Recently, several clients have been asking for help to increase their self-esteem so I thought this might be a good time to have a blog about it.
First, it’s important to understand that this will not happen over night and a lot of these things will need to be done over and over again before you start to notice their impact.
Second, one size doesn’t fit all. Experiment and add subtract things as necessary.
Let’s get started!!
- Negative self-talk. We’ve all done it, particularly in times of stress. Picking on yourself is super counter productive. (I know, I started with the hardest one.) In the beginning, all I want you to do is notice. Notice how unkind/mean/unproductive your self-talk has become. My guess is you would NEVER speak to anyone else that way (not event that super annoying person in the office) so why is it ok to speak to yourself that way?! Again, the goal with this one is just to notice it, not admonish yourself.
- Social media. If you have it on your phone and check it frequently (especially if you have more than one account), I challenge you to spend 30 days without it. Think of it as a cleanse. You don’t have delete any accounts and you can even post that you will be taking a short break. The goal here is to spend less time comparing. Let’s be honest, we all look at other people’s lives, photos and posts and compare our lives to theirs. Sometimes we decide we’re doing better sometimes we don’t, either way it’s not super productive.
- Most of my clients know I’m a HUGE fan of mindfulness exercises. Try meditation. Don’t do it once and then come back and tell me it didn’t work. DUH!!! There are countless free apps, websites, YouTube videos, etc. that you could try. I really like Headspace, it’s an app that you can try for free for 10 days. I like it because I don’t like music playing while I meditate usually I end up finding it distracting. (By the way, they don’t know that I plug them so I don’t get anything for endorsing them.)
- Try something new. I love this technique for three reasons. First, our brains crave novelty. Neurological stimulation gives us an endorphin boost. Second, “consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.” Tomorrow isn’t promised, why tell yourself you will try something new later?! What if later never comes? I know its sort of a dark thought but there is never really a perfect time for most special and challenging things we do in life. And finally, for a lot of us when we are really in a self-esteem hole, we have forgotten what lights us up and makes us special. Maybe it’s time to rediscover what you enjoy. I like to challenge my clients to try one new thing a week.
- This is probably the other really difficult one and it definitely will not be an over night thing. The truth is, no one is perfect so you have flaws. It is also true that no one is all bad either. (I know that in your brain you are making a list of names that are exceptions. FINE! But you are not them!!) That’s a big part of acceptance knowing that there is no such thing as perfect but also that you aren’t all bad. So what is it that is good about you? What are the parts of yourself that you could learn to love? Okay, okay, learn to like?
This is in no way a checklist; it’s just a place to start. No one can do this for you, so you have to decide that you are willing to really work to make some thoughtful choices that could bring some positivity your way. I dare you to really try this for a month and see what happens. 🙂