You're Worth the Hard Work to Build Self-Esteem

August 19, 2020 Jessica Kaley

Building self-esteem is hard work. When your self-esteem is low, it can be difficult to act on plans that are specifically for your benefit. It may be hard because you don't believe you're worth prioritizing the effort or that you don't deserve the result you're aiming for. The hardest part of building healthy self-esteem is taking those baby steps at the beginning of a new adventure. Here's why you need to believe that you're worth the hard work to build self-esteem.

By doing the work, you will reap double benefits. First, you get the benefit of whatever the action was designed to do to make your life easier or better, like starting a new career or creating better boundaries or spending time on self-care. Second, you get the benefit of strengthening your self-esteem by flexing those muscles which will make future actions easier to complete.

This week I've had a lot of hard work to do to keep my self-esteem strong. It's been stressful and as a result I'm eating poorly and slacking at housecleaning. My instincts want me to stop doing the work and stop feeling the stress. But that won't make the hard work go away, and it can cause anxiety if I procrastinate. Here's how I got myself through this week, step by step, from facing the tough decisions to celebrating this morning.

Plan the Hard Work Needed to Build Self-Esteem

The hard work needed to build my self-esteem requires good planning. Here is what I do.

  1. Recognize the need for action -- The first step is recognizing that something needs to be done. This week I faced an action deadline that would allow me to pay my bills next month. Making financial decisions is hard for me because I don't trust myself enough, but it's a part of self-care and so it's important to my self-esteem. Then I had a second run in with a neighbor who lets her dog run off leash. I feel threatened as I walk my leashed kitten and I decided I must do something about it. Standing up for my rights by challenging this lawbreaker is difficult for me as is all confrontation but it's important to my self-esteem.
  2. List the steps to complete the action -- Baby steps make a difficult job easier. I broke down both of my hard tasks into many small steps, like researching the local leash laws and finding out if I can easily change my retirement distribution after I set it up. Every step gives me an opportunity for success which builds my self-esteem, so I break everything down into the tiniest steps possible. Each step is then easy to complete and that helps me feel more confident.
  3. Prioritize according to your needs -- To improve overall success, assess the importance and the urgency of each step. I knew I had to finish my financial work this week, but my research in the earlier steps told me that I could easily make changes after implementing my plan. Therefore, I pushed some of the decisions to a later date and concentrated on activating my withdrawals. Dealing with my neighbor is not urgent at all, but it's important to me, so I committed to do the work by informing my HOA about the incident and letting them know I would be contacting the authorities at a pace that was comfortable for me. Publicizing my intention was enough for me today.
  4. Work the plan to completion -- When I plan my week and the steps I want to complete I consider the stress level of each step. This week was difficult for me, so I allowed some of my regular tasks to slide to support my best chances for success. It's necessary to know what you can reasonably accomplish in a period and that's something you learn as you grow. I know my limits after years of experimenting and I accept them. This is practicing self-love and a sign of healthy self-esteem.

Celebrate Your Hard Work as You Build Self-Esteem

I'm dancing around my house right now after completing the final step to start my monthly retirement income. This has been a work in progress for months and while I celebrated each step with a pat on my back, today my pride and relief are reason to dance.

I know I will always have hard work to improve my self-esteem ahead of me. Next week, to continue my celebration and recuperate from this week's stress, I'll plan an easy week and get back to my regular routines. Then I'll be ready for another tough action. By committing to the hard work to keep my self-esteem healthy, I'm showing myself and the world that I know I'm worth the effort.

We all have things that are tough for us based on our personal talents, challenges, and experiences. What kind of tasks do you find hard but necessary? How do you set yourself up for success? Where do you think you can improve next time? Share your story about the hard work you've put into your self-esteem with us in the comments.

APA Reference
Kaley, J. (2020, August 19). You're Worth the Hard Work to Build Self-Esteem, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Jessica Kaley

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Lizanne Corbit
August, 19 2020 at 6:31 pm

Yes, you are! Yahoo, I love this read!! I think it is so important for people to make the connection between building self-esteem and the work that goes into it because it does take work! It does not happen overnight. It requires effort and patience and having a plan in place can set you up for success and help you stay on track with this wonderful pursuit. Setting ourselves up for success is so important with a variety of things, but particularly when it's in relation to our self-worth, confidence, and esteem.

August, 20 2020 at 2:46 pm

Thank you, Lizanne, for your positive comment. I think my experience as a Project Manager helped me a lot in my personal journey. Practicing time management and risk management helped me learn to set realistic goals, and when I connect that experience to the personal growth work I am attempting, I usually find some kind of success to celebrate. Celebrating is something I try to look forward to each week!

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