Introduction: When it rains it pours… that’s just the way life is. When bad things happen, they seem to come in droves. These negative life experiences can result in a low self-esteem. Low self-esteem can be devastating and can affect everything in your life from love to your job. Just know things will get better with time and a lot of work. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) methods can be very helpful. These methods are based on the theory that your feelings and behavior are a direct result of how you think about yourself and your life. Whether you’re feeling down now or things are great in your life, these tips will be helpful to you in the present and in the future. Keep them in mind.
Step 1: Recognize bad situations: Think about the bad or negative things in your life and that could be impacting your self-esteem. Consider changing your personality or behaviors, like frequently becoming angry or always perceiving things as bad.
You can also consider improving or rekindling a friendship with someone who’s very positive or eliminating a relationship with someone who’s very negative.
Step 2: Now that you’re aware of your beliefs and thoughts, acknowledge them and give them merit. Take in your thoughts and analyze them. Really think hard about what they mean, how they make you feel and what you intend to do with your thoughts. This may be tough to do, but you have to consider all thoughts and beliefs that you come across, whether positive, negative, or neutral.problems
Target negative or erroneous thoughts. Your self-esteem is affected by what you think about things whether they are real or manufactured in your mind. These thoughts can trigger unhealthy physical, emotional and behavioral responses such as:
Physical: stiff neck/back, stomach , headaches, and perspiration, just to name a few
Emotional: feeling sad, difficulty concentrating, depression, nervousness, guilt, and worry
Behavioral: overeating, procrastination, excessive working, isolation, purposeless or excessive anger, and inaccurate blame.
Step 3: Challenge your negative thoughts or feelings. Now that you’re able to see what’s negative, say to yourself “Is it really necessary to feel or think this way?” Are your negative thoughts and feelings taking you anywhere but down? Are these thoughts logical? It may be difficult to be sure if something is inaccurate since you have been conditioned by people and the life around you, but you have to take a step back and think rationally. Don’t blame others. You have a choice… don’t choose the negative. It will only take you down to a deeper depression. These six ways of thinking will NOT help improve your self-esteem:
All or nothing: If I don’t succeed at something I’m a total failure.
Negative mental filtering: Since I made a mistake at something everyone will know I’m a total failure.
Take a positive and turn it into a negative: The only reason why I succeeded at something is because it was too easy. I’m not that good.
Assuming negative thoughts: You must be mad at me since I didn’t get a reply back from you.
Mistake feelings for facts: I feel bad so I must be a bad.
Self deprecation: I’m really not smart, funny or attractive.
Step 4: Now it’s time to change your thoughts and feelings. Replace the negative or inaccurate thoughts with positive or accurate beliefs. This will surely give your self-esteem a boost. It won’t happen over night, but it will happen if you continue on the path of being positive. This can be difficult because you’re still feeling like everything around you is down-right awful, but with time YOU will prevail. Try these ideas to help keep on a positive path:
Use positive statements: Think that the things that you do will be great. Tell yourself, “Even though a project is tough, I can do it well.
Forgive yourself: Nobody’s perfect. You are no exception and you, along with everyone else, will make mistakes. Don’t be so hard on yourself and realize this. Tell yourself, “It’s okay to make mistakes.” And then improve on them.
Avoid “should” and “must” statements: Don’t set unreasonable demands. Start slow and build from there. Don’t take on too much.
Focus on the positive: Think about the good things in your life: family, friends, job, roof over your head, health, car, or anything that’s going well. Not everything is bad in your life.
Re-categorize upsetting thoughts: Don’t react negatively to negative thoughts. Think of how to turn a negative into a positive.
Praise yourself: When something good happens, revel in it! Praise yourself, but don’t be cocky about it. You don’t want to bring others down to build yourself up. That’s wrong and will eventually backfire.
Final Note: With time and a lot a work YOU can rebuild your self-esteem. Be patient and take one day at a time. Look yourself in the mirror each day say “I’m successful. I’m confident. I’m a good person.” Say it over and over at least 10 times, 3 times a day. Eventually you’ll start realizing how great YOU really are.