4 Simple Habits for Better Self-Esteem

#2: Practice gentle self-talk

Nick Wignall
8 min readJun 18, 2022


Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava

As a psychologist, I spend a lot of time talking to people who struggle with low self-esteem. They say things like:

  • I’m very successful, but it never feels like enough.
  • I know this is bad to say, but I just never feel worthy.

But whatever the original cause of your low self-esteem, here’s what you need to understand about it:

Self-esteem is something you can build with better habits.

Most people spend so much time trying to understand their low self-esteem, that they don’t have any energy left to build higher self-esteem.

If you want better self-esteem, focus on identifying and building consistent habits that will improve your self-esteem. Here are four pretty good ones to start with.

1. Spend More Time with People You Actually Enjoy

Jim Rohn famously said:

You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

This is often interpreted in terms of success, productivity, and ambition: If you hang around with lazy, unmotivated people, it’s going to rub off on you negatively.

What people miss about this quote is that it applies to more than just success and achievement…

The people you consistently spend time with affect your wellbeing and self-esteem too.

If you constantly hang around people who don’t particularly like you, that’s gonna rub off and it’s going to be harder to like yourself more. On the other hand, if you spend a lot of time with people who genuinely like you and enjoy spending time with you, it’s going to be much easier to like yourself more.

On one level this seems obvious: Spend more time with people you actually enjoy! But this can be a surprisingly hard thing to do because competing desires often interfere.

For example, while many people like the idea of hanging around people they genuinely enjoy, they also like the idea of hanging around people who will advance their social standing. And more often than not, the second desire…



Nick Wignall

Psychologist and writer sharing practical advice for emotional health and well-being: https://thefriendlymind.com