Overcoming Low Self Esteem

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Overcoming low self esteem may seem like you are trying to move a mountain. When your self esteem and confidence is low, it is hard to focus in on setting goals, much less finding the energy that you need to boost both confidence and esteem

If your current negative frame of mind started with a struggle with depression, then you should seek treatment for the depression before you begin working on your esteem. I want to state before continuing. that when dealing with depression, you may need to strongly consider seeking professional help.

That being stated, low self esteem can also be a side effect of other situations that can disrupt a usual normal life. Panic attacks, phobias, and many other situations, such as chronic pain, can lead to issues with self esteem. Here again, seeking treatment for the underlying cause can then have the benefit of boosting your esteem.

Then there are times when low self esteem is the issue and sets the state for other conditions. You will need to ask the questions, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” This is very important – finding out what issue you originally started with. Was it low self esteem, or was it other conditions? The condition that you can remember first dealing with is the condition that you will need to work on first.

You may find that you need self help with your low self esteem, then you have some options available to you.

One of the best techniques that has been proven in dealing with low self esteem is what therapists call “cognitive behavioral therapy”. This technique is based on the principal that our thoughts cause what we then feel emotionally, and how we then behave. If we change our thoughts to the better we can then start to feel and act accordingly, regardless of the situation or other conditions.

Self help for overcoming low self esteem will never completely replace therapists, but many people can find sufficient information in self help courses to alleviate the symptoms of low self esteem without having to find a therapist.

Here is some self help advice that can be useful if you are going to try overcoming low self esteem. (It may be beneficial to write some of these down in a journal.) Remember that cognitive-behavioral therapy has you both dealing with your thoughts and your behaviors.

Find out what situations lower your self esteem. Do you have a family or job situation where you usually expect the worse to happen? Is there an issue where you feel you don't have any control? Identify any situations that may be a trigger.

Notice your thoughts and your beliefs. Now note how you think about the situations that lowered your esteem. What are your beliefs about those issues, more specifically, what are your thoughts and beliefs about yourself in relations to those situations. Remember, these thoughts, beliefs, and opinions, may be factual or, they may be very irrational.

Also, take note of how you respond. What is your reaction to the negative thoughts? Think about your physical and emotional response and also how it effects your behavior. Do you have muscle tension or stomach problems, difficulty concentrating or feel angry, or do you have eating issues, possibly work to much?

Now challenge that thinking. If you know your thinking is irrational that's great, but you may need to challenge some of your beliefs to see if they hold true or not. Fact is fact, but many times we hold opinions to be true. An example of typical opinions are seeing things either all good, or all bad. Another would be reaching conclusions, usually a negative one, with little support. One last example is confusing our feelings for facts. If you feel bad, you are bad.

Lastly, change them! Find true facts to replace those irrational thoughts. This is where the most work will take place while overcoming low self esteem, as you have to both find and continually replace negative thoughts. You need to avoid “should” and “must” statements.

Also, when faced with a challenging situation, focus on the positive and ask yourself positive questions. Don't just ask, "Why did this happen to me?", instead ask, "How can I correct this?." Take the time to make sure your self talk stays positive. The dialogue that you have constantly running through your head needs to stay on a positive track.

Always be in search of healthy self esteem, not necessary high self esteem. You don't want to trade in one issue for another!

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