Baby-Step Your Way to Strong Self-Esteem

September 23, 2020 Jessica Kaley

Having a well-crafted set of life goals helps me on my journey to build self-esteem, but it's the baby steps that lead to those goals that make me feel successful. Completing a life goal's final steps may be years away, and focusing on that can be detrimental to healthy self-esteem. Changing my focus to the baby steps I take improved my self-esteem.

When I was suffering daily from poor self-esteem, I had a set of goals that was like the one I have now, but my attitude was completely different. I felt dissatisfied with myself because my to-do list contained all these huge goals, and I never got to mark them as complete. Now my list contains only the next couple of baby steps for any of my goals. Changing my viewpoint to focus on progress instead of perfection keeps my self-esteem strong.

I want to share the struggle my self-esteem is going through today and how I am using baby steps to try to win the battle du jour. I hope that you will find some inspiration on how you can use this change of focus on your own journey.

Building My Self-Esteem with Baby Steps Is Important

Right now, I'm dealing with the mess that is my physical health. When I get depressed, it's difficult for me to do the cooking and exercise that keep me feeling well. The pandemic has caused me to be depressed more than usual, and I can't visit my favorite, healthy restaurants or go to my gym, which makes it even harder to break the cycle and begin to recover.

In the last two years, I've worked hard to improve my health. Now I find myself again barely able to walk and breathe, and I feel like I'm starting all over. It's been crushing me, and I find myself reverting to the old patterns of negative self-talk, telling myself I will never accomplish my goal of remaining independent as I age despite my chronic illnesses.

Sometimes it's hard to keep trying the same things again and again, even if they have worked in the past. With the help of my therapist and a couple of close friends, I am choosing some new baby steps to try to revitalize my self-esteem.

  • I found a 21-day challenge starting next month offered by one of the whole food experts I follow. My baby step for this week is reading the instructions for the challenge and preparing my mind and my kitchen to participate fully. I will treat each day of the challenge as another baby step and celebrate every day's completion.
  • Exercise is also part of this challenge, and my baby steps to prepare are to have my old VCR hooked up to my TV and find my favorite workout videos in the back of the closet from my days when I had neither the time nor the money for a gym.
  • My last new baby step is to focus on all the doctor visits I've been putting off because of the pandemic. They aren't critical, but they are part of my regular health maintenance. They will help me stay on top of my status by providing objective feedback from blood work and other tests. Each appointment I set is another baby step to celebrate.

Focus on Baby Steps to Build Self-Esteem

My own journey to stronger self-esteem is defined by continuing to look for new paths to try when I feel blocked by obstacles, and by breaking down every goal into tiny baby steps that improve my self-esteem because I know I can complete them. There are many paths that can lead you in the direction of your goals. If one isn't working right now, find another, and practice looking only at the next few baby steps rather than overwhelming yourself with the big picture.

Change your focus to taking a baby step each day to build healthier self-esteem.

What challenges are you facing today that seem insurmountable? How can you break it down into baby steps to help you succeed? Share your stories in the comments.

APA Reference
Kaley, J. (2020, September 23). Baby-Step Your Way to Strong Self-Esteem, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Jessica Kaley

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Lizanne Corbit
September, 29 2020 at 3:34 pm

I absolutely love the suggestion for taking baby steps. This is such wonderful advice for so many things. Often when something seems huge or impossible, it causes us to feel defeated or intimidated, like it simply can't be done. So we avoid it or put it off and that only diminishes our self-esteem, but when we are able to look at the big whole and break it down into smaller pieces, and then tackle those we make progress and feel great about it!

September, 30 2020 at 6:58 am

Thanks, Lizanne. Especially when I am crippled by anxiety or overwhelmed by the enormity of the effort required to reach my goals, baby steps keep me grounded and able to move forward.

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