So how’s your self-esteem?

Woman studying reflectionSo how is your self-esteem?

Answering this question feels almost too personal – as if you were being asked your age or weight or about the most embarrassing moment in your life.  Right now your self-esteem could be high, low, fragile or something in between and it might not be something you want to say out loud.

I define self-esteem as the way you feel about yourself combined with your capability to think clearly, make good decisions and create a rewarding life. 

No one has 100% self-esteem all of the time.  Self-esteem is not ‘all or nothing’.  The truth is that it exists on a continuum and it can (and often does) change throughout your life.  However, it should be something that you are aware of, connected to and actively track so you can make adjustments as needed.

Self-esteem is often misunderstood.  Many mistake arrogance and over-confidence for self-esteem.  In reality, an attitude of superiority and exaggerated self-esteem are actually masking low self-esteem.  Healthy, authentic self-esteem is never ego based.  A person with healthy self-esteem never feels the need to brag or make themselves look better than someone else.  Healthy self-esteem (which is what we all should be striving for) is empowering and it is within your reach. 

In order to gain some insight about your self-esteem, listen closely to your self-talk — your internal dialogue.  Is it negative or positive?

  • I’m so tired today; I don’t feel like doing anything. OR Gosh, I’m tired but I know that once I get moving I will feel better.
  • I don’t like going into a room full of people and having to speak to total strangers. OR  I’m uncomfortable entering a room of people I don’t know yet, but I know I will meet two or three people and end up really enjoying myself; I always do!
  • My cup of tea has too much; I hope I don’t spill it! OR  My cup of tea is filled to the rim so I will be careful with it.

If your thoughts tend to be negative, then this is definitely affecting your self-esteem in a harmful way.  And yes, it is possible to change your thinking.  It requires awareness, persistence and a desire to change.

I teach women and girls how to create healthy self-esteem in their lives and how to foster it in their children.  It’s not something you are born with.  It is something you create.

If you would like more information on how to create healthy self-esteem or if you would like to work with me as your personal coach, please contact me via email or phone 703.505.2413. I am here to help!

Michelle Kelley

Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email

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I just wanted to say THANK YOU. I left your office so inspired today.
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I definitely owe my newfound confidence to Michelle. Without her, I don’t know how I would’ve been able to come out of my horrible situation as such a better version of myself.
People don't understand Michelle doesn’t just offer advice… which they seem to be afraid of hearing. I convey the message that the decisions you make are ultimately your own but Michelle will help you find clarity and sort through emotions.
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Michelle, you are so right about [my daughter] and how she thrives off of feelings of accomplishment. All seems to be good now. She amazes me every day with the way she is learning to handle tough situations.
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