25 Most Exclusive Self-Esteem Quotes For Women/Her

The first rule of having a strong and healthy self-esteem is to stop caring what others think of you. Click To Tweet

This post is a part of our series on Powerful Quotes For Her. You should check out another one: Self-Love Quotes For Women.

Self-esteem is your estimate of your own competence and worthiness. It’s how much self-confidence you have in your abilities and how much self-worth you fix on yourself.

You’re the best person to assess and define your self-esteem. To know if your self-esteem is low, ask yourself (learn what to ask to test it at the end of this post).

Don’t put much stock in what others think of you. Don’t rest your self-esteem on your victories or setbacks, both of which are temporary.

Dear reader, this is a unique post. You’ll learn quite a few psychological secrets of self-esteem as you scroll through these quotes on self-esteem. Keep the page bookmarked as you would like to return here.

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▪ “You get in life what you have the courage for.”

– Anon
self-esteem-You get in life

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▪ “Don’t take advice from a person you don’t want to become.
They either undermine your self-esteem or overstuff your ego.”

self-esteem - don't take advice

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Self-esteem is a part of positive psychology. Researchers have shown that high self-esteem is linked with higher levels of happiness and well-being. While low self-esteem is a diagnostic criterion or a symptom of roughly two dozen mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety.

People with low self-esteem lack clarity about their identity, are sensitive to social queries, and tend to overgeneralize things. Interestingly, they are also less sensitive to pain and more resistant to change.

Sadly, they reject positive feedback and, instead, focus on the negative information about themselves, as discovered by Epstein & Morling in1995 and Campbell in 1999.

Have A Positive Mindset!

These people want to raise their self-esteem, but intriguingly, they prefer to do it via indirect methods, like associating with those who have high esteem, found the research team of Brown, Collins & Schmidt, in 1988.

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▪ “To accept ourselves as we are means to value our imperfections as much as our perfections.”

– Sandra Bierig

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▪ “Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on.”

– Maxwell Maltz, author of the multi-generational bestseller Psycho-Cybernetics
low self-esteem is driving with brake

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Success and achievement don’t always guarantee high self-esteem. Successful people can have problems with self-esteem.

According to researchers, success must be in a domain that is important to the individual in terms of their identity before it can add value to their self-esteem.

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For example, buttoning our shirts properly is not a big achievement for most of us, but it may be a great personal success for an intellectually challenged individual.

The pursuit of self-esteem is pointless. Crocker and Park’s 2003 and 2004 studies on self-esteem and success found that when driven by a desperate need for achievement in a certain domain, the pursuit of self-esteem can lead to undesirable results.

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▪ “Our self-feeling in this world depends entirely on what we back ourselves to be and do. … thus, Self-esteem = Success / Pretensions.”

– William James, author of the first American book on psychology
self-esteem is the ratio of success and pretensions

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▪ “Don’t let anyone define you by your past mistakes. You’re not your past.
You took your lessons, so you don’t need their reminders.”

don't let others remind your past mistakes

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▪ “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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▪ “Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Gems of Literature, 1900
greatest glory ,,, in rising

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▪ “Why define your self-esteem by giving more weight to others’ opinions than your own? You’ve lived with yourself more than anybody else. So, your opinions about yourself matter more than theirs.”

you lived more with yourself

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▪ “By self-esteem, we mean a favorable global evaluation of oneself.”

– Roy Baumeister, author of Willpower

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▪ “Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” 

– M. Scott Peck

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Parents who are indifferent to their children, as well as those who are absent frequently or for long periods of time, are more likely to have children with low self-esteem (Clark and Barber, 1994). Moreover, this effect may be more pronounced in male children (Miller, 1984).

For their child to have strong self-esteem, parents must accept their child’s strengths and weaknesses warmly and lovingly.

Simple approval by parents does not associate with self-esteem. Giving generous praise for a child’s every act is, instead, more likely to seed toxic personality issues such as narcissism.

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▪ “Self-esteem is your attitude towards your own strengths and merits. Do not base it too much on your successes or failures, neither of which lasts forever.”

sucess or failure doesn't last

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Having healthy self-esteem can also help us stay enthusiastic about going to work every day, even when the commute is too long and the weather isn’t so nice. Scientists refer to this motivation towards work as an “intrinsic work value.”

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Now, a study published in 2020 examined research data over 23 years to find that high levels of “intrinsic work values” in youth had links to positive emotions in adulthood. It means those who love their work are happier people.

Interestingly, studies also link intrinsic work values with higher self-esteem in adolescence and adulthood. It means those with a good amount of self-esteem love their work and are keen to go to work.

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▪ “Self-esteem is the conviction that one is competent to live and worthy of living.”

– Nathaniel Branden
self-esteem is convictiion worthy of living

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▪ “Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.”

– Malcolm S. Forbes

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▪ “Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

– Louise L. Hay

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▪ “Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”

– Harvey Fierstein
define yourself

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According to Coopersmith,1967, there are 4 sources of self-esteem, discovering: Power (the ability to influence or control others), Significance (being valued by others as evidenced by their acceptance), Virtue (adherence to moral norms), and Competence (a successful performance in regard to a goal).

In relationships, whether personal or professional, acceptance increases while rejection decreases self-esteem. If people feel they are not valued or respected or loved, their self-esteem suffers. Rejection may come in many forms, like being ignored, devalued, used, mistreated, or abandoned.

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▪ “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

– William James

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▪ “You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.”

– Diane Von Furstenberg

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▪ “The better you feel about yourself, the less you feel the need to show off.”

– Robert Hand

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Low self-esteem is characterized by feelings like hypersensitivity, self-consciousness, lack of self-confidence, overcautiousness about possible threats, risk avoidance, depression, pessimism, loneliness, and alienation.

Childhood abuse, especially gender traumatization, can cause severely low self-esteem, along with many other problems such as depression, anxiety, binge eating, and self-injury, lasting through many years of adult life.

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▪ “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

– Sharon Salzberg (quoting Buddha)

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“You may be the only person left who believes in you, but it’s enough. It takes just one star to pierce a universe of darkness. Never give up.”

– Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway

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▪ “Self-esteem is the balance between self-competence and self-worth.”

– Positive Psychology
balance between worth and competennce

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▪ “Low self-esteem people utilize self-protective strategies, characterized by an unwillingness to take risks, focusing on avoiding their bad qualities.”

– Campbell and Lavallee (1993)

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▪ “Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcases of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.”

– Shannon L. Alder

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▪ “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

– Lucille Ball
love yourself first

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▪ “Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have.”

– Parker Palmer

Final Words

In simple terms, self-esteem is your overall subjective sense of personal worth or value.

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A more academic definition comes from Christopher Mruk, professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, in his book Self-Esteem: Research, Theory, and Practice:

“Self-esteem is the lived status of one’s competence at dealing with the challenges of living in a worthy way over time.”

Here’s how you can test your self-esteem, using the Single-Item Self-Esteem Scale developed by Robins, Hendin, & Trzesniewski (2001):

Scale yourself on this statement: “I have high self-esteem.”

Score yourself with a number from 1 to 7:

Strongly Disagree1
More or Less Disagree3
More or Less Agree4
Strongly Agree7
test your self esteem
Infographic: Single-Item Self-Esteem Scale

Low self-esteem may push people to become depressed, fall short of their potential, and tolerate abusive relationships and environments. Excessive self-esteem can lead to an unpleasant sense of entitlement and an inability to learn from failures, which is also a sign of clinical narcissism.

So, we must try to have a balance in our self-esteem.

This post is a part of our series on Powerful Quotes For Her. You should check out another one: Self-Love Quotes For Women.

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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy—a medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher. Founder and Chief Editor of The Happiness Blog. Writes popular science articles on happiness, positive psychology, and related topics.

• Our story: Happiness Project

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