Your Self-Esteem Inventory
Last week we discussed some of the things that you can do to boost your self-esteem. Most of the tips involved improving yourself from the outside. This week OI want to talk about how you can boost your self-esteem by doing things on the inside.
Some people think that self-esteem has to do with popularity and looks, while others believe that the great body they have been working on for weeks will make them feel better about themselves, and yes, those things can help, but in order to gain self-esteem, you need to appreciate yourself, as much as others do.
Healthy self-esteem is having the ability to know your weaknesses and your strengths. People who take pride in their abilities, understand their accomplishments and faults, but don’t allow those faults to overwhelm the rest of their lives have healthy self-esteem.
Boosting your self-esteem isn’t easy, and it is going to take some practice on your part, especially if you don’t have the tools to heal your self-esteem. A good therapist will be able to work with you to uncover some of the reasons that you think less of yourself than you should.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, blends behavioral therapy with cognitive therapy helping you focus on your problems and the best way to solve them. Behavioral therapy involves focusing on your actions while working together to change unhealthy behavioral patterns. CT focuses on your thought patterns and belief systems. Together you and your therapist will work together to find out how your belief systems and thought patterns may affect your actions and your moods.
In order to boost your self-esteem, your therapist will focus on what your problems are and how best to solve them. Through therapy you can learn how to identify distorted images of yourself and reset those unhealthy patterns by recognizing and changing the way you think the rest of the world sees you. Once you look at yourself in a more positive way, which can be done through therapy, you can begin to say, “I like what I see,” instead of, “I’m so fat,” or, “Nobody will ever love me.”
Of course, all of us don’t perform up to others or our own expectations all the time, but to keep telling yourself that you are a bad person and you cannot do anything is not the solution. If you’ve had a bad moment, bad day, bad week, bad month, or bad year, take the time to acknowledge it and move forward.
The first step to building your self-esteem is easy. Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the center in order to make a strengths and weaknesses list. On the left side of the paper write, “Weaknesses,” and on the right side, “Strengths,” Make a list of 10 strengths and 10 weaknesses. If you lack self-esteem you will find it difficult to list 10 strengths, but it will force you to dig deep inside in order to find 10 strengths about yourself. If you are still having a tough time coming up with your list of strengths, dig in to your memory banks and try and remember the positive and uplifting comments that people have said to you over the years. Even if your little voice is telling you that it was too small or too stupid to list, put it on there anyway. That time that you helped a dear friend get over a rough patch didn’t go un-noticed. Add it to your list. Once you start thinking about past compliments, you will have no trouble getting all ten on your list, hopefully, even more.
Taking inventory of your self-esteem allows you to see in black and white how much you really aren’t so great at some things, but also shows you that there are just as many things, if not more, that you are really good at.
Next week we will talk about other ways you can improve your self-esteem including adjusting your self-image and setting realistic expectations.
If you have self-esteem issues, relationship problems, or just want to have a healthier mind, body, and spirit, schedule a consultation with your Upland Therapist, Dr. Renee M. Winters.