Everyone has a right to feel good about who they are, but it is normal from time to time to have some negative thoughts. These negative feelings of self-esteem often are triggered by events that have occurred earlier in your life. It may be that when you were a child you were told that you behaved badly or weren’t smart enough. When something happens that reminds you of these feelings, you can relive them. When feelings of low self-esteem become frequent, it can result in a barrier to living life to the fullest, trying new things, and achieving personal and professional goals.

Tips to help improve your self-esteem:

  1. Be aware of that little voice in your head. When you are feeling bad about yourself be aware of what that little voice in your head is saying. Listen for thoughts that are not positive or might be holding you back. Writing these thoughts down can help put your feelings into perspective. Learn to redirect these thoughts into positive and helpful ones. Use visualization to see a positive outcome or to see yourself in a positive way.
  2. Be responsible for your own happiness. Make choices in your life that reflect what you want to do. Listen to other peoples’ advice, but in the end decide what works for you. Trying to please others will not make you happy.
  3. Focus on your achievements and successes. Use other experiences as a way to make changes and improve yourself.
  4. Celebrate your achievements and successes. Even the small ones.
  5. Do not compare yourself to others. Everyone is unique. If you don’t like something about yourself, work to improve it. For example, if you think you are not a very kind person, go out of your way to do acts of kindness. It will lift your spirits.
  6. Get rid of the clutter in your life and create a relaxing and uplifting environment for yourself. This can be achieved by organizing your home/office, decorating with colors you like, plants, etc.
  7. Take inventory of the things for which you should be grateful. At bedtime, write a list of ten things for which you are grateful. This will help put your life in perspective and can have a very positive outcome on your mood.
  8. Do something outside of your comfort zone. Fear is a time for growth. As long as you are not putting yourself in a life threatening situation, push yourself to try something new.
  9. Socialize with people who are positive and supportive.
  10. Stay physical. Physical exercise is a great way to reduce your stress, increase energy, and help you feel good about yourself.
  11. Take care of yourself. Treat yourself to something. We have to take care of ourselves before we can take care of anyone else. Do something just for you. Don’t feel guilty – it will only defeat the purpose.
  12. Don’t take yourself or life too seriously. Have fun and enjoy it.

Low self-esteem can be caused by many things including, mental health issues, substance abuse, or years of negative self-talk. If you believe you may have low self-esteem please contact the Lawyer Assistance Program for free, confidential assistance. We would be happy to work with you to help you improve your self-esteem.


For assistance, please contact the Lawyer Assistance Program for free, confidential counseling. We have a network of counselors throughout Maryland. Jim Quinn, Director, (443) 703-3041, jim@msba.org; Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C, Associate Director, (443) 703-3042, lisa@msba.org. Toll Free line 1(888) 388-5459.


Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C has over 20 years experience in her field, and extensive experience working with lawyers and judges in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and trauma. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, paddle boarding, sailing, rock climbing and training for triathlons.