What Is Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem is a person’s subjective evaluation of themselves. It doesn’t necessarily match a person’s objective abilities and qualities. For example, a person can feel that they’re unlikeable to others despite actually making friends easily. Self-esteem is often divided into two categories. Global self-esteem is a person’s appraisal of their overall worth. Domain-specific self-esteem refers to a person’s evaluation of their worth in particular areas, such as relationships or work. Self-esteem is thought to have both genetic and environmental components.
When we have healthy self-esteem we tend to feel good about ourselves and our life. We feel more resilient to the challenges we face in our lives. When we have low self-esteem we may see ourselves or our life in a more negative light. Following this, we might find it more difficult to deal with problems in our lives. Our upbringing is likely to have a strong impact on how we value ourselves. Self-esteem can change over time. It can be impacted by life successes and challenges as well as the key relationships we develop. The good news is that we can actively work to boost our self-esteem and learn to calm our inner critic.
Four Simple CBT Techniques To Boost Self-Esteem:
CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is a type of talking therapy that is used to treat many different mental health problems. It is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and actions are all interconnected. From this perspective, negative thoughts or unhelpful actions can trap us in a cycle of feeling bad. By changing our negative patterns we can start to feel better. Here are some simple CBT techniques that you can start to use straight away to improve your self-esteem:
1. Challenge Unhelpful Thoughts
The first step involved in challenging unhelpful thoughts is to become aware of them. Be mindful of how your inner talk sounds and notice what you say to yourself. It can help to write down some of these thoughts. People with low self-esteem often have a strong ‘inner critic’. This internal voice might say things like ‘you’re not good at your job’ or ‘people don’t really like you’. You might want to ask yourself when you first started to think these thoughts about yourself.
When you recognize that you are talking with yourself in a negative way, remind yourself that your thoughts aren’t facts. Look for evidence that disproves your negative thoughts. For example, if you’re telling yourself that people don’t like you, think about the family or friends you have who do care for you. Next, ask yourself what you might say to a friend instead. Instead of criticizing a friend, you’d probably tell them that they’re doing fine at work, or that of course people like them. Write down some of these more helpful thoughts as a way to challenge the unhelpful ones. Then, the next time you catch yourself saying something negative to yourself, see if you can switch the thought to a more realistic or helpful one instead.
2. Engage In Self-Care
When we mistreat ourselves it can affect our self-esteem and make us feel worse about ourselves. Similarly, when we start to look after ourselves it can work to boost our self-esteem. It’s difficult to make lots of changes to our behaviours all at once so instead try to focus on one or two small things each week that you might begin to alter. For instance, perhaps you could start to get out of the office or house at lunchtime. Or maybe you could begin to eat more healthily. Make small healthy changes to your daily routines and reward yourself for doing well with something that aligns with these changes. The more we care for ourselves, the better our self-esteem tends to be.
3. Recognise Your Strengths
Everyone has strengths. However, if we have low self-esteem it can be difficult to pay attention to them as we’re so used to focusing on our negative inner critic instead. Think about the things you’re good at. You don’t have to be perfect or ‘the best’ at the things you choose, just make sure they’re things you enjoy or have had positive feedback about. Examples could include cooking, looking after animals, your job, being a friend, or anything else. When you’ve identified some things that you’re good at or enjoy, see if you can schedule them into your life regularly. When we do things we’re good at or enjoy it helps to boost our mood and we start to feel better about ourselves. By spending time focusing on things that we’re already good at we get even better at them and our confidence grows.
4. Set Yourself A Goal
It’s normal to feel anxious about trying new things. Nevertheless, someone with good self-esteem won’t let feeling nervous stop them from having a go at a different activity. Set yourself a small goal, such as speaking to someone at work or joining an evening class. Make sure the goal feels manageable and is something that seems achievable for you. Then work to achieve your goal. When we reach our goals we feel better about ourselves and it improves our self-esteem. Allow yourself to feel proud of yourself for making progress and then set another achievable goal to build on your success.
How Can Online-Therapy.com Help?
If you’ve tried out some of these CBT techniques to increase your self-esteem and would like to explore enhancing your well-being further then Online-Therapy.com can help. By signing up with our CBT program you can choose a therapist who will work with you to develop a personalized toolkit to support you with the changes you want to make and to help you to boost your self-esteem for good. You can always choose to have your therapy sessions by video, phone or text chat (couple counselling will be video only), making Online-Therapy.com a flexible and convenient option.
At Online-Therapy.com we offer an integrated and holistic package to enable you to feel consistently at your best. Our approach includes regular sessions with your chosen therapist, unlimited messaging and CBT worksheet support, journaling and yoga. CBT isn’t only about supporting you to resolve problems in your life, it can also support you to feel even better than you already do and to create the life you’ve always wanted. With our ongoing support, you have the daily expert guidance you need to make progress with improving your self-esteem as soon as you sign up.