Cultivating Self-Esteem

Cultivating Self-Esteem

If you have a habit of being overly critical about yourself and struggle with accepting compliments, chances are you battle with low self-esteem. Low self-esteem isn’t considered a mental health condition, but they are closely linked. It’s all too easy to fall into anxious or depressive episodes if we aren’t happy with ourselves and believe we’re unworthy and incapable of better. If this sounds like you – you aren’t alone. 85% of people worldwide struggle with low self-esteem.

Low self-esteem can make you more vulnerable to mental health issues, or it can indicate that your mental health is already struggling. Either way, there are strategies and pathways to improving it. You can do this on your own, but it helps to have a professional that can help you get to the root cause. They can also help you identify your core beliefs and develop a healthier relationship with yourself. If you think you could benefit from this type of guidance, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Your mental health matters.


Signs of Low Self-Esteem

It’s not always obvious to us that we’re struggling with self-acceptance. Low self-esteem can affect our thoughts, behavior patterns, and our ability to cope with emotions. The capacity to value ourselves has a tremendous impact on our lives. It’s important to have an understanding. There are several signs that can help to know if you’re struggling. Below are a few common examples.

What Causes Low Self-Esteem?

We can experience low self-esteem from a major life event or it could come from multiple triggers. Many times our upbringing can be a big contributor, but there’s a long list of life experiences that could contribute to the way we view ourselves. Some of those triggers could include:

Building Better Self Esteem

Oftentimes we struggle with our self-esteem for a long period of time before we ever do anything to fix it. The good news is, our perception of ourselves is not fixed, even though it may feel like that. Through gaining a better understanding of what it means to value yourself, and learning new strategies and perspectives, we can begin to value ourselves more over time. Here are just a few ways you can start to cultivate a higher self-esteem.

Create a Supportive Environment

The people we surround ourselves with and the messages we consume online have a huge influence on the attitudes we adopt about life. If we’re surrounded by negative, irritable people, we’re going to be negative an irritable ourselves. If the only thing you consume online are world tragedies and negative messaging, it’ll be tough to have much belief in yourself. Practice being more selective about the media you consume and the friendships you keep. If you have relationships that are difficult to avoid, that’s normal and okay. However, exposing ourselves to positive role models and hopeful messaging should be a priority.

Develop Self-Trust

When faced with a decision, do you immediately look to someone else for advice instead of tuning in to your own thoughts? We talk about how important trust is in relationships, but no one ever mentions the trust you have in your relationship with yourself. A lack of self-trust is often a fear of making the wrong choice, and that oftentimes leads to not making a choice at all. Maybe you’ve had past experiences or even present habits that make it difficult to believe in yourself.

Trust takes time. It requires patience, kindness, and compassion. Just as we don’t expect trees to grow a foot overnight, we can’t expect ourselves to magically erase all self-doubt. Start by making one small, insignificant promise per day, and build off of that.

Try New Things

A lot of times we struggle with our worth because we’re bogged down by a routine and complacency. Go do something that makes you uncomfortable This one might be controversial, but only because we’re prone to living within our comfort zones. It doesn’t need to be grand or dangerous, and it shouldn’t be. It could be decorating a cake or learning any new skill. Countless studies have proven that novelty and engaging in a wide variety of experiences leads to happier, healthier lives. It also dispels fears and increases our confidence.


Need Help?

Our self-esteem affects the lens we view life through, how we deal with problems, and our overall quality of life. It can be incredibly difficult to change the way we view ourselves, but it’s not impossible. The sooner you attempt to get to the root of the problem, the better. If you struggle with your self-worth and find it taking over your life, please reach out for help. A trained professional can help you find strategies and solutions that work for you.

Here at Dr. Messina and Associates, our compassionate team of professionals are qualified to help you. Our Psychologists and Counselors specialize in psychotherapy (in-person and online teletherapy options). Our psychologists also specialize in psychological testing in-person at our DFW (Southlake and Flower Mound) Offices. Our psychiatrists offer specialized psychiatric services in-person and telepsychiatry online to all residents of Texas. If you or a loved one are seeking help with mental health, we are available to help.


Dr. Michael Messina

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