Has anyone with severely low self-esteem ever managed to overcome it? What happened?

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Yes. And you’re going to receive a lot of quick tips here but honestly it takes years. People with low self esteem have a few things. They have a low level of assertiveness in their personality, a few beliefs about themselves, a few beliefs about how the world is or should be, and some automatic reactions they have built up. Developing higher self-esteem requires a lot of work. You have to fundamentally change the way you see yourself and how you understand the dynamics of the world around you. You have to practice building assertiveness which requires you to go through a lot of discomfort. And you have to learn to recognize and overrule the automatic reactions and thoughts that cause you to act in ways that further entrench your low self-esteem. Don’t look at the comments here for quick advice. Read books on cognitive behavioral therapy or acceptance commitment therapy. The Confidence Gap is one that I particularly enjoyed, but there are plenty. Try to avoid any that are a little bit overly self-helpy and be ready for at least a few months of difficult work.


I realized that no one knew me, so I could be whoever I wanted. I decided to be someone I liked. People still hate me, but I like myself now.


I realised that low self-esteem is caused by something, upbringing, people etc and therefore it can be undone, it doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture of what you are and most likely it’s a delusion. So for me I just had to retrain my brain over a couple of years, replace the negative thoughts with positive ones, stop criticising myself, focus more on the accomplishments and not the failures, stop assuming I’m a mind reader and know what people are thinking about me. You can definitely overcome low self-esteem.


I faked my confidence because confidence is attractive and then I ended up believing it myself


Yes. My first step was that I deleted Facebook lol I realized I was comparing my life to the overwhelmingly false supposed realities of people who I didn’t even know anymore. I also decided to just, do things on my own more. I took all the things I enjoyed doing with people, and started doing them on my own… from dining out, to hiking and camping, to going to the movies, to snowboarding. I became comfortable with my own company and started looking at things differently. I found I no longer needed the approval of others, because I was achieving things on my own – whether that achievement was as simple as spending 2 hours enjoying a movie while dedicating my full attention to it, or as grand as spending 7 days alone in the woods and successfully bringing a deer home to eat for the next 6 months. I should mention everyone has different interests and hobbies, so don’t compare yours to others’. Whatever it is that you like to do, keep doing it and you will find self worth in it. What happened I can’t say for sure, because this is an experiment in process… but I will say I feel pretty happy.