Self Esteem



Self Esteem

Self Esteem


If you have bad opinion about yourself, if you don’t believe in your ability to go ahead with your life and get along with people, it can make your world really desperate. This itself can prevent you from achieving, or get engage in relationship even if otherwise you would be perfect in the situation. Not to mention how painful it can be when you put yourself down.


But our self-esteem is shapeable; there is always possibility to improve. You just need your best intention and firm decision to invest in yourself, some persistence and before long, you can look into a confident face in the mirror.


Don’t postpone! You deserve it! Begin now with checking this guidance: HOW!


I am quite sure that you can accept best result if you understand the reason of a problem, and then figure out the solution! In this writing I lead you through some of the reason which can lead to low self-esteem, and then I show you some exercise how to recreate it!




I – When children are born they don’t have any idea who they are or how they look like or how they’re functioning. They see the world with their parents’ eyes. If the parents provide them with positive feedback, unconditional love and encourage them to believe in themselves, children shape a self-image according to their parents’ opinion. Without putting the blame on anyone, we have to admit that sometimes parents have their own limits, their communication about the baby is charged with other problems, they are stressed out, or they simply believe that they do the best with correcting or criticizing their child. In these cases the children’s self-esteem become lower.

 II – Because of low self-esteem people may be quite withdrawn, you may fear failure and because of that they avoid activities, which can help them building up self-esteem through small achievements. Is it you?

 III – Some people can be in the mistake of “half glass water”. Do you know this famous story? If there is a half glass of water on the table, some people see half glass of water, some other see the glass half empty. The question is what part you are focusing on! If you are thinking about yourself; do you tend to notice the negative or missing characteristics, or do you see what you achieved, what good you made, what joy did you cause and so on? – People with low self-esteem habitually concentrating on their negative characteristics, and neglect their positive side.


I have good news for you! All three mistakes can be corrected, even the first one which didn’t depend on you! Let’s see some possibilities what you can do for improving your self esteem!





With negative parental feedback generally: If you have childhood experiences when your important care givers didn’t show their appreciation and belief in you; today you need to look for those experiences that can correct and create your own belief in yourself. You are adult now; your ego state is way more developed than it was in your childhood. You are in the position of recreating your own belief system. Look for places, people and situations where you can transform the negative evaluations to positive. For example:



Evaluate what your mother, father, grand parents thought about you when you were child! What was their opinion about you? What credit did they give to you? What did they think about your future? What did they think about your physical ability and appearance, about your intellect and about your social skills?

When you are clear about their opinion, separate them from yours! In which part do you agree and in which part do you argue with them?

If you have people around you who like to focus on negative things, or who are overly critical to you, separate your opinion from theirs!  State your own opinion about yourself!

Look for the positive side or positive part, praise and encourage yourself. If you find failure or mistake unavoidably, don’t judge or evaluate yourself! Think about it neutrally and use as a learning process: “Next time I do it differently.”



In deep relaxing state of mind imagine one or more of your relevant adult figure around you from your childhood. Pick one memory when they expressed they appreciation and love. Spend time in with this memory and try to soak the positive feelings of it.




Psychologist call “inner child” the person who we were in our childhood. This person didn’t disappear, she or he lives inside us as our past, our memories, it shaped the person who we became and she or he owns our present childish characteristic. (Childish it not negative here!) We can personalize him or her in the present, and in our imagination we can treat that child as we think is desired and helpful. With inner child work it is possible to replace the missing points: encouragement, acknowledgment, appreciation and heal the emotional wounds. I am working on some instructions in this topic, please come back soon, a couple of week and you can find here one free!



I guess you’re fed up with advice like: “You should do this, you should do that!” – Me too! Don’t worry I don’t want to get you to do anything you don’t enjoy! Actually: this is the main point! Enjoy yourself, enjoy your life, and stop being overly critic about yourself… But it comes later.


Building up self-esteem goes by step by step in small portions. If your family of origin didn’t start you with terrific confidence, you have to develop it by small achievements one by one.


I want you to choose one or two activities what you are good at. It can be any kind of sport, it can be cooking something good for your friends or it can be collecting new information through the web about your favorite band or learning a new instrument or studying or exercising. Doesn’t matter what it is, you need to do it regularly. As you do it regularly; you will see that you are better and better in it. You grow stronger and prettier (handsomer), you’ll be the expert about that band among your friends; you’ll be the most reliable neighbor, best cook or best student in ancient Sanskrit literature. Track your development! Acknowledge the least improvement! Praise, and be proud of yourself!

Although it is important to be persistent, don’t use the possible faults, mistakes, missed trainings against yourself! You cannot say to yourself, that you’re a “lazy pig” just because you couldn’t follow your original schedule! Show understanding to yourself, as you need to be understanding to your relatives and friends too! Learn from your mistake, acknowledge how bad it feels to miss an assignment, and do it next time with full heart!

Exercise! It is easy to see how it can help building self-esteem.

First; physical activity helps to break down stress hormones and release chemicals in the brain that cause euphoria. If you feel great after sport activity, this is why.

Second; it can be one of the activity what you praise yourself, and can be proud of accomplishing it.

Third; regular exercise will do a lot with your body, so you can be more self-confident with a better, healthier body. You’ve probably experienced how closely attached our body image to our self-esteem. Boost one of them a little bit, and the other will follow!

Warning! Balance is very important! If your body is not perfectly thin, strong, and proportionate or you have body type that you are not 100 % satisfied, still you can like it! It is not just the prettiness what counts. My friend’s always mom said: “The good leg is what doesn’t hurt!” Your body serves you very well most of the time! Your body can give you pleasure! Appreciate with full awareness how your body serves you! Even if you suffer from some illness, I am sure you will find areas of functioning what you can be grateful for.



III/1 THOUHGT CLEANING – I want you to realize how much time and attention you waste to negative thoughts, and/or self talk. How much do you judge yourself, label yourself, call name yourself and criticize yourself. What would you say to a stranger if she or he said those to you? You can reject them if they come from you too!

From now on this is strictly forbidden. If you catch yourself doing it, say: “Delete!” as you would delete a mistaken entry from your computer. (However, if you made a mistake you can admit it without guilt and shame, just neutrally detect it and work out a solution to undo, or make it right, or learn from it to the next occasion!)

Negative thoughts have a habit of returning, don’t be angry with them or yourself, just send them away or “Delete” them. There is no more derogatory comment allowed! Focus on positive thoughts. Looking for positive actions from you part as well as from others, and praise them.


Pick a sheet of paper, and write down: What are the things in what you are good at, from the smallest to the biggest? Be specific! (Cooking special food, running short/long distances, making nice hair, knowing all home runs of your favorite team…) Make as long list as you can, even longer! No irony, no sarcasm!


Tune for the positive feedback from friends, colleagues, and acquaintances! Pay attention to what they like in you and what nice they tell about you! Don’t criticize; don’t label any as lie, don’t doubt, just detect them. Best if you write them down, put it in a safe place, and when you feel doubt about yourself, you can read them again and again!


Accept compliments! Don’t make them smaller like: “Oh, this is an old piece!” or: “The work is OK, but look at the mess I’ve done!” Just say thank you, and accept a nice note with full heart. It aimed to make you feel good, so: Feel good!


Ask your friends what they like best in you! Value the feed back in full weight.


Think about perfection. Do you think you are worthy only when you are perfect? Think again! None of us are perfect! Not even the people who expected you to be perfect! Our worth lies in our uniqueness. No other creature on the Earth is the same like you, has the same eye color, and has the same feelings, thoughts and values like you. This completely different set of physical and psychological characteristics gives you unique worth.


Usually these games are played in Psychotherapy Groups, which means that there is a strong authority figure: the therapist. She or he is very strict about protecting any group member from any harm. In these practices the members allow to share only positive characteristics, they are not allowed criticizing, doubting, quarreling and putting down anyone or practice any kind of negative interaction. Sometimes group members need strong encouragement to complete the assignment, because our cultural upraising often acts against open self compliment. However, after the exercise everyone experience a surprising amount of appreciation, contentment, joy even gratefulness to the others, who gave them the feeling. It definitely elevates the self esteem. If you have a good, trustworthy, understanding circle of friends and a strong fair leader, you can try these exercises. If you don’t, better not risk the feeling of hurt or putting down. (Or sign up for Psychotherapy Group!)

A/ Self-Compliment Exercise

First of all: every group member need to write a “List of Self Compliment” like you read at point 1. Exceptionally none have to be considerate to the members, and have to write as long list as they can. Then one by one the members need to stand before the rest of the group and read the list aloud. The audience must be very respectful, patience with the long list, and has to applause at the end of the reading even if they don’t agree. It is hard to make, but the reader has to stand before the group until they finish clasping. Do it in turns. Everybody has to have his/her turn! No withdrawal, no annulations! Bear your appreciation with pride!

B/ Compliment to each other.

The group sits in circle. One member draws his/her chair in front of the group members, sits down before them, and says one compliments for them like: “I like your hairstyle.” Or: “I like how you smile.” Or: “It felt very good when you helped me out at the…” – Yes, there will be members to whom it’s easy to say some good thing, and there will be some harder. But come on! You can find out something nice even to the most unsympathetic figure too. (E.g. A fancy glasses frame or something.)

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Picture in courtesy of  David Castillo Dominici.