Self-doubt can leave us feeling uncertain, fearing failure and lacking in confidence in our own abilities. It can amplify our inner critic and be a barrier to achievement.

It's closely linked to and can impact our self-esteem, which is how we value and think about ourselves, including our own body image.

When our self-esteem is low, we see ourselves and our lives in a much more negative and critical way.

We may spend a lot of time thinking we’re worthless and that others are much better than us.

When this continues long term, it can negatively affect our wellbeing, mental health and day-to-day lives.

You’re not alone

If you’re struggling with self-doubt, self-esteem, or are lacking in self-confidence, you’re not alone.

Close to half (49%) of women agree they struggle with, or are affected by, self-esteem issues, according to a survey we carried out of 1,000 women.

More than half (54%) of the women surveyed agree their self-esteem impacts their day-to-day choices, such as what events to go to and whether to speak up at work.

Our Burst the self-doubt campaign aims to highlight the importance of recognising and responding effectively to these negative feelings, so women don’t accept or normalise them and see them as fixed or unable to be changed.

These feelings don’t have to be forever. There’s support available for you.

How can counselling help with low self-esteem and self-doubt?

It’s important to understand why you are feeling this way – then you can take steps to address it.

Counselling can give you a safe, non-judgemental and confidential space to talk to a skilled professional about your issues and concerns.

Your therapist can help you identify and challenge the negative views you have formed about yourself and help you shift them into more positive feelings shaped around your strengths and attributes.

How to find a counsellor

You may be able to see a counsellor for free through your GP or the NHS, from where you work or study, or through charities and voluntary services.

Or you can pay to see a private BACP counsellor. This gives you a wider choice and you may be able to see someone quicker, perhaps for longer. 

Why choose a BACP member?

Anyone can call themselves a counsellor or psychotherapist, so it’s important you choose a therapist who’s listed on a Professional Standards Authority accredited register – such as the BACP register. Choosing a BACP-registered counsellor gives you an assurance that they meet the high standards of proficiency, training and ethical practice you would expect.

Find a BACP member who can help you with your self-esteem using our Therapist directory.