Mclean Hospital

Video: How to Stop Questioning Your Self-Worth and Doubting Your Successes

Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.

Dr. Lisa Coyne addresses overcoming low self-esteem, shares tactics to quiet the voice of impostor syndrome, and answers questions about valuing our actions.

If you struggle with self-esteem, it can be difficult to see yourself as a valuable person. Often, low self-esteem goes hand in hand with impostor syndrome, and any external successes you achieve will make you wonder, “When will they find out I’m a fraud?”

Audience Questions

Dr. Coyne answers questions including:

  • Is there any research showing the role of self-compassion in self-esteem?
  • From your perspective, what is the difference between self-compassion and self-pity?
  • Is there a relationship between salary/compensation and self-esteem?
  • Does social anxiety play into low self-esteem or impostor syndrome?
  • You mentioned that impostor syndrome applies to intellectual/professional areas of our lives, but it feels like it can apply to other roles too. In my experience, I’ve often felt like I’m “not enough” as a mom, and at times I worry that people who perceive me as a great mom simply don’t have enough information. Any advice?
  • In your experience, what are some of the differences between low self-esteem as it relates to gender?
  • If we have low self-esteem, what can people like me do to start working toward feeling more positively about myself?
  • Is the tendency to try to please and impress other people a sign of low self-esteem? What are the telltale signs of low self-esteem?
  • Are there any exercises/activities that would be particularly good for helping teens/kids who are experiencing low self-esteem?
  • What advice do you have for someone who works in a very high-pressure, high-testosterone field where admitting vulnerability when struggling or asking for advice/help is largely frowned upon?
  • How should I talk to someone or motivate someone with low self-esteem? What can I say that will be impactful and not be ignored?
  • Any tips for people who are going through temporary situations that lower self-esteem, such as losing a job or being stuck in a job they are trying to get out of?
  • What’s the difference between low self-esteem and impostor syndrome?
  • How do we stop comparing ourselves to others?

Resources

You may find this additional information helpful:

About Dr. Coyne

Lisa W. Coyne, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, part-time, at Harvard Medical School, and is a senior clinical consultant at the Child and Adolescent OCD Institute (OCDI Jr.) at McLean Hospital.

Dr. Coyne has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters on anxiety, OCD, and parenting. She is the author of “The Joy of Parenting: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Guide to Effective Parenting in the Early Years,” a book for parents of young children.

Recent books by Dr. Coyne:

Learn more about Dr. Coyne.

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September 18, 2020

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Lisa Coyne

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