Therapy to build self-esteem – you can transcend feeling “not good enough”
In therapy, you will develop skills and insights that build healthy self-esteem. The good news is that you can learn to value yourself and find the joy that comes from healthy feelings of self-worth.
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is your opinion of yourself. It is a measure of personal value which does not rely on outside opinions. People with healthy self-esteem have little need for external validation or the approval of others. They are comfortable with the choices they make and enjoy personal satisfaction in life.
Each of us lacks confidence on occasion, but if we have low self-esteem we are often left unsatisfied, unhappy, or may even hate ourselves.
Self-esteem involves respecting yourself, loving yourself, putting yourself first, and meeting your own needs. And this is not something that is based on our level of success or fame – it comes from within. Actor/Singer Jennifer Lopez has described her own struggles with self-esteem, even at the pinnacle of her success.
Self-esteem does not come from how others view us, but instead from how we view ourselves. But how can we improve our self-esteem?
How to improve self-esteem
While some people with low self-esteem can briefly get a boost from external validation (the approval of others), the effects tend not to last. In therapy, you can get help building a sustainable, meaningful sense of self-worth.
The roots of low self-esteem are often found in deeply rooted events of our past. You may have grown up with an inflated sense of self or a poor self-image. Many of us wrongly learn that if we only find the “right job,” make enough money, or find our soul mate, happiness will be ours. Yet, this often fails to be the case. Inner joy is derived from personal self-worth and our own self-esteem, not from external events.
Therapy can help find the erroneous beliefs that hold us back from enjoying healthy self-esteem. It allows us to see ourselves as we really are.
Think of it like this: If someone relied on a broken mirror to help guide their grooming and appearance, they would be hindered in their efforts. That busted-up, cracked mirror, presenting multiple partial views would not be useful; it would even be counter-productive.
In a similar way, if we rely on others to assess our value, we would only get partial, imperfect views of ourselves. We would not get a clear, complete image and as a result, we would be unable to properly assess our self-worth.
Check-yourself: seven indicators that indicate low self-esteem
If you did not believe you suffer from low self-esteem, odds are you would not be reading this article. The fact is, nearly three-quarters of the population struggle with low self-worth at some point in life. You are not alone.
Do a self-check. Do you meet one or more of the indicators for low self-esteem?
- Are you constantly criticizing yourself?
Self-criticism as well as a sensitivity to criticism are strong signs of low self-esteem. Many sufferers find themselves in a pattern of beating themselves up over anything and everything, even when they should be celebrating success. We all criticize ourselves from time to time, but if the criticism is constant, you may need professional counseling to break out of such self-destructive patterns.
- Do you experience persistent negative feelings that result in difficult emotions?
Low self-esteem can cause depression, anxiety, anger, guilt, or shame. Although depression is not necessarily the result of low self-esteem, there could be a link. Learning why these feelings continue and how to overcome their grip on your life will help you make the changes you desire.
- Do you have difficulty maintaining or building relationships?
People with low self-esteem often face relationship problems. Often, the problems are caused by an inability to accept even constructive criticism to struggles with depression, anger, or unresolved guilt/shame. Often, there is an oppressive and overwhelming feeling that their partner is just “too good for me.” This then leads to actions that push the partner away.
- Does a lack of confidence cause you to tolerate unreasonable behavior from partners, co-workers, or friends?
If our sense of personal value is low, it can allow us to tolerate behavior we personally find offensive or wrong. In fact, in many instances of spousal abuse, both the abuser and the abused suffer from low self-esteem. If you ever ask yourself, “Why do I put up with that?” you may well suffer from low self-esteem.
- Are you promiscuous?
Feelings of low self-esteem can result in feeling hypersexual or asexual. People lacking a strong sense of personal value tend to overcompensate, mistaking sex for love and acceptance. But any sense of personal worth gained from hypersexual behavior quickly dissipates, leaving a person feeling worse than before. Some people can even become addicted to the emotional ups and downs of promiscuous behavior.
- Do you feel the need to earn love and friendship?
Love cannot be earned. It is something that is freely given because others see our worth, our value. For those who suffer from low self-esteem, their lives can become a never-ending quest to earn the love and friendship they are unable to give themselves. Many become disillusioned when their love is not returned in kind and give up on the friendship, turning from one friend or lover to another in succession, each time hoping to earn love and friendship.
- Are you a perfectionist?
Perfectionists frequently suffer from low self-esteem. In fact, the same forces which drive sexual promiscuity or attempting to earn friendships can underly a drive toward perfection.
How I help you build self-esteem
In customized professional therapy for low self-esteem:
- I teach you how to talk to yourself; how to check the facts about yourself and how to change the things that really may be causing problems.
- I do not help you win. In my experience, clinical and personal, it’s so impossible to maintain the winning position. Rather than finding a way to win, I help you make a connection, not an impression.
- You can develop inner compassion, enabling you to have a sense of being ok or being loved, even in moments of self-esteem collapse.
- Learn how to detach from the game and find space to be your authentic self.
- Build skills to disengage from social comparison. For example: “Don’t compare yourself to other people. Compare yourself to yourself when you’re trying to make progress in life.”
- Using the power of attachment, and attachment interactions, I help you change how you see yourself and how you see the world.
- Learn how to feel self-compassion, enabling you to break free from feelings of “never good enough”’
- Attain powerful interpersonal and assertiveness skills.
- Reverse fears that fuel inner contempt.
- Learn tools to stop blaming yourself to remove the pressure off your self-esteem.
- Grasp secrets to how to love what you see when you look in the mirror.
- Provide you with concrete strategies to improve your self-image.
- Enhance self-awareness, understanding of yourself, and skills to combat
unrealistic expectations of perfection.
- Redefine the idea of perfect. You can get comfortable being imperfect. Nobody’s perfect. We will practice making mistakes deliberately (such as, “Take the wrong exit off the highway”). We will set tasks that cannot be done perfectly (“take the perfect shower”, “write the perfect poem”).
Reach out for customized professional therapy to build your self-esteem
I promise to do everything in my power, to research and research until I find the tools necessary to help you become a better version of yourself and reach your greatest potential. I BELIEVE IN YOU. Please reach out to learn more.
Call for a free 15-minute telephone consultation, or just send me a message. Don’t let low self-esteem hold you back.