Tuesday, 7 July 2015

How to combat low self-esteem

“I spend ages deciding what to wear before I go out because I don’t want people to judge me negatively,” said one of my clients, in her first consultation.
She went on to say that she was worried about getting found out that she wasn’t really good enough for her job. She was also avoiding taking a course at work because she was convinced she would fail.

These types of worries, assuming people are judging you negatively, assuming you will fail or get found out, or telling yourself you are not good enough, are all typical symptoms of low self-esteem.
As a hypnotherapist low self-esteem is probably the most common issue I treat.

Although it is an incredibly common issue, people tend not to talk about it. My clients often worry that they are strange or different. However, feeling like this is very common. People also often assume that it is just the way they are and that they have to continue through life feeling this way.

However, you do not. There are lots of wonderful ways to boost self-esteem. Our self-esteem underpins everything else. As our self-esteem improves we feel less anxious, happier, more confident, more capable and generally a lot better.

So, how can you boost your self-esteem?

First of all notice the way you talk to yourself in your own mind. Do you say things like;
“I look fat.”
“I have nothing interesting to say. Everyone will think I’m boring.”
“I’m not smart enough to get a promotion.”
“I always mess things up.”

Now, think about your best friend or sibling, someone you care about very much.
Imagine saying these things to them. You wouldn’t, would you? If you wouldn’t say these things to a best friend, you should not be saying them to yourself. Treat yourself as your own best friend. Talk to yourself in your own mind in a positive way.

When we have low self-esteem we often put the needs of other people above our own needs. Low self-esteem is putting a low value on ourselves. A great way to put our own needs first, to increase the value we place on ourselves, and in turn to boost self-esteem, is to do something everyday just for you. This isn’t something you need to do or have to do. It is something you want to do. I know for me this would be to have some time to myself, reading a travel magazine while enjoying a coffee in a cafĂ© with a gorgeous view.

When we suffer with low self-esteem we often focus on the negative things about ourselves. We discount the positive. For example, if you receive a compliment do you instantly deflect it? Do you dwell excessively on a small criticism? If so, then this will contribute to low self-esteem.
A great way to combat this is to write down three good things about yourself every day. These could be physical features of yourself you like, skills and talents you have, or things you have done well that day. Feel free to write more than three. At first this can be very challenging but it gets easier with practice and you will notice a huge difference immediately.

Now that you are recognising the good things about yourself, you can start accepting the good things other people say about you. If you used to deflect compliments, start accepting compliments with a simple “thank you.” As well as boosting your self-esteem it is kinder to the person giving you the compliment.

Low-self esteem is very common, although many of us are not aware of how common it is. It can be very debilitating but the good news is that there are lots of simple, practical steps you can take to boost it. If you would like further information simply email cs@cs-hypnotherapy.co.uk. If you have comments, experiences or thoughts which could help others, please add them to the comments below.

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