Are there any activities to build self-esteem? Yes, there are. In fact, the most common question I get asked about building self-esteem is where to start. Often, we can clearly picture the version of ourselves we desire to embody, yet we struggle to take the first few steps towards it. Self-esteem starts to feel like a massive undertaking, something we can see in the distance but never gets any closer. To help, here are a few fresh new activities to build self-esteem that have worked for several of my clients.
Does seeing a therapist increase self-esteem and the self-esteem building process? While our society is working hard to de-stigmatize the belief that therapy exists only for people in crisis or with chronic mental illness, we still tend to think of therapy as something to help us move from bad to neutral, instead of from neutral to good. Yet therapists are trained to understand how the mind can build confidence and create sustainable change. As you consider adding therapy to your self-esteem journey, read on to learn three ways that therapy can help increase self-esteem.
Vulnerability is not something we normally link with self-esteem. We are much more inclined to picture an impenetrable sort of confidence, a version of ourselves where nothing can breach our walls of strength and self-adoration. Yet vulnerability is not only an incredibly powerful tool for those already on the road towards building self-esteem–it is also a very good place to start.
Finding self-love after a traumatic suicide attempt seems like a daunting task. After all, of the many thoughts circling the brain after an event of intended suicide, very few of if any are positive. It's more common to feel fear, shame, and misery. And eventually the question will arise–can I ever learn to love myself after the trauma of a suicide attempt? (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
What are the signs of self-esteem? What does it feel like to have healthy self-esteem? Is it unconditional adoration of yourself? Is it the confidence you can do anything? Is it the belief that you're beautiful, both inside and out? In an ideal world, we would feel all of these things. But realistically, our relationship with ourselves is complicated–we all have things we like and things we wish weren't a part of us. A completely positive self-view is overly idealistic and, frankly, inauthentic. So, if self-esteem isn't all sunshine and daisies, what is it? And how do we know if we have it--what are the signs of self-esteem?
Baby steps are a great way to build self-esteem. It's kind of like climbing a mountain: From the distance, we see a simple shape. It looks easy enough to climb if we just start walking uphill. Yet the closer we get, the more we realize that what looked like a basic silhouette is actually filled with valleys, cliffs, detours, and falling rocks. Suddenly, we start to question ourselves. Where do we start? How much energy will it take? What happens if we get turned around? This is when we can turn to baby steps to build self-esteem. When we measure our progress in smaller increments, we have more opportunities to reflect on our progress and make sure we are headed in the right direction.
Bad habits--they're pesky little things, aren't they? I imagine just reading the phrase makes you picture one of yours. Maybe your bad habit is biting your nails, or not responding to texts, or leaving the dishes in the sink. It's the thing you do that deep down, you know you don't like. But sometimes our bad habits aren't just small annoyances. Sometimes they burrow into our identity and affect our ability to build self-esteem. When bad habits affect self-esteem, what do we do?
A quick story about toxic people and self-esteem: Imagine you decide to plant a tiny sprout in your garden. When it flourishes, it will bring you deep joy. But first, it needs your focus and care to grow. Those who come into your garden and see your sprout give you support and space, encouraging your progress. But occasionally, a different kind of person comes into your garden. Knowingly or unknowingly, they march across the soil, step on your plants, and in the worst-case scenario, grind your tiny sprout into nothing.
How's your body image? Are you attractive? Do you like the way you look? Do other people think you're beautiful? It's hard to talk about body image without sinking deep into our most vulnerable places. As standards of beauty become progressively less realistic (hello Instagram filters, goodbye pores), being able to have an honest conversation with ourselves about our looks becomes increasingly difficult. Yet we each live within our own, unique bodies every day–being able to look at them in a realistic (and non-damaging) way is a valuable tool towards understanding who we are, developing a healthy body image, and ultimately towards building self-esteem.
Do we have to conquer fear? I've gone through some changes in my life recently that have me thinking about fear. In particular, how we react to feeling afraid. Why are some fears considered perfectly acceptable, while others fill us with shame and demand action? Being afraid of an aggressive animal, an impending surgery, or a loved one experiencing harm are all considered rational and acceptable. Yet we tend to hide our fears of social interaction, object/behaviors that feel uncomfortable, or people who affect us. So, what makes certain fears unpalatable? What makes us decide a fear is unfounded or embarrassing? Why are some fears allowed, while other fears must be conquered?