Therapy for self-esteem

Online therapy in Bellevue and throughout Washington

Just be you. You are enough.

Do I have low self-esteem?

Maybe you're noticing:

  • It’s difficult to turn off that internal voice of judgment, comparison, and shame
  • You focus on your weaknesses and “failures” while ignoring your strengths and achievements
  • You avoid situations where you may be judged or measured against other people
  • It’s easy to focus on pleasing others, but difficult to ask for what you need
  • Your self-worth comes from your successes, accomplishments, what you do for others, or what others think of you


Understanding low self-esteem: the inner voice of self-criticism

You carry this pervasive feeling of never measuring up, of perpetually falling short of expectations, both self-imposed and imposed by others. Each step forward feels heavy, burdened by the weight of comparison and self-doubt.

You find yourself avoiding challenges and opportunities, fearing failure and rejection. The fear of not being good enough becomes paralyzing, keeping you stuck in a cycle of inaction and missed chances. Each setback reinforces the belief that you are inherently flawed and incapable of success.

Even moments of accomplishment are spoiled by the belief that you got lucky or that you don’t deserve recognition for your efforts. It’s like staring into a mirror and seeing only flaws. You’re unable to recognize any positive qualities you might possess.

There’s a voice in your head that serves as a constant reminder that you don’t belong, that you’re an outsider looking in. The loneliness is palpable. You might be surrounded by people who care about you, but you feel insecure, isolated, and unable to share the depths of your insecurities for fear of judgment or further disappointment.

FROM SELF-DOUBT TO SELF-CONFIDENCE & Self compassion: WHAT IT CAN FEEL LIKE TO LIVE WITHOUT LOW SELF-ESTEEM

The constant second-guessing yourself in social situations, fearing judgment and criticism has disappeared. Now, you feel more confident in who you are and what you bring to the table. Conversations flow naturally because you’re genuinely interested in getting to know people without the constant worry of whether they like you or not.

You’ve also started pursuing things that you always avoided due to low self-esteem. Whether it’s tackling a new project at work, picking up a new hobby, or even just expressing your opinions, you no longer let self-doubt hold you back.

There’s a newfound sense of self-worth. You recognize your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses without letting them define you. It’s not about being perfect; it’s now about accepting and embracing your imperfections as part of what makes you human.

Your inner dialogue has transformed. The harsh self-criticism has quieted down and has been replaced by a more compassionate and encouraging voice. You’ve learned to treat yourself with the same kindness and grace you would offer to a friend.

From Self-Doubt to Self-Confidence & self-compassion: What it can feel like to live without low
self-esteem

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem means accepting, appreciating, and honoring your own thoughts, feelings, values, interests, and goals and believing that you deserve kindness, love, and respect. Having positive self-esteem does not just affect your relationship with yourself. It also influences your academic or professional success and your ability to develop healthy and supportive relationships, as it factors into how you let others treat you.

What's the difference between confidence and self-esteem?

Self-esteem refers to the overall perception of one’s worthiness and value as a person. Confidence specifically pertains to the belief in one’s abilities and capacity to succeed in particular situations or tasks. A person can have high self-esteem but lack confidence in certain areas, or vice versa. However, they are often interconnected, as confidence can contribute to higher self-esteem and vice versa.

Reasons for low self-esteem

  • Disapproval or criticism from parents or authority figures
  • Emotionally distant parents/caregivers
  • Trauma (physical, emotional, or sexual abuse)
  • Perfectionism or unrealistic expectations and goal-setting
  • Comparison to others
  • Discrimination and stigma
  • Bullying
  • Academic struggles
  • Societal standards
  • The media and social media

Symptoms of low self-esteem & imposter syndrome

  • Frequent negative comparisons to others
  • Lack of confidence
  • Difficulty realistically assessing your competence and skills or criticizing your performance
  • Overachieving
  • Negative self-talk
  • Difficulty asking for help
  • Feeling that others are in control of your wellbeing
  • Self-doubt
  • People-pleasing
  • Poor boundaries or difficulty with setting boundaries
  • Isolating or social withdrawal
  • Negative outlook on the future

Is self-esteem therapy right for me?

Treatment for low self-esteem can help you cultivate positive self-worth and create a greater sense of control in your own life. This means that instead of feeling powerless in fixing your problems, you view yourself as having the capacity to create changes in yourself and the world around you. It can be easy to lose yourself when the focus is on pleasing others rather than being true to who you are.  If you keep walking on others’ paths, you may never know how amazing following your own course can be. It’s time to believe in yourself and discover the strength and potential that is already within you.

Therapy for self-esteem can help you:

  • Identify and process root causes of poor self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Become aware of and reduce negative self-talk
  • Recognize maladaptive self-defense mechanisms such as perfectionism and self-criticism
  • Cultivate self-compassion, self-acceptance, self-worth, and positive self-talk
  • Foster a healthier relationship with yourself and others
  • Acknowledge and highlight your strengths and successes
  • Build trust in yourself and your capabilities
  • Decrease your need for external validation

Specialty populations I serve

Young Adults

Millennials

I am here to help you uncover your strength and learn to view and appreciate yourself for the extraordinary individual that you are.

back to top