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2 of 100 Reasons Why You Don't Manifest Your Dreams. Lack of Self-Esteem

Updated: May 26

Lack of Self-Esteem: Overcoming Internal Obstacles to Achieve Your Dreams

This image illustrates how early experiences and critical environments can lead to a fractured self-image and low self-esteem.


Lack of self-esteem is a problem that affects many people, profoundly affecting every aspect of their lives. Feeling inadequate, doubting our abilities and having a negative perception of ourselves can paralyze our ambitions and prevent us from pursuing our dreams. However, it is possible to overcome these internal obstacles and build strong self-esteem that allows us to live a full and fulfilling life. In this blog, we will explore the causes of lack of self-esteem, its manifestations and effective strategies for building self-confidence.

Causes of Lack of Self-Esteem

Lack of self-esteem can result from several experiences and factors, including:

Childhood Experiences

The experiences we have during childhood have a significant impact on the formation of our self-esteem. Excessive criticism, lack of emotional support, or trauma can leave profound marks. Children who grow up in environments where they are constantly questioned or belittled may develop negative perceptions of themselves. For example, a child who is constantly compared to his siblings or peers may grow up believing that he is never good enough.

A digital collage with social media icons (like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) surrounding a sad face emoji. The background shows a stream of perfect, filtered images, emphasizing the pressure of social comparisons.

Social Comparisons

We live in a society that promotes unrealistic standards of success and beauty. Social media, in particular, can amplify this pressure, showing only the best aspects of people's lives. This can lead to constant comparisons with others, fueling feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Images of perfect lives and extraordinary successes can make us feel inferior and insecure about our own accomplishments and worth.

Failures and Rejections

Negative experiences such as academic, professional or personal failures can undermine our confidence in our abilities and worth. For example, failure in an important project or rejection in a significant relationship can leave emotional scars that affect our long-term self-esteem. The fear of repeating these failures can lead us to avoid situations that involve risk, thus limiting our opportunities for growth.

Cultural conditioning

Some cultures can impose rigid roles and expectations that limit individual self-esteem, especially for those who do not conform to these standards. For example, in some societies, gender expectations can limit women's aspirations, imposing on them traditional roles that do not reflect their true desires and talents. This cultural conditioning can lead to a feeling of inadequacy and frustration.

Manifestations of Lack of Self-Esteem

Lack of self-esteem can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including:


Self-sabotage is a common manifestation of a lack of self-esteem. People may avoid opportunities and successes for fear of not measuring up, unconsciously sabotaging their efforts. For example, procrastinating on important projects, turning down promotions, or avoiding tackling significant challenges are all signs of self-sabotage.


Perfectionism is another symptom of a lack of self-esteem. People who constantly strive for perfection set unrealistic standards for themselves and feel like they are never enough. This can lead to stress, burnout, and a constant feeling of failure, as no one can be perfect at everything.

Social Isolation

Fear of judgment and rejection can lead to social isolation. People with low self-esteem may avoid social interactions and situations that involve the possibility of being judged negatively or rejected. This isolation can further fuel feelings of loneliness and inadequacy.

Dependence on the Approval of Others

Those who suffer from a lack of self-esteem often constantly seek external confirmation and approval to feel valid and worthy. This can lead to complacency and putting the needs of others before one's own in the hope of gaining approval and acceptance.

Difficulty Making Decisions

Lack of self-esteem can cause decision paralysis, where you hesitate to make decisions for fear of making mistakes and receiving criticism. This indecisiveness can prevent you from seizing opportunities and advancing in your personal and professional life.

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Strategies to Strengthen Self-Esteem

Overcoming a lack of self-esteem takes time and effort, but with the right strategies, it is possible to build solid self-confidence.

Practice Self-Acceptance

  1. Recognize Your Values: Make a list of your positive qualities, skills and successes. Remind yourself of your strengths and what makes you unique. This exercise can help you focus on the positive aspects of yourself rather than your flaws.

  2. Accepting Imperfections: No one is perfect. Accepting your imperfections allows you to be kinder to yourself and reduce perfectionism. Instead of focusing on your mistakes, recognize that they are part of the growth and learning process.

  3. Daily Gratitude: Every day, write down at least three things you are grateful for. This helps you focus on the positive aspects of your life and develop a more positive and optimistic mindset.

Set Realistic Goals

  1. Break Big Goals into Small Steps: Instead of feeling overwhelmed by big goals, break them down into small, achievable steps. Celebrate every little success along the way, as every step forward is progress.

  2. Being Patient with Yourself: Personal growth takes time. Be patient with yourself and recognize that progress, even if slow, is still a success. Avoid comparing yourself to others and focus on your unique path.

  3. Create an Action Plan: Define a clear plan to achieve your goals, including deadlines and necessary resources. This will help you stay focused and motivated, giving you a roadmap for success.

A diverse group of friends sitting in a park, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with sunlight filtering through the trees.

Cultivate Positive Relationships

  1. Surrounding Yourself with Positive People: The people around us influence our self-esteem. Try to spend time with people who support you, encourage you and believe in you. Positive relationships can provide crucial emotional support and boost your self-esteem.

  2. Learning to Say No: Learn to set healthy boundaries and say no when necessary. This helps you protect your emotional well-being and respect your needs. Saying no can be difficult, but it's essential to maintaining balance and mental health.

  3. Asking for Help: Don't hesitate to ask for support from family, friends or professionals when you need it. Sharing your concerns can ease the burden of a lack of self-esteem and provide new perspectives and solutions.

Develop Positive Habits

  1. Practising Mindfulness: Mindfulness helps you stay present in the moment and reduce anxiety and self-criticism. Set aside time each day for meditation or activities that help you focus on the present. Mindfulness can improve your self-awareness and promote a greater sense of calm and well-being.

  2. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: A balanced diet, regular exercise and adequate sleep are essential for physical and mental well-being. Take care of your body to improve your emotional state. Physical activity, in particular, can increase endorphin levels and improve your mood.

  3. Constantly Learn and Grow: Invest in your personal and professional development. Learning new skills and expanding your knowledge will help you feel more competent and confident. Taking courses, workshops, and reading self-help books can provide new perspectives and tools for growth.

A person sits in a meditative pose on a beach, facing the ocean during sunset. The waves gently lap at the shore, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere.

Changing the Internal Dialogue

  1. Replace Negative Thoughts: When you notice negative thoughts about yourself, replace them with positive affirmations. For example, change "I'm not capable" to "I'm learning and improving every day." Positive affirmations can help you build a more optimistic and confident mindset.

  2. Be Your Own Supporter: Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would treat a friend. Become your own biggest supporter and motivator. Practice self-compassion and remember that it is normal to make mistakes and have difficult moments.

  3. Practising Positive Visualization: Imagine yourself achieving your goals and living the life you want. Positive visualization can strengthen your self-esteem and your confidence in your abilities. Visualizing success can motivate you to persevere and work hard to achieve your dreams.

Conclusion Lack of self-esteem is a significant obstacle, but not insurmountable. With awareness, commitment and the right strategies, it is possible to overcome internal barriers and build strong self-confidence. Remember that the path to self-esteem takes time and patience, but every step forward is important progress. Embrace your unique qualities, learn from your mistakes, and continue to grow. With solid self-esteem, you will be able to pursue your dreams and realize your full potential, living a life full of meaning and satisfaction.

The image depicts a winding pathway through a dense forest, gradually leading towards a bright and inviting sunlight at the end. The forest is lush and green, symbolizing growth and renewal, while the sunlight represents hope and clarity.

The key is to never give up. Building self-esteem is an ongoing process, and every small success along the way helps build your self-confidence. Embrace challenges, accept imperfections, and celebrate every progress, no matter how small. With determination and commitment, you can transform a lack of self-esteem into a solid confidence that will guide you towards a full and fulfilling life.

Weekly Exercise to Improve Self-Esteem

Improving self-esteem requires time and a consistent commitment to positive change. This weekly exercise is designed to help you develop a more positive view of yourself and build confidence in your abilities.

Exercise: The Week of Self-Confidence


Increase self-esteem through reflection, positive action, and the practice of gratitude.

Necessary Materials:
  • A journal or notebook

  • Pen or pencil

  • Mirror

  • Access to a calendar (paper or digital)

Day 1: Reflection and Awareness

  1. Evaluate Your Current Self-Esteem:

  • Take your journal and write a brief assessment of how you feel about your self-esteem. What are the thoughts and emotions you most frequently have about yourself?

  1. Identify Areas for Improvement:

  • List specific areas where you feel you have low self-esteem. This might be related to work, relationships, physical appearance, or other life situations.

  1. Recognize Negative Thoughts:

  • Identify recurring negative thoughts that affect your self-esteem. Write these thoughts in the journal and reflect on their impact.

Day 2: Positive Affirmations

  1. Create Positive Affirmations:

  • Write a list of positive affirmations that counter your negative thoughts. These affirmations should be specific, realistic, and focused on positive aspects of yourself.

  1. Daily Repetition:

  • Every morning, look at yourself in the mirror and repeat the positive affirmations out loud. Do this exercise for at least 5 minutes each day.

Day 3: Gratitude Practice

  1. Keep a Gratitude Journal:

  • Every evening, write in the journal three things you are grateful for about yourself. These can be personal qualities, actions you’ve taken, or acknowledgments you’ve received.

  1. Reflect on Successes:

  • Re-read your gratitude notes and reflect on how these positive aspects contribute to your self-esteem. Focus on your successes and the progress you’ve made.

Day 4: Self-Care and Well-Being

  1. Practice Self-Care:

  • Dedicate time to an activity that makes you feel good and relaxed. This can be a walk, a meditation session, a warm bath, or reading a book.

  1. Acknowledge the Value of Self-Care:

  • Write in the journal about how self-care makes you feel and how it contributes to your self-esteem. Recognize the importance of taking care of yourself.

Day 5: Building Skills

  1. Identify a New Skill:

  • Choose a new skill or activity that you want to learn or improve. This can be related to work, a hobby, or a personal interest.

  1. Set Small Goals:

  • Break down the learning of this skill into small, achievable goals. Plan to dedicate some time each day to working on these goals.

  1. Document Progress:

  • Each day, write in the journal about the progress you’ve made toward learning this new skill. Acknowledge your successes and the challenges you’ve overcome.

Day 6: Positive Feedback

  1. Seek Feedback:

  • Ask trusted people (friends, family, colleagues) to give you positive feedback on something you’ve done recently. Ask them to be specific and honest.

  1. Reflect on the Feedback:

  • Write in the journal about the feedback you received and reflect on how it makes you feel. Use this information to reinforce your self-esteem and see yourself through others’ eyes.

Day 7: Review and Self-Reflection

  1. Review the Week:

  • Dedicate time to reviewing the week. Read your notes and reflect on the progress made. Which activities helped you the most to improve your self-esteem?

  1. Acknowledge Changes:

  • Write in the journal about how you feel regarding your self-esteem compared to the beginning of the week. What thoughts and emotions have changed?

  1. Plan the Next Week:

  • Use the lessons learned to plan the next week. Continue using strategies that worked and add new activities that you find helpful.

Improving self-esteem is an ongoing process that requires commitment and patience. This weekly exercise will help you develop a more positive view of yourself and build confidence in your abilities. Remember to be kind to yourself and celebrate your progress. Over time, you will find that your self-esteem grows, allowing you to face challenges with greater confidence and determination. Good luck!

Next Friday, 31st May 2024, we will see the 3rd reason, Procrastination, subscribe to receive notifications of the new blogs!

Light and Love

Reiki Master Stefano

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