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By Susanna Sweeney, MSC, MBACP, CHT
This article on self esteem self help is designed to:
Let's start with the basics.
Self esteem issues can be subtle and are easily overlooked.
My observations from client work have been however, that self esteem issues are wide spread. I would go as far as to say that self esteem issues are often not recognized for what they are.
These issues are what people will talk about- low self esteem is often what emerges later in the process as the underlying root cause.
If there aren't any obvious signs for low self esteem, a good way to assess good your self esteem is to evaluate how satisfied you are with your life in different areas.
Take a pen and pencil, or use your favorite notes app, and for each of the following areas rate how satisfied you are on a scale from 0 to 10. A score of 10 stands for being 'extremely satisfied'. a score of 0 means 'dismal'. Go through the following list quickly. Don't agonize about the scores you are choosing. The first number you pick, off the top of your head, is usually correct. Write this number down, then quickly move on to the next area.
After you have rated yourself in all areas, click here to see your results.
What follows are tips, tools and advice for self esteem self help.
The main tool for self esteem self help that I will recommend is keeping a journal. A journal is a powerful tool for self reflection.
The first thing you need in order to achieve all these things is awareness. Your journal will help you to develop an inner observer- a part of you that witnesses everything you do, say, think and feel. I recommend you journal daily, using automatic writing.
Fill three pages of your journal, regardless of whether you have something in particular to say or not. Don't censor what comes, just let it unfold by itself. If you can't think what to write, write: "I can't think what to write." over and over, until other ideas start to emerge- and I promise you they will.
I have used journalling extensively over the years and have found it invaluable as a tool to both unburden myself and for gathering insight.
Write for seven days without reading back over what you have written. on the seventh day, after finishing your journal entry, read back over everything you have written that week. You will be amazed at what you discover.
You will have forgotten half the things you wrote. reading back over the content with some distance, will help you to gain clarity, to see you 'programs' at play, and also to appreciate yourself better. read on for more ideas of how to use yourself esteem self help journal.
If you want to improve your self esteem it is vitally important that you look after your physical well being.
Adequate rest and sleep are vital for good mental health and a sense of well being.
Avoid drugs and alcohol which will work to keep the old programs of negative feelings towards yourself in place. Stay clear of them so that you can think clearly.
Are you getting the right nutrients in to support your wellbeing?
Getting at least a small bit of exercise is important. Gentle walks, exercises you can do at home, a daily walk or daily yoga practice can go a long way.
If you are under stress and your physiology is on constant alert, it's hard or impossible to step back from old mind programs. Your energy will be focused on simply getting through every day. Actively create a space for yourself where you can relax on a daily basis. Meditation can be a great help here, or self hypnosis relaxation techniques.
In your journal, make a commitment to yourself to practice good self care. Note down exactly what this will involve for each of the areas of your life from the test above.
There are bound to be certain events, situations or people that trigger your low self esteem.
When you first set out practicing self esteem self help it is important you mind yourself and avoid at least the worst triggers. At this stage, your self esteem is like a delicate seedling that needs minding and the right conditions to grow. Give them to yourself.
In your journal, note down your personal triggers that set off episodes of feeling bad about yourself.
If you don't know what these are, see some examples below. Then, do some automatic writing on the topic of triggers. You will soon discover yours.
If you come from a toxic family, you may have to limit your contact for a while until your self esteem is much improved- otherwise on these occasions you could trigger a setback.
Many folks vent their frustration or anger on social media by negatively commenting or even bullying others, regardless of the effects this may have on them.
Social media is also notorious for triggering you to compare yourself to others who you perceive (going by what they post- their reality may be very different) as more beautiful, more popular etc.
If bad experiences on social media trigger feelings of low self esteem for you- stay away from it. You don't have to interact, or respond or even look at your social media. Minding yourself should be your first priority.
Toxic people are those who:
Naturally, you don't need this coming at you from the outside when you are already struggling with feelings of low self esteem on the inside. Avoid toxic people as much as you can.
Note that if you are in the toxic environment of an abusive relationship, abusive people will use even a small 'dent' in your self esteem to start playing their mind games. as they continue, your self esteem gets eroded more and more. Understand that you did not cause this in any way and it is not your fault.
You do owe it to yourself however, to extract yourself from the abuse. You deserve to be safe and secure and once you are, you can reclaim your self esteem.
Identify supportive people in your life and maximize on your contact with them. Supportive people are those who encourage you, give you positive feedback and tell you how great you are. these are the folks you want in your life.
Using your journal, write about who in your life you feel good being around. Add to the list why it feels good to be around these people.
Spend more time with these supportive people. See can you let the positive statements in. At the very least, keep your conflicted reaction to yourself. Sit with it. Do not respond to them with statements that berate you or put you down.
This decision all depends how far you have come with your self esteem self help plan.
If you are feeling suicidal or are self harming or in danger of self harming, do not hesitate- seek professional help right away. there may be free or low cost support services available in your area- avail of those.
If you are a little further on your journey, you have a choice. Counseling or psychotherapy may be helpful in peeling away those first few layers of the issue.
Removing the blocks to excellent self esteem is a good foundation for changing your life for the better.
If you want to completely clear away the beliefs that underlie low self esteem, you have to work directly with the subconscious mind.
Hypnosis for self esteem is a great tool for this part of the process. With hypnosis, you can uproot underlying beliefs in such a way that they will never bother you again. A thorough program of self esteem hypnosis should contain both suggestion hypnosis and regression hypnosis.
You can also work with self hypnosis for self esteem to improve how much you like yourself.
Whichever method you choose, don't stop until you fall in love with the unique, amazing individual that you are!
In your journal, and no matter how difficult you find this to do, write a list of all your achievements in life so far.
Write a second list of all your positive qualities and strengths that have helped you achieve these things. Include all areas of your life in this: relationships, friendships, health, fitness, financial, education, career, parenting, and any other area that applies in your situation.
Next relate the two lists to one another. Which positive qualities or strengths helped you to achieve x, y and z?
If you have achieved these things you have achieved you MUST have at least some positive qualities and strengths, right?
Acknowledge these to yourself.
If you have low self esteem you very likely also have heightened expectations of yourself. You are likely setting up scenarios where you can never win because the bar is set way too high for you.
Does that sound familiar?
If it does, acknowledge how exactly this plays out in your case. Then, start coming at the issue differently.
Here is the thing- everybody has their own unique talents, their own particular areas they are good- where they can perform well with ease. Isn't it a much better and more supportive approach to build on your strengths rather than to push yourself to improve your (perceived) weaknesses?
Write down a list of your strengths. What are you particularly good at? What do you enjoy?
Then, think about how you can support yourself in developing these strengths to a point where you stand out from the crowd. Allow yourself to develop your talents and to use them so you can shine.
Next, I will show you how to use your positive qualities and your strengths to find meaning and purpose in life.
Finding meaning and purpose in life can be very helpful in recovering your self esteem. When you have meaning and purpose, you start seeing yourself in the larger context of the world around you. You will have a sense where you fit in and how you can contribute. This in turn, can increase feelings of worth and well being.
Use your journal to explore where you could find meaning and purpose. Do some automatic writing.
Then, put your discoveries into action. Don't be shy to try out different things and activities to see how you like them. Sometimes you won't know how well you like them until you have a hands on experience.
As you try them out, notice how the different activities make you feel. What you want to induce is a feeling of fulfillment, satisfaction and belonging along with the challenge of doing a new task.
Go discover your niche!
Low self esteem is kept in place by negative self talk. You may be interested in my article "Does Self Hypnosis Work?" where I go into detail about how exactly negative self talk impacts you.
Once you start paying attention and record things in your journal as you notice them, you will quickly be able to identify what form negative self talk takes in your case.
Would you ever speak to another person the same way you talk to yourself?
Very likely not.
Then, consider how constant negative self talk will affect you. Write down a list. Include how it makes you feel, how it makes you behave and the ways in which it limits you.
Then commit to turning negative self talk around. Next, I will show you one powerful way of doing this.
When you have recorded a few items of negative self talk, divide a page in your journal into two columns.
Write all negative statements i into the left column. In the right column, correct yourself. Start re-framing these negative statements into positive ones.
I am bad at writing essays and I'll never do well. I don't like myself because of this.
I find writing essays very difficult. I always persevere despite that fact. I respect myself deeply for bearing with this hard task. I am doing great. I love myself.
Next, work on starting to catch yourself each time you notice you criticizing yourself, berate yourself, play down your achievements, or talk negatively to yourself in some other way.
Stop what you are doing as soon as you catch yourself and start replacing negative statements with positive ones.
This will require some practice. Slowly and surely, you will get better at this.
Writing a list of positive affirmations to boost your self esteem can be a very useful aid when turning negative statements about yourself into positive ones. write a list of personal affirmations for yourself and read them to yourself daily.
If you don't know how to write affirmations, you can find examples on my Pinterest board "Affirmations".
Self talk and how you treat yourself are inextricably linked. For self esteem self help you must turn them both around. Start looking at areas where negative self talk results in treating yourself badly.
This exercise can be challenging id you practice it early on in your healing process, because it can bring on all those niggling negative feelings such as shame and insecurity. Keep trying and eventually you will persevere.
Stand in front of your mirror, look yourself in the eyes. Notice your own features. Focus on evoking positive feelings about your looks, and about yourself as a person. Looking deep into your own eyes, say to yourself: "I love you unconditionally." Let the message sink in.
The challenge here is that eventually, you want to get more from the exercise than just going through the motions. You want to connect with yourself on a deep level, and nurture positive feelings of self love.
In your journal, write a list of what it would mean for you to treat yourself in more loving ways. What would you do? What would you quit doing?
Then, put this list in action. Pick one new item off you list every week and introduce it into your daily routine. Keep going week by week. You will soon notice a big difference in how you feel.
If you rated yourself lower than 8 in any given area, this means you have room for improvement.
Understand that, more often than not, when you feel dissatisfied with life this is caused by underlying self esteem issues.
Somewhere in you you know that you can do better, deserve better, or could have more. However, the old programs of negative beliefs about yourself won't let you expand beyond the limits they have set for you. Once you boost your self esteem, stand back and watch your life change.
Now that you have seen the results of your test go back to where you left off to read the rest of the article.
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I hope you have found this article on self esteem self help useful and are clearer now on what steps you can take to boost your self esteem so you can change and improve your life.
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