Self-esteem refers to the way we think about and value ourselves. It’s the overall sense of self- worth and self-confidence we have. Unfortunately, so many people struggle with low self- esteem, which can have a negative impact on mental health, relationships, and overall well- being. In this blog post, I’ll explore five ways to improve self-esteem, including the benefits of working with a therapist.
How to Improve Self-Esteem: 5 Methods:
Practice mindful self-compassion for self-esteem.
One of the most effective ways to improve self-esteem is to practice mindful self-compassion. This means being aware of your moment-to-moment experiences, including your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and combining that with the practice of being truly kind to yourself, just as you would a close friend.
With mindful self-compassion, you can practice being fully present with life’s ups and downs, while reminding yourself that everyone makes mistakes, and that failure is a natural part of life. Being gentle with yourself, and focusing on your strengths and positive qualities, is a key component of self-compassion, and mindfulness helps you be more aware of how you’re acting towards yourself in the moment. Combined, this is a powerful way to improve self-esteem and even reduce anxiety and depression over time.
Short-circuit negative self-talk!
Negative self-talk can be a major barrier to self-esteem. It’s that rude voice in your head that tells you that you’re not good enough, not worthy enough, or that you’ll never succeed. Many people find that this negative voice stems from childhood trauma or negative experiences with peers and family throughout their lives. Sometimes, though, we don’t know where this voice comes from, but it’s strong enough to put a dent in our self-esteem, nonetheless. That’s why practicing thought challenging can be such a powerful tool in your self-esteem building toolbox.
To challenge negative self-talk and negative thoughts, try first to identify the underlying beliefs and assumptions that are driving it. You may be able to do this with journaling or structured reflection, or you may want to enlist the help of a trained therapist who can help you uncover where these thoughts are coming from. Once you’re aware of the roots, you can then work on reframing those beliefs in a more realistic and constructive way. For example, if you find yourself thinking, “I’ll never be able to do this,” try to reframe it as, “This is difficult, but I’m capable of learning and growing.”
Even these seemingly small shifts can do wonders for the way you see yourself, the world, and your ability to navigate life’s challenges as they come.
Be realistic with your goals.
Setting goals and achieving them can be a great way to boost self-esteem. However, it’s important to set realistic goals that are achievable and within your control. Many of us who tend to be perfectionistic can set sky-high goals, and then berate ourselves when we inevitably fail to meet those unrealistic goals. One way to be kinder to yourself, and subsequently improve your self-esteem, is to set realistically achievable goals that are challenging enough to keep you interested and invested in the process. This can be done with SMART goals, or with support from a trained therapist who can provide you with supportive problem solving and goal setting.
So, what do I mean by realistic goal setting? This means breaking larger, overwhelming goals into smaller, more manageable steps, tracking progress, evaluating what’s working and what’s not, and celebrating your progress along the way. It also means being realistic about how much time it will actually take to meet a goal, and being kind with yourself when you encounter setbacks, unexpected challenges, and unforeseen barriers.
Seek out positive influences and people who lift you up!
The people we surround ourselves with can have a major impact on our self-esteem. Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people can help you feel more confident and valued. Similarly, spending time with people who bring the vibe down with criticism or negativity can bring you down and even reinforce negative beliefs you have about yourself, even ones that aren’t true or based in reality.
To improve self-esteem, seek out people who lift you up and support you, and try to limit your time with those who bring you down. If you’re not able or willing to limit time with negative influences in your life, you can use some of the other techniques listed above (mindful self-compassion, realistic goal setting, thought challenging) to combat the influence of negativity around you.
Work with a therapist to improve self-esteem.
Working with a trained therapist can be a powerful way to improve self-esteem. A therapist can help you process and heal past traumas that contribute to low self-esteem, provide support and guidance, and offer feedback as you work to build a more positive self-image. They can help you identify negative patterns of thinking and behavior and provide tools and strategies to help you overcome them. They can also help you explore underlying issues that may be impacting your self-esteem, such as past traumas or relationship problems.
Finding a Therapist for Low Self-Esteem
If you’re interested in working with a therapist to improve your self-esteem, there are many options available. You can search for therapists in your area using online directories, looking for “Therapists near me” on search engines, or asking for recommendations from friends or family members. As a note: you can use terms like “Therapist for self-esteem” or “self-esteem counseling” to find a therapist who specializes in this area.
Therapy in Seattle for Self-Esteem, Trauma, Anxiety and More
As a therapist in the Seattle area, I have helped many clients work toward building their self-esteem and overcoming painful past experiences through trauma therapy and counseling. I love being able to help others discover and uncover their self-worth and self-esteem using many of the techniques described above.
To learn more about counseling in Seattle and ways to improve self-esteem, contact me for a free consultation to see if I’m the right fit for you. I can’t wait to hear from you!