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New Year, New You: How to Improve Your Self Esteem When You Have ADHD

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

If you have ADHD, your self esteem can take a big hit. You might feel like what should come easily for everyone else is much harder for you. You may even question yourself and start to believe that there’s something wrong with you.

Don’t let this negative thinking get the best of you - acknowledging your strengths, focusing on what you can control, and surrounding yourself with positive people are the key steps in improving your self esteem when living with ADHD.

In this blog post, we'll give those who live with ADHD tips on how they can boost their confidence and ultimately enhance their well-being through improved self-esteem this year.

Acknowledge Your Strengths

One of the best ways to improve your self-esteem is by recognizing your strengths. Everyone has unique skills and talents, and those with ADHD are no exception. We all have strengths and qualities that set us apart from others, and to acknowledge the great things about yourself will help to improve your self esteem significantly.

For example, many people with ADHD are creative, enthusiastic, intuitive problem solvers which should be celebrated! Try taking note of when something good happens- did you come up with a great new idea? Did you manage a difficult task successfully?

Make a list of all the things that you excel at, or even just enjoy doing—anything from playing video games to drawing or writing poetry. You may also want to write down any compliments that you have received over the years so that you can look back on them when you're feeling down.

Take courage in celebrating yourself- it might be hard at first. By reminding yourself of your strengths, you will feel more confident in yourself and your abilities.

Focus on What You Can Control

Having ADHD means that there are certain things that cannot be controlled—no matter how hard we try!

People who live with ADHD may feel lost in a sea of things they can’t control. Everyday struggles, the resulting stress and sleeplessness, these are all factors that can compound to form an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy. But what if you could choose what to let into your life? What if you could take control of what occupied your thoughts?

Instead of focusing on these uncontrollable elements, focus on what you can control instead. This could be anything from making healthier eating choices or taking more time for yourself each day. Even small changes in lifestyle habits can result in big improvements in overall wellbeing and mental health.

This could include making small goals that are measurable and that are within your power to influence like getting off the couch after an hour or scheduling in an hour of therapy every week. Again, every small step towards working on what you can control is one more step towards building up your self esteem.

Yes, you may not have much say about the way those around you treat you or the school work you have to get done. But what you have control over is what thoughts and actions you give attention to in life.

Spend time doing activities that bring you joy and allow you to focus on what is within your control. such as taking care of yourself and investing in friendships with people who lift you up. With this minimally invasive effort, it is possible that your feelings of unworthiness will start to fade away; elevating self esteem over time.

Surround Yourself With Positive People

Negative energy can bring anyone down, especially those with ADHD. One powerful and practical way to boost your self-esteem is to surround yourself with positive people. When you choose friends who exemplify qualities that you admire, like resilience or an inspiring work ethic, it helps to develop these attributes in yourself as well.

It's important to build relationships with supportive individuals that recognize and affirm your intent, ideas and efforts. These optimistic connections can be an escape from the everyday struggles of dealing with ADHD while also providing the encouragement needed to build self-esteem.

Psychologist and author Sharon Saline, PsD, acknowledges, “If you’re a kid and you get the message that you’re missing the mark over and over again, you internalize that voice,” she says. “You can imagine what that does to someone’s confidence.”

Spending time with positive people also boosts your energy levels and encourages you to continue on a positive path; their kind words or support can help reaffirm your self-worth when you're feeling down. Additionally, having strong relationships can reduce stress levels, which helps ease the symptoms of ADHD.

A loving family member or friend can offer support during challenging times, while a therapist or coach can provide helpful guidance as well. These are all great resources for building up your self-esteem when living with ADHD and they will help remind you of how capable and deserving you are of respect and acceptance.


We have looked at the three key steps in improving your self-esteem when living with ADHD: acknowledging your strengths, focusing on what you can control, and surrounding yourself with positive people. Remember that trust in yourself and reassuring moments of understanding are some of the most effective tools for managing ADHD symptoms.

With a bit of effort and practice, anyone with ADHD can find ways to boost their self esteem so don't give up hope just yet! Everyone deserves joy, peace, and validation as a person who is doing their best no matter their variance of regularity in life.

If you need additional help, seeking professional support can be a great way to explore strategies for better success. I offer a free consultation option to start your journey towards self-discovery and improved esteem if desired - please don't hesitate to reach out!

According to the National Library of Medicine, “Despite a limited number of studies and methodological concerns, there is evidence to suggest that ADHD is associated with lower self-esteem in adulthood and that self-esteem difficulties can be remedied, to at least some extent, by psychotherapeutic work.”

In any case, no matter which path you choose moving forward - take pride in who you are and what makes you unique! You have unlimited potential; embrace it and make it yours!



Looking for more encouragement as you improve your self esteem this year? Check out these articles from some of our favorites resources:

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