How To Raise My Self-Esteem

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    i feel like a real nebach case. like if my friends call me to chat, it’s just because they want to be nice. i used to think i’m pretty, now i think just the opposite. i always feel like i’m being kluzy and doing klutzy things….

    anyone have any ideas how to raise my self esteem?


    There are many things you can do, but the first question I would ask you is how committed are you to change? No one can make you change and no one can make the commitment for you, you have to do that on your own. But if you are willing to accept help, then we can help you.

    Firstly, to say that you are not pretty is to insult Hashem’s creation so let’s put that aside and understand that you are Hashem’s child therefore you are beautiful on the inside and on the outside. Each time you smile at someone they can see without a shadow of a doubt that you ARE beautiful. Everyone has something that is more striking than other things, and everyone has something special about them so don’t start comparing yourself to other people. We are each unique and different in many ways; that’s the way Hashem created us. And there is always a way to make ourselves feel better about the way we look. If we are heavy we can do something about our weight. If we feel we don’t know exactly what looks best on us, we can use the assistance of a good salesperson in a department store to help us choose which styles and colors look best on us. If we can’t seem to get our cut and color right, we can make a special appointment with a well qualified beautician and make-up specialist.

    But the best way to feel good about ourselves and build our self-esteem is to do something nice for someone else and feel your inner beauty come shining through. When you feel beautiful on the inside, your self-esteem will rise and you will feel more beautiful on the outside. So find a chessed group you can join, volunteer for a good cause, or just go for a walk with your beautiful smile on your face. Then practice in front of your mirror with positive reinforcements such as “I am a good person”, “people like me”, “I am beautiful on the inside and out”.


    Thanks Aries2756! Your words are very helpful. I’ll try the techniques you mentioned. But it’s not only the looks, B’h, i’m not heavy, so that’s a plus.

    it’s more how i act in public.

    for example, in school i would hardly raise my hand, even though i usually knew the answer

    or if i’m setting the table with someone else at a party, i would feel like i’m doing it wrong, or that people are looking only at me…

    i always have these negative thoughts

    i know doing chessed will probably have a positive effect, but i feel too shy to go volunteering.

    any other suggestions?


    Visit the CR more often! You’d be hard pressed to find a more supportive, accepting group than us.

    Seriously, find something you do well, and focus on that. From there, you can build on other skills / techniques.

    I just picked up a great phrase a few weeks ago. Its really about disaster-preparedness and emergency management, but it works for most areas in life:

    “Overcoming challenges is 90% psychology 10% methodology”

    or in Yiddish its tracht gut, svet zain gut (think positive, and things will work themselves out)

    There are dozens of quotes that support this idea, but use this alone as a barometer: you posted a new thread an hour ago and you got several responses sop far (and l-rd knows we’ve been busy today with other threads).

    So how can you think youself a loser?

    Be Happy

    xbp: Start believing in yourself. Take one task and work on it till perfection eg setting a party table. Learn a few napkin patterns, and have a few other little bits and bob to the table – You will feel so good when praised for a beautiful table. After that decide on another task – I think you will soon learn to believe in yourself. Good Luick


    xbp, I’ll tell you a little secret, ready? No one’s perfect, only Hashem is perfect. So it really doesn’t matter if the table is set perfectly, or if your eye make-up is on quite straight. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Honestly, if someone has a perfect nose, their lips might be a little crooked or their feet might be very large. Hashem has a very interesting sense of humor, really I promise.

    So stop being so hard on yourself. What will happen if one napkin is folded incorrectly. Either someone goes back to refold the napkin or that person who gets that napkin uses a napkin that wasn’t folded correctly, or uses a fork that was on the wrong side of the plate, or a cup that was an inch too far or whatever. It really doesn’t have an effect on the party. And if someone is looking at you take that as a compliment and smile at them and say hello.

    Would you believe me if I told you I was very shy in school as well. I was even shy when I first got married. On my first job straight out of high school I begged the phone not to ring so I wouldn’t have to answer it. Then I calmed myself down and told myself, they can’t see me and they don’t know me at the other end of the phone. My job is to help them. What will happen if it doesn’t go so well the first couple of times. They can’t hit me or bite me, so stop being so silly. That helped me calm down.

    What happens if I make a mistake, or I say something silly and everyone laughs at me. I laugh too, and say well, I guess that was silly. Do you know what? Life doesn’t end at that moment when I get a little embarrassed. Life goes on and there are more opportunities for me to get embarrassed, but there are also many opportunities for me to feel really good about myself. And those opportunities await you as well. The more you try to be perfect and do everything perfectly the more Hashem will show you that perfection is saved for him alone.

    I had a teacher in High School who refused to give anyone above a 98%. He said 100% is for Hashem. 99% he reserved for himself. Students deserve 98% and below. Why, he didn’t want us to feel superior and cocky. He said no one is perfect, and if we ever think we are or keep trying to be, he was going to teach us the truth. We should all just strive to do and be the best that we each can be and not worry about perfection.

    So are you ready to try to be the best you can be and stop worrying about everyone else?


    xbp: First, you should just know that many (if not most) people have low self esteem. You are very normal, and dont forget that.

    Fake it till you make it. If now the confidence is not real, then act like its there, always. When you’re with friends, with your family, and even by yourself.

    Is there a grandparent/older neighbor/relative who you can talk to? I don’t mean to bare your soul, but just talk about anything. The weather, school, clothing. I talk from personal experience. Theres someone I try to call even just to wish a good Shabbos. The conversations are rarely longer than five minutes and I always feel like a million bucks when I get off the phone. Theres no room for low self esteem when you feel like you made someones day.

    Remember your the child of Hashem!! Of course you’re an amazing person! You’re his CHILD!!! Like I once heard “remember you’re important, cuz G-d don’t make junk!” So true.

    As BP Totty said, come to the CR. Anonymity makes people feel comfortable. Even for the shy folk.




    XPB, I haven’t read the other responses, so if I am repetitive, then it only serves to show you that many of us may feel the same. I immediately understood you to be a teenager from your opening sentence. You should know that adolescence is a time for SO many kids to feel as you do. You are really not alone in this.

    Growing up involves many changes,both physically and emotionally, and sometimes even the best of us, the most creative, the nicest people, the smartest, the kind that most assuredly are NOT nebbichs, feel that they are. That’s because you have not yet come into your own and found the place where you can shine. I promise you, you will. And this is from a person whose self-esteem often took a hit, because I was the SMART sister in my family and my younger sister was the BEAUTIFUL sister. Both of those labels were foolish, because I am not ugly and my sister is extremely intelligent.

    How we perceive outselves is often colored by the people around us. Find your strengths and play to them. And if your friends make the time and effort to call you (and I hope you are likewise making the effort to call THEM), then rest assured they are not doing it out of pity or to be “nice.” If you are doing klutzy things, that’s pretty normal, too, so laugh about it, and if it happens in front of others, show that you have a sense of humor and don’t get embarrassed. We are ALL klutzy at times.

    Most important, just be yourself. Be a sweet and kind person, and I guarantee your real friends will think very highly of you. And hopefully, YOU will think a little more highly of yourself, because self-esteem comes from within, not from other people. That is why it is called SELF-esteem.


    I think it’s very normal to be insecure in certain areas, especially when we are young and the older we get, IF we work on ourselves, the more secure we become about ourselves.

    I think that the most important thing is to have in mind that it doesn’t matter what others think of you, you only need to focus on doing the right things.

    So if your freinds talk to you, it’s self destructive to start analyzing why they are talking to you. It’s important to focus on yourself, that YOU should BE a freind.

    There’s nothing wrong with being klutzy. But if you are not keeping on tripping every second step you take or dropping objects, then I doubt your are klutzy though. I think your are just feeling like that.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so if you will be confident and appreciate the beauty that you most certainly have, then you are beautiful.


    Hey, you did better than I did on starting a thread about Ahavas Yisroel!!!! Good Job!

    One more thing. In order to gain confidence in anything a good way to accomplish that is to practice. So whether it is to set a table, or just to walk with your head held high just practice. Pick your chin off the ground, throw your shoulders back and put a smile on your face. When you see your reflection in the mirror or in a store window remind yourself to practice and do it. Whatever you feel a little unsure of, make it a point to practice at it. The more you do it, the more confidence you will have with it.

    If you are not sure about folding a fancy napkin, do it for Shabbos in your own home. Set the table at home, arrange the Shabbos flowers at home. Ask your sister to read the same book as you and then discuss it, so you build your confidence having a normal conversation about a normal topic. Just practice doing normal things with friends and family till it becomes second nature.

    If there is anything else we can help you with, or anything else specific that is bothering you, just ask and we will all try to do our best to make you feel comfortable about it.

    Hatzlocha Raba, and don’t forget, you have friends all around you. Hashem is always with you, and HE will never allow you to walk alone. He will always send you shelichim to help you on any journey.

    says who

    In addition to what everyone is saying, I’ll say that having low self esteem is a feeling that you have that developed along the years from different circumstances together with your personality. So when you are talking to your friend it’s the feeling inside of you that makes you think negative thoughts, but the thoughts are 99% false, and afte you have the false negative thoughts, it takes you on a ride and doesn’t stop. If you know before hand that the negative thoughts are only from a feeling and is false it can help you that the next time you are in this situation you’ll be able to stop thinking the negative right away

    It’s not very easy but with time it will become more & more easy



    a very exelllent book for self help for this issue would be REAL POWER Dovid liberman, torah percpective.



    Creating real self esteem, one must do and behave in a way that they have respect for their own deeds. If you respect someone else you should respect them for their deeds. Unfortunately in todays society at least, people tend to respect power, money, and any other outcome instead of actual deeds. A poor outlook.

    Point 2. There is a close relationship between depression, and low self esteem.

    Here are some questions you should ask yourself.

    Do you feel week, tired etc.?

    Are you somber?

    No reason to wake up or excitement in life?

    As far as reading material. I would reccomend Rabbi Dr. Twerski’s books (the non-kosher ones). Especially the peanuts series.

    Good luck!


    Thank You everyone for your replies. I’m already feeling much better about myself just seeing how much everyone in the CR cares.

    Thanks 🙂


    That warm fuzzy feeling is just the beginning! You’ll really feel good about yourself when you lock horns with one of us on a topic (assuming you win!)

    And now that I think of it, XBP.. does that mean ex-Boro Park? ‘Cause if it does, let me tell you; there is NO escaping boro park. It follows you wherever you go. 🙂


    YOU HIT IT RIGHT ON THE BUTTON, BP TOTTY! Sorry but I’m not such a lover of BP, no offense…


    Small wonder you have doubts about your self esteem. BP is a tough playground.

    Not to worry; I’ve been here more than 40 years, and I overcame lots obstacles. So will you!


    Hey, that’s really cute. I am an xbp too. I stayed for many years but as soon as I got out I felt like I had breathing room.


    wow, reading through this post brought back such memories(not such good ones) I also used to be so insecure and I used to eat myself up over it. Why couldn’t I just have fun and feel free like everyone else? I felt like I couldn’t breath! Then I told myself hey, why am I different than anybody else out there? everyone makes mistakes and its accepted! no one will laugh at you or make fun of you for setting the table the wrong way. and ya know what? I bet you have things that you know how to do better than the girl who knows how to set the table. don’t focus so m uch on what you might have made a mistake on- focus on your accomplishments! give yourself a pat on the back!there are things that you know how to do and roles that only you can complete. all of our neshamot are connected. without you, klal yisrael wouldn’t be complete! we’re depending on you! here’s an idea- make sure to always greet everyone with a smile-watch how much of a difference you make when the other person smiles back!to be human is to err!


    Comes morning, they see each other, and die of grief. Sad to say the least.

    Asks Rav Soloveitchik, why is the kinnah, as heartbreaking as it is, placed where it it? Its in between a kinnah that talks about the crusades massacre and the Asoreh Harigey Malchus. Why is the story of two unnamed children placed among the stories of national impact?

    Answers the Rav, because yiddishkeit IS ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL. And to illustrate this point, the kinnah of these two children are placed in such a prominent spot, so we never underestimate the value of each member.


    I realize that posting something 3 hours before the zman may not give a post a fair shot of being seen. Especially after a 4 day weekend.

    So please forgive me for “self refreshing” this, but I was really hoping my latest post would be meaningful to the readers who followed this thread when it got started.


    There are to things it is assur to be worried about:

    1. Things you can change – because all you have to do is fix them no worries.

    2. Things you can’t change – if you can’t change them – why get worked up about it?


    Many words are used to describe the creation of the world; asiyah (made), breiyah (creation) yetzira (formed). Only 3 things use the term barah:

    So when someone questions their self esteem, consider the potential the torah thinks you have!


    XBP- I don’t know if youre still following this post. In any event, most people have been suggesting coping mechanisms and other stopgap measures. In some situations these are helpful but very commonly not. I would advise you to talk to a professional. Perhaps your case is just “the blues,” but perhaps not. You have nothing to lose by having a professional consultation and a world (and a happier life) to gain. Best wishes.


    I think this thread is so important, I’m reviving it.

    Here’s a thought:

    To the world, you might be just one person, but to one person, you just might be the world!

    How’s THAT for a self esteem builder!



    You want the real thing, not fake self esteem!

    Check out Miriam Adahan’s EMETT and other books-they helped me a lot with many things in life!


    way to go BP Totty that’s quite a line definitely something to keep in mind.


    ramateshkolian- You said it!!

    SELF CONTROL BUILDS SELF RESPECT , Yes that is soo powerful. A couple of months ago I was struggling (and sometimes still am) with my own self esteem.

    There wasnt much in me I felt could be respected or that I could feel good about.

    Hashem had given me soo much- he gave me loads of talents, alot of charisma and a pretty face. But, I just didnt see it!

    None of that meant anything to me..

    I really was struggling…

    Until someone pointed out to me to start working on my Self control.Every time I wanted to say something hurtful, or yell at the other person (and oh yes , they did deserve it) I would fight back the urge and instead I would take a deep breathe and count till 10 and the urge would slowly go away)

    Once I started mastering it once, twice and several more times, the feeling that I am in control was the best self esteem booster there could ever be. Once I started feeling better about myself I started appreciating all the things hashem gave me.

    Also, Push yourself to go out and volunteer. When an oppertunity arises dont say no! Fight that urge!!

    Good Luck,



    BP Totty

    “I think this thread is so important, I’m reviving it.

    Here’s a thought:

    To the world, you might be just one person, but to one person, you just might be the world!

    How’s THAT for a self esteem builder!”

    This may help someone feeling a momentary dip in self esteem. But someone who has a real self esteem problem needs more than some pithy sayings to help them. They need major therapy.

    The bottom line of low self esteem is that the person doesnt see themselves as having value. It requires changing the way one thinks about themselves and that requires a lot of hard work and constant reinforcement.

    Anyone reading this who is suffering with low self esteem, even occasionally should read the book Real Power by Dr. David Lieberman. It will change your life!

    Below is the link. No jokes this book is a life changer and Dr. Lieberman really understands the issues and helps you get to the core and uproot those self defeating thoughts.


    You are correct, WIY. Clinical depression needs real professional attention; other cases can get by with just a well written book.

    My goal is to reach the folks that feel ok 85% of the time, and just need a jolt for the other 15%.

    Like coffee (the drinkable kind); it does not replace sleep. It just gets you jump-started.

    Pithy? Is that all the idea ranked? Good thing its not my quote 😐



    Low self esteem is not clinical depression but I guess it can lead to it.

    Pithy means having substance and point.

    Ramateshkolian and shimmel are correct self control leads to self respect and self esteem.

    BPT theres a problem with your quote, what happens if Chas Veshalom the person that you are the world to dies. Is your self esteem gone now? Self esteem is internal and cant be dependent on anyone or anything. Its about loving and accepting you for who you are regardless of what you have or havent done.


    What if the person dies?

    True, I did’nt think of that. Still, I don’t think that would mean the end of the persons self-worth. I think they could continue to reflect on what they meant to the person, and keep doing the things that made them worthy of the resepect they got during the lifetime.

    My father’s father died before I was born, yet I try to live the life that would make him proud of me. And one day soon, I hope to see him face-to-face and look forward to him telling me, how he saw the things I went through and how tough it must have been, but despite that, he is very proud of me.

    If we think about for just a moment, we can all think of someone to whom we are meaningful to. True, not all of us will earn accolades or plaques or applause. But that does not mean we are not worthy of it. It just means we’re not seeing it…yet!

    Al Tisyaesh, people!


    BP Totty

    My point still stands, self esteem is something that comes from within it cant be dependent on anyone outside of ones self. Its about what a person thinks and how he feels about himself. Its looking at yourself and seeing the real you, the talents abilities skills and goodness inside you and not focusing on the failures or negative things that happened over the years.


    Sorry, WIY, I can’t side with you on this one. People need to feel wanted and needed. Maybe not all of us to the same extent as another, but on the whole, we live for validation.

    Some of us are strong enought to build a base without hand-holding, many of us, (for at least part of the time)need to be part of a community. That’s what makes us human (as opposed to house plants)



    Rabbi Abraham J Twerski, M.D. in his book Ten Steps To Being Your Best defines self esteem as:

    I am entitled to regard myself as having value and worth because I was created by G-d and endowed with a G-dly soul. Therefore I have unconditional value and intrinsic worth just by “being,” independent of doing and accomplishing.


    I think what Rabbi Dr. Twerski is saying is true in a general sense. The fact that a person has a soul given by Hashem makes him or her feel valuable. However, in my opinion, a large part of self esteem is how a person is unique and can uniquely contribute to the world. Everyone has a soul and everyone Jewish has an extra soul. When a person feels special, that Hashem gave them special talents and abilities, then they feel worthwhile. When people receive validation from others for their talents and abilities, it raises their self esteems. (I’m not saying this is a good thing – because after all, you didn’t give yourself talents – they were given to you by Hashem – you were just born with them.)So self esteem is partly external, but true and strong self esteem is internal.


    Another important aspect is to not compare yourself to other people. 1) you don’t see the whole picture 2)what they have isn’t good for you 3) what you have is ideal for you. When a person comes to the realization that everything they have been given is perfect for them and everything they have or don’t have was decided by Hashem – who knows what is best for us, then a person can have self esteem.

    Gaiva is the opposite of a low self esteem. This is when a person attributes their talents and abilities to themselves.

    Having a low self esteem means you don’t recognize your uniqueness and value. You don’t even realize that you have those special talents and abilities.

    Having a good self esteem is right in the middle. You value yourself because you realize that you have special talents and abilities, but you attribute them to Hashem, you recognize that Hashem gave them to you. We must all strive toward this.


    OK, 2 months dormant is long enough. Here’s the latest installment:

    His basic premise is as follows: true happiness for a human being lies in growth and reaching goals. He quotes Rav S.R. Hirsch; Sameach (happiness) and tzomeach (growth) are almost identical words, because the two are so closely linked to one another.

    To illustrate his point, Rabbi Twerski uses two examples:

    Lobsters are soft and squishy, yet have a hard, rigid shell. So what happens when the lobster grows to the point that they outgrow their shell? They shed them, and grow a new, larger one. And when they outgrow that one, they grow a new, larger one, until they reach full size.

    His other example is the salmon. Hatched in a river, the salmon swims downstream and into the ocean. After spending a fixed amount of time there, they swim back upstream to the same spot in the river they were born in, and lay eggs to hatch the next batch of salmon.

    Swimming upstream is very hard. And no one could blame the salmon if after trying their hardest, they made it 75% of the way back, and then gave up.

    So keep trying and keep growing!


    bpt- you have no idea how perfect your timing in posting this is! it was EXACTLY what i needed to hear! thank you so much!!


    “EXACTLY what i needed to hear”

    make no mistake, we all need to hear it.

    Funny thing is, I had this typed up a week ago, so I guess timing is everything.


    At first,complimenting oneself seems awkward,but after awhile you realize the freedom that comes with NOT WAITING AROUND until someone else finally does.

    When the uplifting words come from someone else,it’s special!

    But until then,don’t wait around…


    I once saw in a office a picture of a hand saying when you do a good job and there is no one around to give you a pat in the back just back up and do it yourself……





    Some of the things you expressed in your beginning posts sounded very familiar. Here are some of the words you posted regarding your feelings: “Its more how I act in public,

    not raising my hand in school out of fear, setting a table with someone and I would feel like I’m doing it wrong or that people are looking only at me, too shy to go volunteering, having negative thoughts”……A niece of mine experienced the same feelings. At first we all chalked it up to her being SHY and Low Self Esteem….but the “supposed shyness lingered on”. Then miraculously one day while listening to a radio talk show…the person being interviewed on the talk show was voicing some of her challenges socially and the journey of dealing with it…my niece jumped up from her chair and said “That is me…this is exactly what I’m experiencing” …..and it had a name….


    Boruch Hashem my niece got the help she needed (at age 15)and today she is a productive and happy adult and socially active.

    Yes, positive thinking is great, people telling you “you can do it” is great, All the wonderful words of Chizuk in this post is amazing…however if you experience any of the following feelings please don’t hesitate to speak to a professional:

    A person with social anxiety is afraid that he/she will make mistakes and be embarrased or humiliated in front of others.

    People with social anxiety suffer from distorted thinking, including false beliefs about social situations and the negative opinion of others, Have feelings of inadequacy, self chastisement, judging themselves as being less then others, fear of making a presentation, fear of going out to dinner at restaurants or public gatherings, fear of initiating or maintaining conversations, Physical symptoms include

    pounding heart, sweating , blushing …..

    XBP…hopefully, none of the above applies to you.

    Hatzlocha Rabbah! We are here for you.


    This thread has been dormant too long. Time for a wakeup call!

    Anyone have any new material to post?


    dunno but i can benefit from it too so….guys? anything smart to say?!?!?


    Not the long-winded posts I normally like to do, but this just came across the desk yesterday, and it struck me as relevant.

    The quote is from the intro to a gardening book (don’t ask, its a long story) and the writer was trying to illustrate that anyone can be a good gardener, even if they do not have “gardening” background. He says:

    “Good gardening in not in the genes… its in the jeans.”

    Which means that if you invest effort, you will see results.

    Same with us. We may not have the background, the resources, the connections the next person has. But if we invest our best efforts, we will see results.

    So don’t just stand there… dig in!


    popcorn, A person with social anxiety is afraid that he/she will make mistakes and be embarrased or humiliated in front of others.

    People with social anxiety suffer from distorted thinking, including false beliefs about social situations and the negative opinion of others, Have feelings of inadequacy, self chastisement, judging themselves as being less then others, fear of making a presentation, fear of going out to dinner at restaurants or public gatherings, fear of initiating or maintaining conversations, Physical symptoms include

    pounding heart, sweating , blushing …..

    G I M M E A B R E A K!!!

    This applies to everyone, to some degree!!!!!

    You ever heard of President Obama? The guy in the White House? He was visiting with the Queen of England lately! He goofed during a toast to the Queen, by momentarily putting down his piece of paper that he was reading from, which the orchestra took to mean that he was finished with his toast to the Queen. Well, guess what, he wasnt! He continued speaking as the band played the National Anthem, while the Queen who was standing next to him looked on with shock and horror because that was a terrribly gauche thing to do (there are video clips). Now, I would think that Obama has a healthy level of self confidence and NO social anxiety that needs therapy. BUT, I guarantee you, after that incident, he must have been told about his goof, and I can imagine he was NOT pleased with himself and the fact that he’s President didnt neutralize his embarassment and regret, especially knowing it was all over the internet. No speaking during playing of Anthems, especially in front of the QUEEN!

    ; )

    Everyone!!!!!!! cares about not making fools of themselves in public, even the President!



    of course it is normal to have anxiety in certain situations…but from experiencing this personally with my niece,

    I can tell you that the words XBP used in her posts to describe what she was going through rang very familiar to what my niece was going through. Sometimes “Social Anxiety” can go beyond the normal fears. I highly recommend that you google the words Social Anxiety or Social Phobia …and once you read through it you will gain more knowledge about it. It took a few years of cognitive therapy to undo the fears and thoughts that my niece had with Social Anxiety. If it’s not dealt with early, a person could go into Adulthood with these continued everyday fears and it interferes with normal daily life . Today she has Boruch Hashem conquered the social anxiety she experienced and is a happy productive young lady. Blessings for Good Health to all!!!


    popcorn, do you have any idea what helped your niece most? Any tips that would be helpful to a general audience?

    I once heard Dr Joy Browne (a psychologist on WOR) offer a tip on lessening fear of public speaking. Im sure lots of people benefited from the tip. Id offer the tip here, but its awkward to mention to frum people, but useful nevertheless.

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