If you have a low self-esteem, start with these four steps to achieve a healthier self-esteem. Low self-esteem can negatively affect all facets of your life, including relationships, work, and health. But you can stimulate self-esteem by letting yourself be guided by the types of mental health counseling.
Consider these steps, based on cognitive behavioral therapy:
1. Identify your problems
Think about the conditions or situations that seem to destroy your self-esteem:
- A job or school presentation.
- A crisis at work or at home.
- A challenge with the husband, a loved one, a co-worker or a close contact.
- A change in vital roles or circumstances, such as the loss of a job or a child leaving home.
2. Be aware of thoughts and beliefs
Once you have identified the problems, pay attention to your thoughts about them. This includes an internal dialogue, what you tell yourself and your interpretation of what the situation means. Your thoughts and beliefs can be positive, negative or neutral. They can be rational, based on reason or facts, or irrational, based on false ideas.
3. Challenge negative or inappropriate thinking
Your initial thoughts may not be the only way to visualize a situation, so you must measure the accuracy of your thoughts. Ask yourself if your vision is consistent, with facts and logic, or if other explanations for your situation are possible.
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Be aware that it can be difficult to recognize the inconsistencies of your thinking. Old thoughts and beliefs may seem normal and factual, although many are opinions or perceptions. You should also pay attention to the thought patterns that erode self-esteem:
- All or nothing thinking. You see things right or wrong. For example, “If I do not win with this task, I will be a complete failure.”
- Filter your thoughts. You only see the negative and you worry about it, distorting your vision about a person or situation. For example, “I made a mistake in that report and now everyone will realize that I am not up to this job.”
- Convert the positive to the negative. You reject your achievements and other positive experiences by insisting that they do not count. For example “I just did well on that test because it was too simple.”
- Precipitate negatively. You come to a negative conclusion when there is very little or no evidence to support it. For example, “My friend has not answered my email; I sure did something that bothered him. “
- Confusing feelings by deeds. You confuse feelings or beliefs with facts. For example “I feel like a failure, so I must be a failure.”
- Negative internal speech. You underestimate, you despise or your mood is contemptuous. This may come from an overreaction to a situation, such as making a mistake. For example, “I deserve nothing better”.
4. Adjust your thoughts and beliefs
It now replaces negative or inaccurate thoughts with the precise and constructive ones. Try the following strategies:
- Use hopeful phrases. Treat yourself with kindness and encouragement. Pessimism can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, if you think your presentation is not going to go well, you may run over while you do it. Try saying things like, “Even if it’s hard, I can handle this situation.”
- Excuse me. Everyone makes mistakes, and mistakes are not permanent reflections of you as a person. These are isolated moments in time. Say: “I made a mistake, but that does not make me a bad person.”
- Avoid the “should” and the “I have to”. If you think your thoughts are filled with these words, you may be making irrational demands on yourself and others. Removing these words from your thoughts will lead you to have more realistic expectations.
- Focus on the positive. Think about the good things in your life. Remember what you did well. Consider the skills you used to deal with challenging situations.
- Re-label your disturbing thoughts. You do not have to react negatively to negative thoughts. Instead, think of negative thoughts as signs to try new and healthy patterns. Ask yourself, “What can I think of and what can I do to make this less stressful?”
- Cheer up. Give credit for making positive changes. “My presentation may not have been perfect, but my teammates have asked me and been involved, which means I’ve met my goal.”