Improving your self-esteem
Self-esteem takes time to change; by working on these different areas of your life you can develop your positive self-esteem. It starts with noticing – notice how you think, feel and respond to the people around you and introduce these ‘self-esteem first-aid kit’ ideas.
How can counselling help?
Sometimes it can be hard to recognise areas in our lives that can be developed; blind spots, hidden or unknown areas of our lives can become understood during the counselling process. Whilst the 'self-esteem first-aid kit' can be helpful if you have the determination, self-awareness and resources to work through it on your own, I can facilitate the process. Firstly, I can help in with unpacking the 'first-aid kit'; where blocks and blind spots might occur, I can help explore them. Where limiting beliefs or negative thoughts occur we can notice them and challenge them together. Secondly, whilst past experiences can impact you in the present, talking about them, and understanding how they affect you now, gives you the possibility to change how they affect you in the future. Past experiences that have hurt your self-esteem don't have to continue to hurt. I will walk with you as you find a new path without the old injuries to your self-esteem.
If you would like to find out more about how I can help you improve your self esteem then please do get in touch.
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is a person’s own evaluation of their ability and value; how a person thinks about themselves (i.e. ‘I am strong,’ or ‘I can’t do it’) and how they feel about themselves (i.e. feeling proud, or feeling despairing).
The 'self-esteem first-aid kit':
Consider what you believe about yourself:
Thoughts are not facts, listen to your thoughts and consider them – put them on ‘thought trial’ – self-limiting beliefs, negative self-talk, negative patterns of thinking can all be challenged – but you have to notice them and name them first.
Self-acceptance – find and accept truths about yourself; maybe write them down, think about how it feels to write them and see them on paper.
Small wins and SMART Goals:
Introduce ‘small-wins’, look for ways of achieving small successes. Notice them and give yourself credit for them.
SMART Goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
Set yourself a challenge using a SMART goal, consider what needs to happen to achieve it, what might get in the way of achieving it? What resources do you need to achieve it? Who can help you achieve it?
Consider what makes you who you are:
Recognise your personal strengths and competencies – “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
2004, “The rhythm of life: living every day with passion and purpose” by Matthew Kelly, Quote Page 80, Fireside, New York. (apparently an Albert Einstein quote).
Exercise can be good for you; it doesn’t have to be really hard, go gentle and ease into it. Find someone to go for a walk with, run-walk-run, run, swim, bike, yoga, you decide.
Find things to do that make you feel good; treat yourself. A relaxing bath, a quiet evening in, a night out, a special dinner, what can you do for yourself that will make you feel special.
Sleep is really important. If a lack of sleep is an issue for you then try and deal with it (lots of info on the internet).
Are you beating yourself up for not achieving a really high standard? Striving to get things exactly right? Take a step back and notice if this is something you do; consider ‘good enough’ as an alternative to ‘perfect’. What would life be like if you could accept ‘good enough’?
Consider the people around you; are they supportive? Are they continually critical? Do you have to tread carefully, mind what you say or do? Or do you have people who encourage you, who confirm how well you do, how hard you have tried, encourage you to keep going? Consider your support network and maybe think about who it would be healthy to spend time around.
Tell yourself “well done” when things go well or when you achieve something, acknowledge your successes. Think about what it is like to receive a compliment, how do you react? Focus on accepting a compliment and acknowledge that you deserve it.
Develop assertiveness and personal boundaries:
Being assertive doesn’t have to mean being bossy or pushy; just standing up for what you want, for what is right or fair. Recognise your own values and be prepared to appropriately stand up for what you believe or for what you want. Think about your own boundaries, time, commitment, money, do people push you to give more than you want to? If you notice this happening then perhaps you can think of ways to assert your own needs.