many of those groups. via the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE)

Remember that the questionnaire is not a clinical or diagnostic tool (meaning it cannot diagnose you with any psychological issues). If you want to learn about self-esteem, you can take the free self-esteem assessment. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale can be taken online for free; click here. **This is not a diagnostic tool.

Benefits of Healthy Self-Esteem

No human being is perfect, no matter how hard someone may try. Imperfections are inherent to all of us, but possessing self-esteem means acknowledging our shortcomings without allowing them to hinder our progress.

It’s important to note that healthy self-esteem is about accepting our flaws, strengths, abilities, and weaknesses. We can’t hide from our weaknesses, but we can’t solely rely on our strengths. 

Healthy self-esteem goes along with having an accurate and balanced view of yourself. Our self-esteem may never be perfect, but having healthy self-esteem can help us endure challenging times. High self-esteem can be linked to resilience. By nurturing our self-esteem, we can enhance our resilience and become the best version of ourselves.

Life’s complexities can leave us feeling lost and directionless. However, strong self-esteem instills the grit and determination to persevere despite setbacks and failures.

Someone with higher self-esteem is more likely to be successful in their work, school, and social relationships, along with improved physical and mental well-being

This improved attitude also helps us to make better decisions about our lives and think more positively about the future.

Mental Health and Self-Esteem

Mental health and self-esteem are tied together more than you may realize.

Certain mental health disorders can lead to a decrease in our self-esteem. In fact, low self-esteem may leave you at risk for mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Low self-esteem can be a significant roadblock when taking risks and exploring new opportunities. 

We avoid taking risks and trying new things because we fear failure, which can prevent us from growing. Pushing our boundaries and stepping outside of our comfort zone is where we can experience growth.  

The correlation between mental health and self-esteem should not be underestimated. Healthy self-esteem is essential to help us quickly navigate life’s challenges. 

Decreasing mental well-being can significantly impact our ability to manage symptoms, causing us to feel emotionally exhausted and unsatisfied. Low self-esteem can lead to feeling down, worthless, and helpless. It can also lower our ability to cope with stress and make it hard to stick to positive goals and routines. When we don’t feel confident in ourselves, sharing our opinions with others or even trying new things can be challenging. 

Unhealthy coping mechanisms, like smoking and/or excessive drinking, can be tied to low self-esteem. Our mental health can suffer when we don’t take care of ourselves. 

Maintaining healthy self-esteem can be challenging. It is important to remember that it starts with the small steps you take each day. Viewing obstacles and challenges as opportunities to learn, grow and develop resilience can be incredibly beneficial. Exercising positive self-talk and affirmations may help combat negative thoughts.

Long Term Effects of Low Self-Esteem

Many of us face a significant obstacle in the form of low self-esteem, which has the potential to impede our growth in life over time. Poor self-esteem doesn’t just impact our self-perception. Still, it may also affect every aspect of our lives, such as opportunities and relationships. Developing solid self-esteem is crucial to achieving success according to your standards.

Self-esteem, in general, can impact various parts of our lives, such as interpersonal relationships, friendships, or romantic relationships.

Though it’s not always easy or obvious, taking care of our self-esteem makes this topic essential. Low self-esteem can negatively impact various aspects of our life beyond friendships and relationships. Low self-esteem may actually affect academic and job performance issues. Failing to reach a desired goal can be incredibly damaging to our sense of value and, as such, can reverberate through every area of life.

Our level of perceived self-worth is crucial as it influences our perspective of the world and determines the course of our lives. If we view ourselves as having little worth, we may feel powerless.

But the possibility of failure should allow us to reach our goals.

You must take advantage of opportunities like career advancements or educational experiences to have a significant impact.

Don’t let insecurity stop you from achieving your goals or even trying to see if it’s something you want to do!

When someone has low self-esteem, it can be a harmful cycle that discourages motivation and ruins their mental health while also diminishing their sense of value. It’s like being stuck in an endless downward spiral!

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to break out – the key is finding what works for you.

Our Limiting Beliefs May Have a Profound Impact

Limiting beliefs can take various forms and sizes, but they all aim to hold us back and undermine us. They may lead to feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and guilt. But we don’t have to be stuck in a cycle of negative thinking patterns dictated by our beliefs. We can break out and learn how to challenge these limiting beliefs.

What are Limiting Beliefs?

Our limiting beliefs form when we are children and are often created due to negative experiences or influences. These beliefs can profoundly impact our mental health, as they can cause us to doubt ourselves and our abilities. 

The bad experiences we have in life reflect on us negatively, meaning we take an unspoken lesson from each experience we have. Life can be unpredictable, and all the ups and downs that come with it may seem overwhelming. But those challenging experiences serve an essential purpose: they equip us to face future challenges head-on. 


A limiting belief may look like this: “I can’t do anything right. Everyone else can be successful, but I’m doomed to failure.” This thought pattern suggests that if someone feels incapable of achieving success, it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What is a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

A self-fulfilling prophecy occurs when a belief or expectation contributes to the realization of that belief or expectation. In fact, if we have negative beliefs about ourselves, our behavior is likely to reflect those beliefs and make them a reality, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Someone may experience decreased performance in a job interview if they anticipate being nervous. Similarly, a teacher’s beliefs about a student’s capabilities can positively or negatively impact the student’s academic achievement.

Steps Towards Building Your Self-Esteem

Having strong self-esteem is essential to leading a fulfilling life. Feeling good about yourself and believing in your abilities can be integral to success. A healthy sense of self is essential – it helps you stay motivated and navigate challenges throughout life.

There are simple things that we can do every day to have our goals and needs met.

Self-Care is a Must!

Self-care, maintenance, and safety are the pillars of a balanced lifestyle. When working together in unison, you can ensure your life is safe, healthy, and thriving.

We can start by recognizing what situations affect our self-esteem, whether workschoolhome liferelationships, or significant life changes, is essential.  

By understanding what situations may lead us to feel poorly about ourselves, we can begin to practice self-care.

Practicing Self-Care

Take time to take care of yourself through exercise, nourishment, mental health activities, or rest to recharge yourself. Getting proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep are essential to self-care.

In addition, it’s important to remember that we all need time for ourselves. Make sure to set aside some time in your day for YOU, even if it’s only five or ten minutes.

Celebrate Your Successes 

Acknowledge when you accomplish a goal or complete a task, no matter how small it may be. Celebrate every small step; you’re worth it! Taking a step towards bettering yourself, no matter how small, should be celebrated.

Small steps add up!

Reconstruct Negative Thoughts

Turn negative, self-critical thoughts into positive affirmations. Reframing how we think can be beneficial to mitigating or changing our negative thought patterns. Cognitive restructuring refers to a set of therapeutic techniques that assist individuals in recognizing and changing their negative thought patterns.


All our thoughts and feelings about ourselves have an enormous effect on our lives, starting with our self-esteem. We need to be aware of how we feel and think about ourselves, as it can affect the way we take action in response to events.

Low self-esteem can worsen mental health conditions and motivation issues and affect relationships. Fortunately, there are tangible steps one can take to think positively about oneself, which, in turn, may boost overall self-worth and esteem.

Our limiting beliefs might require more effort to change, but these often impact us more profoundly than we realize. Consequently, when those underlying beliefs shift, so do our outcomes of situations.

So let’s all take small steps towards ensuring our thoughts remain positive within ourselves—even if it means challenging them—and ultimately take care of our self-esteem!