Have you ever noticed that you belittle yourself or your accomplishments? Do you compare yourself to others and then minimize your positive attributes, wishing you were more like someone else?
Maybe, it’s been more automatic and you weren’t aware that you regularly pinpoint your flaws and somehow engage in the rat race of constantly competing against a friend, relative, colleague, or partner. If you win, you look for others to give you recognition or affirm you and when they don’t, you somehow feel less than or slighted. If you lose, you beat yourself up and ask the question, “What’s wrong with me?” Or maybe it’s the opposite for you.
Do you boast about what you have (tangible or intangible) as an effort to cover up the inadequacies you feel on the inside and hope that those around you applaud you or think more of you than you think of yourself. At the end of the day, you end up facing yourself in the mirror, disappointed in the reflection that stares back at you because somehow you still don’t measure up.
Self-esteem is a subjective emotional evaluation of ones worth or abilities. It begins to develop immediately when you are first introduced to the world. Some would say, it begins to develop in the womb. Different experiences reinforce you feeling good or bad about yourself, and you learn at an early age whether or not you are smart enough, pretty or cute enough, good enough, strong enough, important enough, etc. These situations shape you and trigger you to recreate experiences where you make these beliefs true. YES, YOU RECREATE EXPERIENCES THAT MAKE THESE BELIEFS ABOUT YOURSELF TRUE.
Sure the thoughts or beliefs are learned and sometimes reinforced by interactions with family, peers, and the world, but it doesn’t make it TRUE. You have to work at training yourself to no longer believe the mistaken beliefs. Below are a few tips to help you embrace the person you are and build your self-esteem.
SELF-ESTEEM Building TIPS:
1. Identify your unhealthy/defeating self-talk and behavior pattern.
2. Explore where they came from.
3. Examine the evidence that disputes the unhealthy thought or belief.
4. Determine when you are most critical of yourself and in what ways do you tend to play out those criticisms.
5. Take responsibility for building yourself up in a healthy way.
6. Recognize and document your good qualities.
7. Learn ways to independently nurture the good and not so good side of yourself.
8. Begin to accept both your positive and negative traits without justification.
9. Look in the mirror, daily, and state one positive affirmation.
10. Be empathic towards yourself and get to know your current self.
If you would like assistance implementing these steps, contact one of our therapists at Hidden Stream Counseling at 919-307-3805.