Low Self-Esteem: How to Gain Confidence in Five Steps

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Low Self-Esteem Can be Improved Through Mindfulness

By: John D. Moore, PhD

Chances are you came to this page looking for information on low self-esteem and how to create change in your life so that you can gain confidence. At some point in life, most people experience a period where they struggle with their self-concept. This in fact is perfectly normal, particularly for individuals who experienced little praise while growing up or for people who felt like they never “fit in” to different groups during the early part of their lives.

Low self-esteem can impact anyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or sexual orientation. And the toll of low self-esteem can extend to all areas of life, including difficulties with forming relationships, establishing a career and living a healthy lifestyle.

This brief article will provide a working definition of low self-esteem, explain why some people experience problems around self-concept and examine how engaging in the practice of mindfulness based positive thinking can help you gain greater confidence.

Low Self-Esteem: Definition

A basic, working definition of low self-esteem is a person who has few positive beliefs about themselves, including their abilities or skills. In many cases, a person with low self-esteem will experience problems with their mood, meaning depression is usually part of the clinical picture.

Low Self-Esteem: What Causes It?

There are a number of reasons a person can develop low self-esteem. Let’s take a look at some of the major causes, which can usually be traced to early childhood experiences. Keep in mind the list appearing here just highlights the biggies.

  • Parents who offered little praiseemotional trauma
  • Struggles meeting high parental standards
  • Feeling like the odd person out with peers
  • Feeling disconnected from family members
  • Parents who were alcoholics
  • Emotionally unavailable family members
  • Abusive caretakers, parents or siblings
  • Weight management challenges
  • Body image issues


Low Self-Esteem: Creating Change for Confidence

Creating positive change in your life so that you can move from a place of low self-esteem to greater self-confidence will require work. Part of the process of change means being open to examining what you believe about yourself and how you think others view you.

What follows are 5 things you can do to build your self-esteem and boost your confidence.

low self esteem

1. Change your tape

One of the biggest causes for low self-esteem relates to what you think about yourself. If you have grown accustomed to negative self-talk, youhumanistic psychology have likely reinforced a narrative that is keeping your self-esteem low and damaging your confidence.

Changing your tape can help to reverse this by replacing unhealthy thoughts about yourself with beliefs that are more positive. This important suggestion has a powerful impact on increasing your confidence.

2. Focus on mind body connection

Low self-esteem can often be linked to how you view your body. This is particularly true of people who feel they are overweight and struggle with body fat. Using a mindful approach to weight loss can powerfully impact your self-view.

One way to accomplish this is to work with a professional who is skilledhow to build confidence at working with people who struggle with body image issues. Chicago Personal Trainer, Michael Elder shares the following: “I have worked with many people over the years that have body image issues. It is very common.” To help clients increase self-esteem and self-concept, he adds, “I also make it a point to praise their progress. Each time they see results, I can see their confidence levels rise and these body image issues start to become a thing of the past. It’s very rewarding. They call it personal training for a reason- it’s personal.”

The clinical research has demonstrated that physical activity, such asspirit animals weight training, can create positive change and ameliorate depression and anxiety – something many people with low self-esteem struggle with. Using a personal trainer like Michael Elder who is sensitive to your body image issues can be a meaningful step in the right direction.

3. Work through personal traumas

Many people with low self-esteem have experienced some form of trauma earlier in their life. Unfortunately, these traumatic experiencesemotional trauma can impact you in ways that negatively distort your thinking about yourself and your abilities.

Working with a therapist who is experienced with treating the effects of trauma can help you to better understand how these earlier life events are impacting you in the here and now.

4. Reinvent yourself

One of the great things about mindfulness based approaches to low self-esteem is the ability to engage in personal transformation. This Avoid Failing Collegemeans living in the moment and understanding that you have the power to reinvent yourself.

Remember, yesterday is gone and we have only today, meaning this exact moment in time. What would it be like for you to move away from the negative self-concept you may be holding about yourself and create something more positive through reinvention?

5. Live in the moment

This tip builds upon reinventing yourself. By living in the moment, you free yourself from yesterday. You become present in the here andperson centered psychology now, which empowers you to identify goals for increasing low self-esteem and gaining greater confidence.

Living in the moment is at the heart of mindfulness based approaches to wellness.

Low Self-Esteem Summary

The struggle with low self-esteem can at times seem daunting. Learning how to change your patters of thinking about yourself will require a shift in thinking about your skills and abilities. While these statements may seem somewhat simplistic, they are absolutely accurate.

Notice I did not say easy. Sometimes the simplest things in life are the most difficult tasks to attend to, particularly when it comes to building self-esteem.

One book that may help you build confidence is Healing Your Emotional Self by Beverly Engel. This book can help you tackle those negative self-thoughts and help undo some of the damage that was done if you had toxic parents or emotionally abusive caretakers. It uses a results oriented approach that can help you shift away from the negative and quickly move to the positive.

Finally, working with a counselor that takes a humanistic approach to counseling can assist you with exploring your self-thoughts in a non-judgmental, affirming way. The therapists at 2nd Story Counseling use components of humanistic psychology, also referred to as person centered therapy, to help people – people just like you – move about the business of increasing self-esteem.

We hope you found the information discussed here on the topic of low self-esteem useful. Thanks for taking time to read this post. Please Like Second Story Counseling on Facebook, Circle us on Google Plus and share on Twitter!