Building Self-Esteem

Our self-esteem is the foundation for everything in our lives. How we feel about ourselves affects the jobs we go after, our relationships, the way we carry ourselves, the goals we set, and so much more.

Self-esteem is simply the confidence that we have in ourselves that we can accomplish goals and tasks in our life. It’s that little voice in your head that says “I don’t know what I’m doing but I’ll figure it out”. Or if self-esteem is weak, it’ll say “I hate myself”

Building self-esteem takes time but with some practical steps done consistently, you can start building your confidence.

  • Notice when that little voice in your head is saying negative things. It could be “I’m so stupid”, “I look disgusting”, “I can’t do anything right” or any variations of this.
  • After you catch yourself thinking these negative thoughts, change the words to switch the thought. For example, instead of thinking/saying “I’m so stupid” replace it with, “gosh I messed up. How can I fix this” or “I hate how my body looks” to ” “how can I stay motivated to do something about getting healthy” With time you’ll have more positive thoughts than negative ones.
  • Spend time with supportive, positive people. If you’re trying to work on yourself, limit how much time you’re around people that put you down. If you can’t control this because it’s family, learn to build a buffer so that their comments don’t affect you. Once strategy is to imagine an invisible shield around you. Anything anyone says to you, it bounces right back to that person.
  • Set small and large goals for yourself that are challenging, but manageable. Large goals are things that take time to achieve. Small goals could be things you can do in a day or week. You can read my post on goal setting here.
  • If you’re filled with fear at working towards goals, break them down into small steps. Do something everyday that moves you closer to the goal.
  • Keep a journal or note on your phone of all the great things that you have already done. This is your evidence of how great you are. Every time some one pays you a compliment, write it down. Every time you do something that was scary but you did it, write it down. This is not being conceded. This is reminding yourself of all that you’ve already been through and survived. We all go through hard times in life. Remind yourself of how you over came those things. If you got through those things, you can get through anything.
  • Do something nice for yourself. Treat yourself to something you enjoy or dress up.

Remember that this takes some time, if you’re confidence is not too strong to start with. But be kind to yourself and stay consistent.

“Each person has got a voice inside them. Communicate with it and take hold of it. Do not let it push and shove you around – you are its master!”
― Stephen Richards


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About the author.

Liza J Alvarado is a professional counselor in private practice. She serves Adolescents, young adults, and Spanish speaking families in Lehigh Valley, PA.


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