25 Journal Prompts for When Your Self-Esteem Is at Rock BottomAs the wise Hannah Montana once taught us, “Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody has those days.”
Hey, we get it. Sometimes it’s hard to even look in the mirror when your pimple patches haven’t done their job or your boss’s recent feedback claims squatter’s rights in your brain. The truth is that you’re not going to feel great about yourself every single day—nobody does. Seriously! Self-esteem—or how you see yourself and what makes you think you’re good enough and worthy—is always fluctuating because of, well, life, says therapist Eliza Jaquez, LMFT. But that fluctuation also means that, even on your worst self-esteem days, it can get better, says Jaquez. And that’s where mental fitness exercises like self-esteem journal prompts can come in clutch.
Sure, telling yourself to ~just feel confident~ may help promote a healthy self-image, but it’s not the most reliable way to achieve your self-esteem goals. Instead, accepting that there are parts of yourself that you may not like and being OK with yourself despite (or even because) of those things can help you consistently feel good about yourself, Jaquez says.
Having solid self-esteem comes from being able to admit failure while remembering that losing your job, getting dumped, not sticking with a five-step skincare routine, or whatever you’re beating yourself up about doesn't make you a failure or a bad person, Jaquez adds. That attitude creates a strong foundation for feeling yourself over the long-term because you know you can persevere.
That all sounds great, right? But how the hell do you go from zero to hero in your own mind? Well, journaling can definitely help. Reflecting on times you got through hard situations, exploring the things you’re most grateful for, delving into your values and goals, and writing about how you see yourself and how people who love you see you can all boost your self-esteem.
Here, we’ve got 25 thought starters to help you get back to baseline on those crappy self-esteem days (or really anytime you’re up for a little self-esteem self-reflection).
Reflect on these journal prompts when your self-esteem isn’t so hot:
1. How can you be more accepting of the less-than-perfect parts of yourself?
2. How would the most encouraging person in your life—your biggest supporter—describe you?
3. What are three things you appreciate most about yourself? (What qualities or traits are you most grateful for?)
4. What are three things about your life that you’re most grateful for right now?
5. Who or what has helped you feel the most seen, heard, or understood? How do they do that?
6. How do you feel about yourself when you look in the mirror? How do you feel about yourself when you aren’t looking in the mirror?
7. Can you think back to any person, place, or thing that impacted your sense of self in a positive way growing up? Does it still impact your sense of self now?
8. If you had to give yourself a pep talk right now, what would it sound like?
9. How do you talk to yourself when you've had a bad day? What does that voice sound like? Is it judgmental or harsh? If it is, how can you change that?
10. When do you feel most like yourself? Who are you with and what are you doing?
11. What are you most proud of and why?
12. What does strength mean to you? When have you felt the strongest?
13. Can you think of a time when you were disappointed in yourself but moved past that feeling?
14. If you had to give an elevator pitch about who you are, how would you describe yourself in a paragraph or less?
15. What are a few of your values? Why are these important to you?
16. Describe a time when you overcame a big challenge.
17. When do you typically feel good about yourself and why? If you can’t think of a consistent time where you feel good about yourself, write about the last time you felt that way.
18. What are three things you like about yourself that aren’t related to how you look?
19. What was the last compliment you received that meant the most to you? Why did it hit so hard?
20. Does anyone in your life look up to you? Why do you think they do?
21. Write about a time when you couldn’t stop smiling.
22. Are there any goals that you’re close to achieving right now? Are there any new ones you really want to focus on?
23. What’s your favorite thing about yourself? (It can be anything!)
24. What actor would play you in a movie about your life and why? What would you want the movie to focus most on? How would you want the movie to end?
25. When was the last time you surprised yourself in a good way?
Wondermind does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a replacement for medical advice. Always consult a qualified health or mental health professional with any questions or concerns about your mental health.