Self Esteem - Counselling Newsletter

Published: 3 Jul 2018

What is self-esteem?

In a nutshell, self-esteem is your opinion of yourself and your abilities. It can be high, low or somewhere in-between. While everyone occasionally has doubts about themselves, low self-esteem can leave you feeling insecure and unmotivated. You might be able to identify a few things that are affecting your opinion of yourself (maybe you’re being bullied, or you might be feeling lonely), or it could be a mystery. Either way, there are heaps of things you can do to improve your self-esteem.

1.    Be nice to yourself

That little voice that tells you you’re killin’ it (or not) is way more powerful than you might think. Make an effort to be kind to yourself and, if you do slip up, try to challenge any negative thoughts. A good rule of thumb is to speak to yourself in the same way that you’d speak to your mates. This can be really hard at first, but practice makes perfect.

2.    You do you

Comparing yourself to other people is a sure-fire way to start feeling crummy. Try to focus on your own goals and achievements, rather than measuring them against someone else’s. Nobody needs that kind of pressure!

3.    Get moving

Exercise is a great way to increase motivation, practice setting goals and build confidence. Breaking a sweat also cues the body to release endorphins, the feel-good hormones.

4.    Nobody’s perfect

Always strive to be the best version of yourself, but it’s also important to accept that perfection is an unrealistic goal.

5.    Remember that everyone makes mistakes

You’ve got to make mistakes in order to learn and grow, so try not to beat yourself up if you forget to hit CTRL+S on a super-important assignment. Everyone’s been there.

6.    Focus on what you can change

It’s easy to get hung up on all the things that are out of your control, but it won’t achieve much. Instead, try to focus your energy on identifying the things that are within your control and seeing what you can do about them.

7.    Do what makes you happy

If you spend time doing the things you enjoy, you’re more likely to think positively. Try to schedule in a little you-time every day. Whether that’s time spent reading, cooking or just conking out on the couch for a bit, if it makes you happy, make time for it.

8.    Celebrate the small stuff

You got up on time this morning. Tick. You poached your eggs to perfection. Winning. Celebrating the small victories is a great way to build confidence and start feeling better about yourself.

9.    Be a pal

Being helpful and considerate to other people will certainly boost their mood, but it’ll also make you feel pretty good about yourself.

10. Surround yourself with a supportive squad

Find people who make you feel good about yourself and avoid those who tend to trigger your negative thinking.

Self-Esteem vs Self-Confidence

Self-esteem refers to how you feel about yourself overall; how much esteem, positive regard or self-love you have. ... Self-confidence is how you feel about your abilities and can vary from situation to situation. I may have healthy self-esteem, but low confidence about situations involving math (this is true).

Self-confidence is when you believe in yourself and your abilities. It sounds simple, but it can be a tough thing to build up. And of course there’s the fact that dealing with mental health issues can affect how you feel about yourself. Here are some handy tips to help you build your self-confidence. If you find yourself struggling with these tips, it’s a good idea to seek help from a mental health professional.

  • Look at what you’ve already achieved. Make a list of all the things you’re proud of in your life, which might be getting a good mark on a recent exam, or learning to surf, or some other achievement. Celebrate your successes, whether big or small. Keep your list close by and add to it whenever you do something you’re proud of. When you’re low in confidence, pull out the list and use it to remind yourself of all the awesome stuff you've done. Remember: your achievements are unique to you. Try not to compare your achievements with other people’s.
  • Think of the things you’re good at. Everyone has strengths and talents. What are yours? Write a list. Recognising what you’re good at, and trying to build on those things, will help you to build confidence in your abilities. Ask other people what they think you’re good at and add those strengths and talents to your list.
  • Set some goals. Set some goals and then work out the steps you need to take to achieve them. They don’t have to be big goals. Just aim initially for small achievements that you can tick off a list to help you gain confidence in your ability to get stuff done. They can even be things like baking a cake or planning a night out with friends.
  • Talk yourself up. You’re never going to feel confident if you have negative commentary running through your mind telling you that you’re no good. Think about your self-talk and about how that might be affecting your self-confidence. Treat yourself like you would your best friend and cheer yourself on.
  • Get a hobby. Try to find something that you’re really passionate about. It could be photography, sport, cooking or anything else! When you’ve worked out what your passion is, commit yourself to spending time giving it a go. Chances are, if you’re interested or passionate about a certain activity, you’ll be motivated and will build skills more quickly.

Extract from Reach Out;

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