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Thread: What are some effective ways to raise ones self esteem?

  1. #1

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    What are some effective ways to raise ones self esteem?

    It seems like I have struggled with self esteem forever, as long as I can remember (I am 24/F). I remember feeling low self worth since I was 4 years old. I always feel like I do not measure up. It's difficult to make friends or form solid connections because it always feels like the way I interact with people is as if they are better then me. It comes out in my communication, I usually act nervous around new people or have trouble making eye contact, I speak to them in a way that is as if they are better than me. I just assume everyone is, and I am also an avid people pleaser which has gotten me into trouble. My lack of self esteem has also allowed me to stay in negative relationships with friends and romantically. With all this being said, I am definitely better than what I was a few years ago.

    I feel like I have grown a lot in the last year through some serious depression I've struggled with. I see the world in a new light as I am becoming less naÔve, but I cannot shake the low self esteem. I now know that self esteem is far more than looks - it's being assertive, saying no without having to explain yourself, decision making, walking away from bad situations, etc. I know what it means to have a healthy self esteem, no matter what I do, I cannot find techniques to improve mine and cannot afford therapy right now. I have no problem with self care - like cooking meals, treating myself and taking care of my body. I am getting better at accepting my flaws physically but my lack of self esteem mostly shows in the way I communicate with others with the notion that everyone is better than me and asserting myself. Any suggestions or techniques? I have been looking into CBT (Cognitive Behavioural therapy) but having trouble putting some exercises into practice.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Pardon - this seems like something went wrong from the beginning. What was your childhood like? Where were your parents when you were young? I only remember my parents telling me to snap out of it if I second guessed myself when I was younger. Believing in ourselves and learning to trust our own instincts was taught at home. Children need tremendous love and need to be trained to trust themselves. Do you still have relationships with your family members?

    I don't have any experience with cognitive behavioural therapy but I'm sure other members will be able to chip in with some advice. I hope you feel better soon. It is normal to feel nervous every now and then. I hope you're not feeling too badly for that. Hang in there. You're not alone either way.

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    It wasn't the best, but it wasn't terrible. My dad was an alcoholic and my mom left us with him when I was 10 but still had contact with us. He cleaned up but we had a tumultuous relationship until I moved out at 18, now it's pretty neutral.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member mustlovedogs's Avatar
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    I used to have terrible self esteem. I remember walking down the street wearing yoga pants and feeling sorry for anyone who encountered me - because, poor them, they had to see me in yoga pants!

    And now - well, I donít care. Iím completely comfortable in my skin, flaws and all.

    So, what I did:

    - write positive affirmations all over your apartment. Hide them in your fridge, on your mirrors, in your underwear drawer, on your front door, everywhere. Seeing and thinking positive thoughts will literally re wire your brain.
    - work out. Endorphins make you happy! Try fun and new workout classes: thereís drumming workout ones, pole dancing, spin, Zumba, rock climbing, aerial arts, trampoline... lots of fun things. You feel better about yourself and find a community.
    - try things that scare you. I first got out of my dark period on Groupon trying new things, everything from ice climbing to driving a race car. And having awesome stories to tell will make you feel awesome
    - a new haircut at a high end salon always works wonders. That with a manicure and a couple new outfits may be a good investment.
    - and, lastly, travel alone. I really came into myself when I backpacked Europe. Youíll feel unstoppable when you overcome that hurdle. Youíll make new friends, try new things, find who you are ...

    Oh, also, stop the negative talk. Whenever a bad thought sneaks in, say something positive.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LivC95
    It wasn't the best, but it wasn't terrible. My dad was an alcoholic and my mom left us with him when I was 10 but still had contact with us. He cleaned up but we had a tumultuous relationship until I moved out at 18, now it's pretty neutral.
    So glad things are ok now. That's some great advice from MLD up there.

    I haven't thought much of it but what I normally do at the end of a day is go over the things I've accomplished (mentally) for the day and what I can do to improve the next day. I think this is subconscious now and I don't actually make a conscious note of it. I just know it's there. Sometimes it means the day after or diarizing it as a mental note for the next time. Before I start my day (getting ready etc) I'm going over what I'm supposed to do that day and what issues I need to go over and tasks need to be done. This means that when the time comes when those tasks have to be done, I've already gone over the steps in my mind the night before and the morning of. I don't overanalyze when the time comes. The thinking through has already been done. I find it helps in the assertiveness area and decision-making because I'm familiar with what the outcomes need to be in order to get to a certain place. In the process I've usually worked out any issues that might occur or have left room for solutions for problems that might come up. It's not always perfect but this reduces the amount of stalling and deliberating throughout the day. The more efficient and smooth I am at my job or managing my home/family, the better my self-esteem becomes and it repeats itself.

    Anyway, I'm not sure if that helps. Being aware of processes and methods that work for you is helpful. Find ways that increase your levels of success and boost your self-esteem. I think it'll grow over time. Be kind to yourself too and don't expect too much of yourself if you're new to something.

  7. #6
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    Originally Posted by LivC95
    It wasn't the best, but it wasn't terrible. My dad was an alcoholic and my mom left us with him when I was 10 but still had contact with us. He cleaned up but we had a tumultuous relationship until I moved out at 18, now it's pretty neutral.
    Your mom left you behind to be raised by dad, or do you mean "left him with us" ie, left along with us...
    I encourage you to look up resources for adult children of alcoholics. I think it will help you immensely to know that you are not alone, and that you might recognize some of your feelings.
    I believe a lot has to do with that. You are learning boundaries, and that is excellent.

    In the meantime, also find a way to volunteer doing something for a group where you can directly see the impact you are making with people, but not something where you are in danger of taking on someone else's "stuff" = what are your skills and talents? can you tutor kids after school? There are sometimes churches or boys and girls clubs that are in lower income areas looking for tutors to help kids that are at a disadvantage at home to improve or foster reading skills, etc., You could walk dogs or foster with a pet rescue group. You could be more at arm's length and work with a group that gathers school supplies or there was a program at one of the hospitals that raised money/had a gift drive for kids whose parents were incarcerated. Or you could even in time mentor girls that were in a situation like yours.

    Also, pride in a job well done does improve mental well being over temporary things like a pedicure or "me" day

  8. #7

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    Wow - thank you! I looked up adult children of alcoholics and it seems like I display ALL the characteristics. I will be looking more into that/finding some support group for sure.

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    It's been said that helping others/volunteering is a great way to raise one's own self esteem.

    I've actually experienced it myself -- by helping others, you help you.

    It takes the focus/center off yourself too; you become more 'other-centered' versus 'self-centered,' another self-esteem builder, as those with low self esteem do tend to be more self-focused rather than other-focused.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    I realize this isn't for everyone but what made my self esteem soar was when I joined a church. I know not everyone is religious. My particular church is called 'Friends Church.' I attended weekly Bible Study groups in a friend's house near my home during evenings one night per week. We took turns bringing dessert. Once or twice a year, we had potluck dinners.

    At church, I joined various ministries to serve others. One example was giving manicures to the elderly in nursing homes. The elderly loved that. They were so lonely and I asked them to tell me about their lives stemming all the way back to WW2.

    I helped cook dinner for the 'Celebrate Recovery' ministry group. These people were recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction.

    Once a month, the 'Feeding the Homeless' ministry group cooked and served food for the homeless, disadvantaged for men, women and children.

    Once a month, we did community service such as park clean up.

    I joined a monthly Bunco group so each person took turns hosting it and providing dessert. That was a lot of fun!

    We had church had potlucks.

    We took vacations together and a huge group discount.

    I surrounded myself with great people whom I felt safe with, who cared for me, were very kind and considerate. Granted, I'm not saying all church people were nice but I must say the people whom I surrounded myself with were very kind, an encouragement and we prayed together.

    I think the key to developing high self esteem is to surround yourself with stellar people. They don't have to necessarily belong to church. They can be people whom you can relate to, who will pump you up when you feel down and give you moral support. Be with people who walk the talk. Birds of a feather flock together.

    Also, there were certain people in my life worth emulating. I wanted to be like them so once I changed to be the type of person I wanted to be, my self esteem soared like an eagle.

    You need to get out there and put yourself out there. People will not come to you. You need to be bold and start somewhere. Take action and people will gravitate towards. Your self confidence and self esteem will go through the stratosphere!

  11. #10
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    A lot of what you have posted about seems to be about physical appearance?
    Why is that?

    You have excellent insight.
    Just not exercising it?

    Do you compare yourself to others physically?
    Your physical attributes you look down on are those that others might be jealous of.

    Every time you think something negative about yourself, think about Two things you like about yourself.

    Only be friends with people you gain from. Itís ok to be selfish in this respect.
    True friendships are born from a mutual gain.

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