There's hardly anyone amongst us who hasn't had doubts regarding one's ability or oneself! It's natural to question oneself and experience self-doubt. It's part of human nature.
However, it's also true that we inhabit a world that, at times, functions on fixed notions of what and how people should be. Despite our best efforts, these generalized definitions of success and failures can impact us. These messages could be a part of our childhood experiences, or we could be consuming them through social media, our education system or peer interaction. At the same time, we find inspiration from all of the above. It's equally possible that specific experiences can leave us in self-doubt and perhaps feelings of inadequacy. Self-esteem is integral to how we view ourselves and interact with the world. So, if you find yourself struggling with self-esteem issues, here are a few ways that can help you to improve your self-esteem.
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1. Setting a point of pride: Setting a goal for the future can be a positive step in the right direction. Setting one specific goal that you accomplish to prove something to yourself helps boost self-esteem. For instance, if you are a runner and have been running 5k regularly and have always wanted to run a half marathon or try a triathlon, you could consider signing up for it and training for it. Or, if you are a writer and have been writing short stories but now want to write a novel, you could start by setting your point of pride as writing one chapter after another. By creating and achieving a point of pride, you are allowing yourself a consistent source of motivation and, more importantly, a source of self-esteem. With each realistic accomplishment, you will be able to experience genuine confidence in your abilities, therefore, helping you boost your self-esteem.
2. Eliminate self-criticism and introduce self-compassion: Studying yourself and focusing on the voice with which you speak to yourself or about yourself can be an excellent way to address issues of self-esteem. It's often the case that we develop a voice that is belittling one's accomplishments without realizing it. Or that we speak about ourselves in a way that undercuts our success using self-critical language. It is very much possible for this inner critic to take over and slowly but surely chip away at your confidence and self-esteem. Perhaps the next time you speak about yourself or to yourself, it might be beneficial to make a note and practice self-compassion. Being kind to oneself, especially when one has made mistakes, is the first step toward boosting self-esteem. It's helpful to remember that we all make mistakes. It's part of our existence. The way to deal with them is not by holding a grudge against oneself or becoming one's worst critic. Instead, it's about forgiving the mistakes and learning from them without fracturing your self-image. We, at times, forget that before we can honestly believe in ourselves, we have to learn to live with our failures compassionately and kindly.
Having low-esteem can impact our personal as well as professional life. And if you have been struggling with a cycle of self-defeating thoughts. And experiencing negative emotions concerning yourself, perhaps it's time to seek a solution through therapy. Help is possible and can get to the core of your underlying negative thinking patterns and teach you positive ways of dealing with difficult situations. With professional counselling, you will be able to see a new path of acceptance, change and wellbeing.
If you're looking for a therapist near Sherwood Park for anxiety and stress counselling, Ward & Associates Psychological Services is here for you. We specialize in individual counselling for adults, teens, and children and couples counselling and trauma counselling for first responders. We also offer online therapy for clients residing in Alberta. Contact us to learn more about our services or to book an appointment.