Self-Esteem Building Blocks
By Audra Balcarcel MA, LLC
We all experience highs and lows throughout our life regarding how we feel about ourselves. Some days we may feel confident, while other days we may feel insecure. Some days we might feel somewhere in between. Self-esteem is how we perceive and value ourselves as human beings and a lot of factors can affect how we feel including the feedback we receive from others, stressful or challenging life events, our achievements, and the beliefs we have about ourselves. It can be very draining and difficult at times to navigate, but it’s important for us to be mindful of what we absorb and what we believe. The effects of low self-esteem can impact us temporarily, but can also have long lasting effects. Low self-esteem can prevent us from trying new experiences, disconnect from our loved ones, and potentially lead to mental health effects like anxiety and depression. Building self-esteem takes time and patience, but it’s worth it because you’re worth it! Building your esteem can boost your overall mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. It can also help you experience life more positively and increase your ability to navigate life’s stressors and challenges more confidently. Now, how do we exactly build our self-esteem? Below are a few ways to get you started. There are several other tools that can also help, but the most important aspect is to try your best! Additionally, ifyou find yourself struggling or in need of additional support to build your self-esteem or navigate other challenges you may ask your therapist to assist you. Or if you do not have a therapist, please reach out to us so we can help you reach your goals.
1. Be kind to yourself: being able to identify and challenge negative self-talk is important to building your self-esteem. Challenge negative perceptions of yourself by writing down your strengths, positive traits, and moments you are proud of. This will help you remember all the great qualities you possess!
2. Do what you love: find time for things you love whether that be cooking, painting, drawing, hikes, listening to music, dancing, and much more. Spending time doing what you love will help boost your mood and create more fun moments in your life.
3. Surround yourself with positive relationships: surrounding yourself with people who are positive and supportive will help you feel more connected and confident about yourself. During those hard days when your self-esteem is low, your loved ones can help boost you up! Setting up boundaries with people who do not help your self esteem is one way to protect yourself and your space.
4. Recognize areas of your life that lower your self esteem: there may be triggers or situations that lower our self-esteem. Examples can include work, relationships, and social media. Monitoring your emotions and recognizing triggers can help you determine where you may need to engage in more self-care and boundaries. Therapy is a great tool to help you better understand your triggers and take steps towards managing those difficult areas in your life.
5. Practice self-acceptance: you can always find areas to grow or change, but it’s valuable to remember that you are deserving of love and acceptance just as you are in this moment. We are all human- we all make mistakes and have areas for growth. It’s okay!
Most importantly, be patient with yourself and the process. Setbacks are common and expected during the journey so allow yourself space to learn and grow. Make sure you acknowledge and celebrate the small steps you achieve along the way. They matter as much as the big steps! You are worth the time, effort, and investment.