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Self-Esteem: Strategies for a Stronger Sense of Self

Nina Ghamrawi, MS, RD, CDE
July 12, 2024
July 12, 2024

Self-esteem is a critical aspect of our overall well-being, influencing how we perceive ourselves, interact with others, and handle life's challenges. Unfortunately, our self-esteem is fragile, and there are many experiences that can damage it, leaving us feeling vulnerable and defeated. But don’t worry we are resilient and our brains can adapt and overcome, boosting self-esteem in a jiffy! Here’s what can impact self-esteem and some strategies to help you regain a positive sense of self.

Situations That Can Lower Self-Esteem

  1. Criticism and Rejection: Being criticized or rejected can be painful and leave us feeling unworthy, unappreciated, and inadequate. This can lead to negative self-talk and beliefs, further damaging our self-esteem.
  2. Comparing Yourself to Others: Comparing yourself to others can make you feel inferior and unworthy, leading to self-doubt and negative self-evaluation.
  3. Failure: Experiencing failure can be draining, causing feelings of shame, embarrassment, and inadequacy. These negative emotions can impact self-esteem, leaving you feeling defeated.
  4. Trauma: Traumatic experiences can have a significant impact on our self-esteem, causing us to question our worth and capabilities.

Strategies to Bring Up Self-Esteem

  1. Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind and gentle with yourself. Treat yourself like you would treat a friend who is going through a tough time. Practice self-compassion by recognizing your strengths, focusing on positive self-talk, and being patient with yourself.
  2. Don’t Compare: Stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone has their unique strengths and weaknesses, and it's essential to recognize and appreciate your own abilities.
  3. Focus on Your Accomplishments: Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Acknowledge your efforts and the progress you've made towards your goals.
  4. Challenge Negative Self-Talk: Be aware of negative self-talk and challenge it with positive affirmations. Remind yourself of your strengths, capabilities, and past successes.
  5. Seek Support: Reach out to friends, family, or a therapist for support. They can help you gain perspective, offer encouragement, and provide a safe space to discuss your feelings.

Takeaways

Maintaining a healthy self-esteem is vital for overall well-being, and it's important to recognize the situations and experiences that can lower it. However, by practicing self-compassion, avoiding comparisons, focusing on accomplishments, challenging negative self-talk, and seeking support, you can build self-esteem back up and move forward with confidence.

Rebuilding self-esteem is like repairing a house after a storm. It takes time, effort, and patience, but with the right tools and support, it can be rebuilt stronger and more resilient than before. Remember, you are capable, worthy, and deserving of love and respect.

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