There are a number of self esteem exercises that can be used for overcoming low self esteem. You can try these self esteem exercises on your own or you can work on them with a therapist.
Tips for Overcoming Low Self Esteem
It takes time to develop self esteem so while these tips will help, they are not quick fixes. Do-it-yourself methods for improving self esteem are enough for some people, but others will benefit from therapy as well.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. There will always be someone smarter, prettier, richer or more skilled at something than we are. That doesn’t mean we aren’t good enough as we are.
- Celebrate your accomplishments, big and small. Don’t ignore your mistakes, but don’t dwell on them, either.
- Practice setting small, attainable goals to foster a sense of accomplishment. Make sure your goals are measurable. For instance “be a better mother” is not a good, measurable goal. “Spend one hour every day with my child” is a good, measurable goal.
- Surround yourself with people that make you feel good about yourself. Avoid negative, critical people when you can.
- Do things you enjoy and that you’re good at. If you don’t have a hobby, now is the time to develop one.
Self Esteem Exercises
Try these self esteem exercises to give you more insight into the state of your self esteem. You can write about the answers in a journal or discuss them with a therapist.
- Make a list of several thoughts about yourself. They can be positive thoughts like “I am a good mother” or negative thoughts like “I am too fat.” Think about where that belief comes from. Who first told you that? Why do you believe it? What evidence do you have to support it? Is there evidence that contradicts that belief (for instance, if you believe you are too fat, does your doctor tell you that your weight is OK)?
- Make a list of things you would like to believe about yourself. For instance, maybe you would like to believe that you are a good mother or that your body size is OK. What makes it hard to believe these things? What evidence do you have that you are a good mother? What evidence do you have that you’re not?
- Keep a log for a few days or a week (or longer, if you like). Write down each negative thought you have about yourself and what triggers that thought. After you collect a few days’ worth of data, you can look for patterns and make a plan for combating the negative thoughts and overcoming low self esteem.
Therapy for Overcoming Low Self Esteem
Everyone experiences low self esteem from time to time. If you feel down about yourself from time to time, that does not necessarily mean you need professional help or therapy. However, if you feel your low self esteem is interfering with your daily life, you should consider seeing a therapist. For instance, some people with low self esteem are afraid to apply for a new job that they really want. Some people with low self esteem skip important family gatherings because they feel so self conscious. If that’s the case, therapy might be very beneficial.
Some people with low self esteem suffer from psychological disorders like depression, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, anorexia and bulimia. If you suffer from such a disorder or if you think you might have such a disorder, you should seek professional help. A professional therapist can assess you for psychological disorders and help you develop a treatment plan. Therapy for overcoming low self esteem will probably involve some self esteem exercises as well as exploring the roots of your problem. Therapy will address any other problems like eating disorders as well, of course.