How can we increase our self-esteem?

Self-esteem could be regarded as a natural by-product of engaging with life positively and healthily.

Low self-esteem often originates in childhood. Once this is recognised and has been explored, it is not necessary to dwell on this. It is helpful however to look at ways in which self-esteem can be increased.

We can increase our self-esteem by the following:
Mastering a skill - becoming competent at something. This could be learning to play an instrument; taking up a new occupation; joining a group or organisation; finding a new leisure pursuit.

Knowing that we are loved by family and friends, or people who are significant to us; being accepted for who we are - being shown unconditional love and acceptance.

Becoming engrossed in an activity. This could be painting or drawing; reading a book; meditation; something where we need to focus and concentrate.

Doing something for others. This can work in two ways: we feel that we are contributing something useful and also we are taking our minds away from whatever is troubling us. There can be a sense of accomplishment and achievement.

This is linked to focussing outwards, as we are more likely to feel good about ourselves this way. As human beings we need to make a connection to others that will give meaning to our lives.

Keeping a journal. By making a record of our achievements, however small, and how they made us feel, we can increase our self-esteem. We will then know what helps us to become a person who is grounded and leads a meaningful life.

So be realistic about your self-esteem. If you feel that this needs increasing, then look firstly at what caused it to be low. Then focus on what you can do to increase it, using the above as a guide. You may need to enlist the help of a qualified therapist to do this. This is a courageous step that can ultimately help in lifting your self-esteem.

Finally, be kind to yourself - you are human and therefore fallible and cannot always get things right. But, because you are human, fallible and unique, you are worthwhile.

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 Klinkenborg, (MNCS (Acc.), Ad Prof Dip PC, MBACP

I have been working as a nurse and counsellor for the past 30 years. I counsel people on a one to one basis and in small groups where appropriate. I am happy to visit clients at home who have poor mobility or who are suffering from agoraphobia, for example.I am now offering couples counselling, following further training. I will always endeavour to listen to each partner carefully, as this can be … Read more

Written by Sally Klinkenborg, (MNCS (Acc.), Ad Prof Dip PC, MBACP

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