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Tips on how to Boost your Self-esteem!

 

5_things_your_should_know_about_self_esteemSelf-esteem is essential to our overall well-being and directly impacts the way we experience the world and the choices we make. Low self-esteem can be an incredibly painful inner experience and often causes isolation, withdrawal, and limited engagement. On the other hand, healthy self-esteem is directly related to stronger relationships with others, higher life satisfaction, and more goal-directed behavior. While low self-esteem may be rooted in our early experiences and circumstances, our thoughts also determine the way we interpret ourselves and the world around us. Read on to learn some valuable ways to start boosting self-esteem.

Acknowledge and Talk Back to Your Inner Critic

First, it’s important to become aware of your inner critic and the way that it speaks to you. We all have one. It’s that little (or sometimes loud) voice that is destructive, cruel, and rejecting. It drags us down when we’ve made mistakes or are confronted with things that we don’t like about ourselves. In order to improve self-esteem we need to tell this voice to “STOP!” and talk back to it with a more compassionate, understanding voice. Trying to refocus these thoughts into something more productive can help transform your critical voice into one that is far more constructive.

It’s also important to determine the purpose of that inner critic. Sometimes we rely on it for motivation or protection from potential hurt. For example, we can get tricked into thinking that our self-critical thinking is motivating us to achieve more and try harder or that when our critical voice tells us that people won’t like us, its protecting us from potential rejection. The problem here is that these are assumptions that aren’t grounded in reality and can be seriously damaging.

Watch Your Language!

Often, we use pejorative language that can destroy our self-esteem due to their negative connotations.  Telling ourselves that we are “ugly, fat, stupid, pathetic” and so forth is harmful. These words are subjective and arbitrary. They are also so immeasurable that we tend to define ourselves using the connotations that words hold. Instead, try to use words and descriptions that are accurate and factual. That way, the things we don’t like can be more readily challenged and, in some cases, worked on if it’s in our best interest. For example, saying something like “I’m stupid” can become more fact-based if changed to “I lack knowledge in a, b, and c, but I know a lot about x, y, z”.  Now, a strength is acknowledged and, if it seems important, the perceived weakness can be turned into a goal to learn more about a, b, c.

Self-imposed “shoulds” and “can’ts” are limiting and set us up for failure. Words like always, never, and perfect are also extremes. Try and be more open, realistic, and flexible with your language.

Practice Self-Acceptance and Celebrate Your Strengths

It’s important to acknowledge both our strengths and weaknesses. We don’t have to love every aspect of ourselves or our experiences, but we must learn to accept them. Make a list of your strengths and get into the habit of reminding yourself of them. This can be done with things like daily affirmations, reminder signs around the house, and actively remembering times when your strengths have been demonstrated.

Develop Compassion for Yourself

This means to understand, accept, and forgive yourself.  Somehow, compassion for others comes more readily to most of us. We must learn to treat ourselves like we treat our closest loved ones in order to improve self-esteem. A first step toward compassion is to begin to understand ourselves and the nature of our problems. We have to develop some sense of why we are the way we are. Next, we must learn to accept ourselves and remove the judgment we impose on ourselves. Finally, forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. A good way to engage with a compassionate self is to try and speak to yourself the same way you’d speak to your best friend if he or she was experiencing something similar.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

It’s easy to get into the habit of comparing ourselves to others who appear to be more successful, accomplished, intelligent, and attractive than us. When we do this we disregard all of our own individual traits, successes, and positive qualities. We also usually do this under the illusion and false assumptions that others aren’t dealing with their own personal struggles, making us feel worse. The only person we should be comparing ourselves to is the person we were yesterday as we strive to improve each day.

Practice Self-Care

Get in the habit of doing things that are good and feel good for YOU. Participate in things that bring you joy and that make you laugh. Surround yourself with people who support you. Eat well. Exercise. Take good care of yourself – mind, body, and soul.

By: Catherine Kamel

counsellor, psychologist, psychotherapy

About Catherine Kamel

Catherine is an empathetic and open-minded therapist dedicated to helping others live happy and healthier lives. She is a Canadian Certified Counsellor and Psychotherapist. She holds a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from McGill University. Catherine has experience working with diverse clientele experiencing a number of personal, academic, and career concerns. Her areas of practice include: depression, anxiety, stress management, communication skills, family and relational concerns, self-esteem, trauma, disability and illness-related concerns, and life transitions. Catherine has a passion for helping others identify and pursue their life paths in meaningful ways. She works collaboratively with clients to improve their self-awareness and identify their strengths, while developing strong, respectful relationships based on mutual trust. Catherine is committed to an integrative and empowering approach that honours the unique story of each client. She incorporates elements of psychodynamic theory, cognitive behavioral therapy, existentialism, interpersonal processing theory, and emotion focused therapy, into her therapeutic framework.


This entry was posted in Change, Coaching, happiness, Health, Identity Development, KMA Therapy, mental health, mindfullness, Positivity, Psychologists, self awareness, self care, Self-esteem, Tools and Tricks, Toronto, transformation, Uncategorized, wellbeing, Youth on by .

About Catherine Kamel

Catherine is an empathetic and open-minded therapist dedicated to helping others live happy and healthier lives. She is a Canadian Certified Counsellor and Psychotherapist. She holds a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from McGill University. Catherine has experience working with diverse clientele experiencing a number of personal, academic, and career concerns. Her areas of practice include: depression, anxiety, stress management, communication skills, family and relational concerns, self-esteem, trauma, disability and illness-related concerns, and life transitions. Catherine has a passion for helping others identify and pursue their life paths in meaningful ways. She works collaboratively with clients to improve their self-awareness and identify their strengths, while developing strong, respectful relationships based on mutual trust. Catherine is committed to an integrative and empowering approach that honours the unique story of each client. She incorporates elements of psychodynamic theory, cognitive behavioral therapy, existentialism, interpersonal processing theory, and emotion focused therapy, into her therapeutic framework.

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