Overcoming low self esteem
by Jacquie Wise
High self-esteem is a quality that eludes many of us. I came across an interesting perspective recently that I thought would be worth sharing.
I was talking about self esteem to a very scientific, matter-of-fact, analytical type. I was trying to get him to develop positive thinking, self affirmations and all the techniques that help us build self esteem. He looked puzzled and I could tell that i wasn’t reaching him.
So I resorted to an example. ‘Suppose you were trying to shed weight and get fit,’ I said. ‘Instead of focusing on the negatives, like not being able to run up stairs and still weighing x amount, if you were able to feel good about being able to walk up half a flight and having shed 200g, it would be more encouraging, wouldn’t it?’
‘Yes, he said, but that’s tangible evidence’.
Aha. Now I was the one who got it. So we talked in terms of evidence, using examples of overcoming low self esteem that were relevant to him.
In his life, evidence of low self esteem included:
- thinking negatively about himself
- backing away from challenges
- poor time management
- low social confidence
I said to him: ‘Every time you sabotage your efforts, it’s evidence that you’re bringing yourself down. Conversely, every time you achieve one tiny improvement, minute by minute, it’s evidence that things are beginning to change for the better’. This, he got.
So anyone out there who needs tangible evidence may find this helpful. Gather evidence, one small shift at a time, that you’re improving. It’ll make a huge difference towards encouraging you to keep developing your skills, and your sense of pride that leads to high self esteem.
Alternatively, you may have another trigger that helps you understand that you are overcoming low self esteem.
Here are eight powerful techniques I’ve used with myself and with other clients:
- change your interpretation of situations
- don’t allow one small mistake to overshadow some big successes
- give yourself permission to make mistakes and keep going
- change your expectations of yourself and others so that they are more realistic
- eliminate perfectionism
- treat yourself as your own best friend
- turn off the negative voice in your head
- persevere and allow time for small shifts
Some people find that all of these techniques would be useful, but I like to help each person find the one that works best for them. It is like many things in life, if you apply the right strategy, you will overcome your challenge much faster.
I’d love to know what you think of what I’ve said here.
You can give me your feedback, ask a question by email or post a comment below.
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