How to help build self-esteem during challenging times

Self-esteem is how much people value themselves and how important they believe they are in their world. Developing positive self-esteem is important for everyone. But it can be harder for people who learn and think differently. 

That’s because self-esteem is tied to how capable we feel. People who learn and think differently often have to work harder to make progress in school and at work. They may struggle socially, too.

It can be hard to talk to someone about the things they need to get better at. But addressing those topics clearly can actually help them develop self-esteem.

Self-esteem comes from working hard toward a goal. Positive self-esteem comes from recognizing your efforts, finding your strengths, and knowing that mistakes are learning opportunities. Over time, people can learn to improve how they view and value themselves.

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About the author

About the author

Amanda Morin is the author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education” and the former director of thought leadership at Understood. As an expert and writer, she helped build Understood from its earliest days. 

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Rayma Griffin, MA, MEd has spent her 40-year career advocating for the rights of children with learning and thinking differences, both in the classroom and as an educator.


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