Working on Self-Esteem
By: Clarice Stout MA, AMFT
Self-esteem is something we all have as human beings and at times our self-esteem can fluctuate from highs to lows. There are many things that can contribute to our self-esteem levels throughout life. Building and creating healthier self-esteem is a process within itself. How we feel about ourselves can go a long way in our life and building and working on it can be very helpful for us as individuals. When working on our self-esteem by making it healthier it can help us in feeling that we have more steadiness within ourselves, it also decreases self-sabotage characteristics such as self-doubt. The more we work on our self-esteem we are also able to feel more happier, whether if it is with ourselves, in our relationships, and even in our career or school goals. Although working on self-esteem can look and feel like a process, which it is and that is completely okay, here are some tools to help with self-esteem.
Stopping the negative voice inside you: working on stopping negative thoughts about yourself can really help boost your self-esteem. When you hear your inner voice being negative about you and you catch yourself, that is when you can stop those thoughts, by talking to yourself by saying “no these thoughts do not define me that are negative”, you can also then replace those thoughts with more positive ones about yourself. Or when that negative thought comes, you can simply stop it by saying a stop word or implementing a more positive self-mantra.
Get rid of or replace perfectionism thoughts: sometimes we create really high expectations for ourselves that we hold onto and think that being perfect at certain things is the way to live and attain better self-esteem, but sometimes the healthier route is accepting that perfectionism can be destructive for you. Reminder tools such as not buying into perfectionism whether it comes from yourself, family or society can be helpful in letting yourself know that you are on your own journey that is completely great, and it does not have to be a specific way that someone else stated was the perfect way. Reminding yourself that doing your best in things is good enough and working on that inner critic.
Implementing healthier outlets to work on self-esteem: This can look like small goals for yourself or working on that self-care. For some people this is doing things for yourself like a massage, walking, running, eating different foods.
Taking a break from negative outlets: sometimes taking a break on things that you notice make you feel worse or down about yourself is needed. This can look like taking a break from social media. Although social media can be used for different things if we find ourselves that we feel down about ourselves or social media is not bringing any joy then pausing from it until we are in a better head space can be beneficial to self-esteem and self- growth.
Stop the Comparison: Learning to stop comparing ourselves in negative ways can benefit our self-esteem. Comparison can feel like a habit and with that we need to find healthier habits to deter us from comparing in negative ways. When we catch ourselves comparing, we can use the same tool as stopping ourselves in our tracks and using a mantra to help us stop comparing or literally telling ourselves “stop”
Support system: when working on self-esteem having a person or group of people whether it be family or friends can go a long way. When we surround ourselves with people who are positive and support our goals this can help us in feeling supported within our lives and it helps us grow and reach our goals and makes us feel happier. On the other hand, even taking a break from or setting boundaries with people who we know are negative or bring us down is okay to do as well.
Self-esteem can look and feel different for everyone, and there can be many healthy ways that we can work on our self-esteem and grow with it, such as talk therapy, self-help books, self-help videos, etc. Working on ourselves is a process and that is completely okay! I hope these tools can help with getting to that level of self-esteem that you are content with for yourself.
Written By: CLARICE STOUT
MA, Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist 107743 under the supervision of Dr. Joselyn Josephine Ayala-Encalada PsyD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist 96987.