Self-Esteem: How to Feel Better About You

What Is Self-Esteem?


Self-esteem literally means to esteem, or respect, yourself. Having high self-esteem means that you have a positive image of yourself. Let’s look at where such a positive self-image comes from.

In her classic book Celebrate Yourself, Dorothy Corkville Briggs makes a distinction between the real you and your self-image. She says that the real you is unique and unchanging. Most of your self-image—what you think is true about yourself—is learned. It is not necessarily accurate at all!

Where are your beliefs about yourself drawn from? Where did you learn them? If you think about it, you’ll see that they came from:

•           What others said about you

•           What others told you

•           What others did to you

Your self-image is the result of all the messages you heard about yourself as a child. These messages added up to a set of beliefs about who you are. It may have nothing to do with who you really are.

For example, you may believe things like:

•           I’m not very smart.

•           I’m naturally passive.

•           Girls aren’t any good at math.

•           I’m too old to start over.

•           All of the women in the Breski family become doctors.

•           I’m painfully shy.

•           The Hurleys never lie.

In addition to learning to believe certain things during our early years, there are certain situations that make most people feel inferior or lacking in self-esteem.

Some examples are:

•           Being criticized

•           Not being loved

•           Being rejected

•           Experiencing failure

What Low Self-Esteem Feels Like

In situations like these above, it is not uncommon to feel emotions such as:

•           Sadness

•           Inferiority

•           Anger

•           Jealousy

•           Rejection

Let's take a look at two different approaches and how they can help with self-esteem:

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy is one of the most successful methods for helping people feel better about themselves. Cognitive therapists help depressed and anxious people feel better by identifying how faulty ways of thinking are making them feel bad. They believe that faulty thoughts cause us to feel bad, which makes us feel bad about ourselves.

Cognitive therapists call these faulty ways of thinking “twisted thinking.”

Cognitive therapy is a process where the client analyzes his or her thoughts and beliefs, and learns to substitute more healthy ways of thinking and believing.

These therapists help their clients feel better in four steps: First, identify the upsetting events that cause bad feelings; second, record your thoughts about the event; third, identify the distortions in your thinking process; and fourth, substitute rational responses. When the client successfully completes these four steps, the client usually feels better about him- or herself.

Thinking the right kinds of thoughts is one way to feel good about yourself. Now let’s talk about a second way to increase your self-esteem: by taking a look at your life environment and seeing whether it supports you feeling good about yourself. You may find that some nourishing elements need to be replenished. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Do you have people in your life who:

            1.         Treat you with love and respect?

            2.         Encourage you to do and be anything you want?

            3.         Help you find out what you want to do, and how to do it?

            4.         Encourage you to explore all of your talents and interests?

            5.         Are thrilled when you succeed?

            6.         Listen to you when you need to complain?

            7.         Help you bounce back from failure without making you feel bad?

Take a moment to think about each of the items on this list. Note where your environment is providing adequately for you, and where it is lacking. This can give you clues to how to build your own self-esteem.

Energy Healing

Working with the energy system, Beth can often help you to find and release any energetic blocks that may be holding you back, including limiting beliefs that keep you from living and loving who you really are. In this work, the focus is on detaching from old energy that keeps holding you back, blocked by the energetic ties and blockages that are in place which keep you feeling "less than", "not good enough", and not living your life from a truly authentic place.

You are made of love, and love being the highest vibration of energy there is, we work together in our energy healing sessions to raise your own energetic vibration where self-love and self-compassion can happen.

Very often, combining cognitive therapy along with energy healing has been very beneficial for our clients according to their own self-reports.

Strategies for Esteem Building

1.      Pay attention to how you are feeling from moment to moment. Tune in to what your five senses are experiencing. Take it down to the most basic level of “I feel warm right now,” “I feel light-headed,” “I feel a tightness in my stomach.”

2.      Revisit your interests and goals. Make a list of things you’d like to do and learn. Today, take one step toward learning more.

3.      Spend less time with critical people and more time with those who appreciate you.

4.      Spend some time with yourself at the end of each day. Review what happened and how you were feeling. Write about it in a private journal.

5.      If you are feeling bad about yourself, consider finding a therapist and/or energy healer to help you get your life on a positive track.

Counseling services are available to NJ residents only; Energy healing may be sent anywhere in the world.

Ready to feel better? Please contact us for more information.

Always our best, Kevin and Beth