Can You Improve Your Self-Esteem?
Can you improve your self-esteem? … ABSOLUTELY! If you have the ability to think, and you are willing to work towards managing your thoughts, your self-esteem can become and stay healthy. We all have the ability, no matter what our life paths have been, to develop and enjoy positive self-esteem.
Regardless of how our self-esteem came to be, as adults we are responsible for improving our self-esteem. No one else can do it for us. Everyone around us may love us, but we may not love ourselves. Our fellow students or colleagues may admire our work, but we have a nagging sense of worthlessness. Others liking us does not equate to us liking ourselves. Impressing other people will not help us view ourselves with greater positive regard. We must look within ourselves. We can learn to love ourselves, build our confidence, and increase our resilience. We must learn the art of nurturing our self-esteem which leads to feeling at peace with ourselves.
We will find self-esteem within ourselves, not in the world around us. Self-esteem is an attitude toward ourselves, and a way of thinking about ourselves. Pursuit of self-esteem has also been called a spiritual journey of self-respect, self-appreciation, self-confidence and self-love.
External pursuits such as promotions, degrees, raises, marriage, children, possessions, acquisitions, lovers, awards, acknowledgements, etc. will not fill the well of our self-esteem. These things are nice, but they do not generate self-esteem. They many create a good feeling, but if we feel as though it’s never enough, or that we are an impostor, the good feeling will be quite temporary.
Nathaniel Branden, author of How To Raise Your Self-Esteem, writes that one of the significant characteristics of healthy self-esteem is that we are not at war with ourselves, and neither are we at war with others. Imagine the peace of not seeing others as threats. Imagine not fighting a war inside your head every day regarding whether or not you are enough.
You can achieve stable, healthy self-esteem. Although others can help you along this journey, you must do all the work yourself. It’s rewarding and challenging work. There is an ocean of resources available to help you, including books, website, blogs, and videos.
This post is meant to be an encouragement to help you know that self-esteem improvement is possible. I have traveled this journey myself, and as a therapist I have helped others along their journey. As to HOW to improve your self-esteem, keep reading, learning, growing, and don’t give up. To help with your journey, connect with a therapist who is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and improving self-esteem.
There are many facets of self-esteem to be explored such as self-image, self-confidence, self-compassion, self-efficacy, resilience, self-concept, etc. They all work together to build and sustain your healthy self-esteem. Embrace the journey and know that it is worth the trip. Be open to new ways of thinking and take responsibility for your self-esteem. Then you will see your life change.
Branden, N. (1987). How to raise your self-esteem. New York: Bantam.
Branden, N. (1994). The six pillars of self-esteem. New York: Bantam.
McKay, Matthew, and Patrick Fanning. (2000). Self-Esteem. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications.