Flying high - improve your self-esteem

What is healthy self-esteem? 

Healthy self-esteem is connected to our ability to be assertive, to ask for what we want, but also importantly to let go of the expectation of receiving it. We can affirm our truth and hear and receive another’s truth. We recognise that we are responsible for our own feelings. We can be informed and observe the behaviour of others, rather than react or be controlled by it. We understand that we are the author of our own condition and ultimately ‘what we are not changing we are choosing’ whether it is conscious or not.

Assertiveness can feel fearful and risky as we are not in control of the outcome, but it is ultimately liberating and powerful, for when we are attached to staying in control we betray the part of us that is fearless and as a result we give away our power and authenticity.

Where does low self-esteem originate?

Early on in life you may have learnt that it was not ok to ask for what you wanted directly, show your real feelings, say no to what you didn’t want or act as if you deserved abundance. These are injunctions against having power and are often coupled with disempowering judgments, such as ‘you’re selfish’ from your inner critic (usually of early origin). To change this, act as if your wants and needs are worthy. You will then encourage a new self into existence – one that expects love and abundance, and feels buoyed by extending love and abundance to others

Seven top tips for boosting your self-confidence and self-esteem

  • Say yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no and don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ when you need more time and space to consider something. Ultimately however, say yes rather than no to life’s opportunities and invitations.
  • Wear clothes, colours and accessories that make you feel good and express your personality. If you are always in jeans for example, experiment with wearing dresses, skirts and heels and notice how this affects your femininity.
  • Develop a compassionate attitude to your self-care, recognising and honouring your unique needs for nourishing foods, exercise that you enjoy and restful sleep.
  • Never compare yourself with others, favourably or otherwise. Just enjoy improving your own performance. See the world with wonder like a child does appreciating nature, music, art and literature – all great ‘food’ for the soul.
  • Plan things you really want to do with people you really want to see and who appreciate you – that way you will have plenty to look forward to.
  • Be willing to progress in your personal development and risk learning new skills. This builds confidence and self-esteem like nothing else.
  • Let go of the need to be perfect in your own or other people’s eyes. Our self-critical, limiting beliefs can send our self-esteem spiralling downwards, making us feel negative and down within minutes. Trust me I know this one and it is an energy zapper to be guarded against at all time! Accept that you are perfect with ‘growing edges’ just like all human beings.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Sally Turberville Smith MBACP,UKCP Integrative Transpersonal Counsellor

Making the decision to seek professional help can feel daunting, but ultimately, I believe it is a courageous act.  We all experience times when we feel afraid, anxious and vulnerable.  Intense feelings of shame, anger, guilt and struggles with addictive substances or behaviours should not be things we have to manage alone. Change and loss are inevitable and part of what it means to be a… Read more

Written by Sally Turberville Smith MBACP,UKCP Integrative Transpersonal Counsellor

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