High or Low, We All Have Self-Esteem
We perceive ourselves in particular ways for many reasons. Oftentimes, those reasons are often intertwined with one another. The way we speak to ourselves, the habits we form, and the relationships we are a part of can impact our self-esteem. Plus, there are many more aspects of our lives that also play a role in our self-esteem.
Many of the folks I work with feel stuck in a place of low self-esteem. This may look like being distrustful of yourself and your decision-making. It may look like having intense negative self-talk. You say mean things to yourself internally that you’d never say about another person. Or, you may have a hard time asking for the things you need, and you don’t even know what you need to begin with.
Thinking About Negative Self Esteem
Struggling with low self-esteem is hard enough in itself. But for many, it creates external problems along with internal issues.
These external problems may look like:
- Engaging in people-pleasing behavior
- Or neglecting your physical health
The complexities of low self-esteem can be very challenging. Low self-esteem can keep you in a place of despair and hopelessness. But you deserve better. Your self-esteem may be low today, but this doesn’t mean it has to be like this forever.
What brought you to this place of low self-esteem? Can you remember a time when you felt better about yourself than you do now? What was going on then that isn’t happening for you today?
If and when you choose to start working on your self-esteem, it’s important to figure out what got you to this place. This can happen on your own, or even better, with a skilled self-esteem therapist. Talking through the past and present with a self-esteem therapist can help you get insight into yourself. Together, you can discover new parts of yourself that you may never have received before. It can help you get a realistic view of where you can improve and what you are already good at.
Self-Esteem Therapy in North Carolina Can Offer Support
One exercise I have found helpful with clients in self-esteem therapy is keeping a self-esteem journal. Yes, this may not be the sexiest way to help yourself, but it has been a great tool for others. So, I hope you’ll give it a chance!
When I start working with clients in self-esteem therapy, it’s often hard for them to identify positive things about themselves. So, we start small. We build self-esteem the same way that one would build a house. We set up the foundation first. Then, as the building becomes stronger, we can add more beautiful, complex amenities to it.
Self-Esteem Journal Exercise
When I say we build the foundation, I’m saying that we think about the tiniest things about ourselves that we like. In your self-esteem journal, you can reflect on questions like…
“What did I do today that made me proud of myself?”
Your answer can be as simple as you like. It could be that you made a meal for yourself. Or, instead of having road rage on the way to work, you were calm and patient.
“Something I did well today was…”
Again, this can be so small! Did you save money by making your coffee at home today? Woohoo! A small win, but nonetheless, you did something good for yourself. Remember, not good for someone else, but good for you. So, do the small stuff that makes you proud or happy with yourself. It is key to building a strong foundation for your self-esteem.
“Today was interesting because…” and “Today I had fun when…”
With prompts like these, you get to find those small moments of happiness. Sometimes, there may be little to nothing interesting or fun happening. But taking that moment to reflect on your day and identify something that brightened it can give you valuable insights. Doing so can help you better understand what may bring you happiness in the days ahead. Then, you can create those little moments in the future.
Self-Esteem in the New Year
You may choose to engage in this self-esteem journal exercise or not. Either way, I have another piece of advice I’d like to leave you with. As we enter a new year, those New Year’s resolutions will start pining for your attention. Everyone’s working on eating healthier and working out more. Your family and friends are asking you what you want to change about yourself in this new year. Or you may be looking at your checkbook after the holidays and thinking “I need to be better with my finances.”
As these thoughts and questions come up, remember the foundation of your house. Is it realistic to try and change everything about yourself in the new year when you’ve been struggling to just like yourself most days? How do you go from struggling today to thriving in the new year?
Advice from a North Carolina Self-Esteem Therapist for the New Year
My advice is this: make small, realistic goals. If you set large, overwhelming goals, you’re much more likely to burn yourself out. When you set, keep, and meet small goals, you build trust with yourself. Then, when you begin to trust yourself, you begin to like yourself more. Just like with another individual. You can also think about your past successes. How did you set yourself up to succeed? Did you have a support system in place? What about your schedule, did you make time for the things you needed to do to meet your goals?
Yes, you may be struggling today. But you’ve made it this far. And I believe in your resiliency. Let’s make small changes in the new year to build up our foundations. Then in the long-term, you’ll be able to make those bigger changes that take your self-esteem to the next level.
Begin Online Self-Esteem Therapy in North Carolina
Improving one’s self-esteem is much easier said than done. This is why you may want to consider reaching out to a skilled therapist. I offer online therapy in North Carolina. I take Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, and the North Carolina state health plan as insurance coverage. You deserve to start the year off right, and I would be honored to help make that happen. To start your therapy journey, please follow these simple steps:
Start improving your self-esteem from the comfort of home
Other Services Offered with Michele Seeley LCMHC