How to build self esteem

What is self esteem?

Imagine if you could build a healthy dose of self esteem and believed you could do most things you put your mind to? How would your life be different? What would you be doing? How would you be feeling?

What kinds of thoughts would cross your mind? Counselling can move you to a place of confidence about who you are and what you want to be doing in your life. With the support of a good counsellor you can build self esteem and confidence.

Our self esteem is the esteem we hold for ourselves. It is informed by our view of ourselves and our perception of how others view us. 

Self esteem is formed by our early life experiences, the way we deal with setbacks and what we believe these mean about us as a person. Self esteem is part of our self concept (our sense of who we are, our evaluation of our strengths, weaknesses, capabilities and limitations, and our comparisons of ourselves with others). 

Low self esteem

It is normal to have doubts about ourselves when faced with some threatening or challenging situations.

When we have low self esteem we tend to undermine our abilities and feel bad about ourselves if things don’t go as planned.

We may blame ourselves and attribute the causes to being who we are, rather than the circumstances of the situation.

High self esteem

With high self esteem we carry an air of self confidence and a strong sense that we rightfully occupy a place in the world.

We believe in our abilities, accept challenges and learn how to cope with setbacks. Our sense of self worth is fed by a healthy self esteem.

Self confidence

Self confidence is one facet of self esteem. We may be confident in some of the things we do but not in others, depending on how we evaluate ourselves in a particular area compared with how we perceive that others perform.

We may not feel confident even though we know our material and might be an expert in an area. Some people may lack confidence in presenting themselves and their ideas. Building confidence is important in helping you to build self esteem.

How to build self esteem

Firstly, we will explore your motivation for wanting to increase your self esteem. Is it a recent need or something that has always been a concern? When have you felt good about yourself in the past? What were you doing? What kinds of thoughts did you have? How did you feel?

Do you tend to make critical self-judgements or compare yourself unfavouably to others? Has your self esteem been knocked around by a recent failure or disappointment? How important is the esteem of others to you?

The answers to these questions may provide some insights into the way you esteem yourself and let others esteem you and whether this way of viewing things enhances or detracts from your self esteem. 

How would your life be different if you had stronger self esteem?

Imagine you have the self esteem you want. What would you be doing in your life? How would you be spending your time? What sort of things would be important to you? What would you be thinking about? How would you be thinking about yourself? How would you be feeling?

The answers to these questions may provide some points for developing a plan for building your self esteem.

Self esteem therapy

It can be helpful to develop your insights about how your view of yourself, others and the world impacts on your self esteem and how it may determine many of the actions you take or avoid taking in your life.

Strategies for managing the inner critic that talks you out of doing things in a different way can enable you to get a handle on the destructive nature of this inner voice that rampages through your mind and respond to it in a productive and self enhancing way.

Challenging your negative thoughts that destroy your belief in yourself and looking at things in a different way can lead to change and new ways of thinking and feeling good about yourself.

Seeking professional therapy for building self esteem can make a huge difference in your life. What would it be like to face life’s challenges with increased confidence and assurance?

Contact Linda Magson, Sydney counsellor specialising in self esteem therapy to make an appointment for a counselling/therapy session.

Read my blog on What is the problem with low self esteem?

Disclaimer: the information on these pages is not intended as advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. You need to consult your doctor for these things without delay.