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  • Writer's picturedrclarealb

Self Esteem

Low self-esteem can be detrimental to how one lives their life, hindering their happiness and their perceived ability to engage with the world around them. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to conquering the internal battle that a person can wage against themselves nor can we say that any approach will make it easier to understand your own worth as a person. What we can say, however, is that you can consciously attempt to reassess your perceptions on your journey toward higher self-esteem.

Many people have utilized the four following techniques to address their low self-esteem and identify its source.

Make Knowing Yourself a Priority

All too often, people suffering from low self-esteem will put all of their efforts into pleasing others. While there’s nothing wrong with trying to make those around you happy, you certainly shouldn’t do this at the expense of yourself.

When people do this, it becomes all too easy to lose sight of oneself. To become better acquainted with the person that you are outside of what you believe others’ perceptions of you are, consider these practices:

· Keeping a journal. Don’t let your innermost thoughts, especially the negative ones, fester without any outlet. Writing daily, or even just once a week, in a journal can help you to address patterns in your own thought process.

· Be very conscious of your thoughts. Before you make a decision or take an action based on self-deprecating thoughts, slow down and think about what’s going through your head. Try not to judge yourself.

Accept that you are allowed to feel however you feel but realize that these feelings do not have to control your every thought or action. When you do this, you will enable yourself to react to your thoughts with greater consciousness and less impulsivity.

Be Kind to Yourself

Whenever you are met with a perceived failure or anything else that makes you feel down about yourself, try to assess the situation as someone speaking to a friend. Would you be judgmental and cruel to a friend who confides their failures in you? No, probably not. You would respond to them with kindness and compassion. Take this same approach to yourself. Remind yourself that you are only human. Encourage yourself to do things that you enjoy because you deserve it.

Stop Pretending

Oftentimes, people with low self-esteem will do everything that they can to try and make things better for the people around them, becoming avid people-pleasers at their own detriment. If you find yourself doing this, try to curb this behavior by being honest with the people in your life. This may seem challenging, like it may put a strain on your friendships and familial relationships, but it is always worth it to be the most authentic version of yourself.

Learn to Say “No”

People-pleasing behaviors can lead a person to never say no, even when they really want to, or the request could compromise your mental or physical health. Saying “yes” all of the time will not do you any favors in the long-run. If you say yes to things that you don’t want to, you will not be as committed to what you are doing.

This could lead to making you feel worse about yourself when the task hasn’t been completed to your – or someone else’s – liking. Only take on tasks that you want to and feel that you can successfully accomplish. And never say “yes” to anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

Elevating one’s self-esteem is something that only the person can do for themselves. It might not come naturally or easily, but once you take control over your perception of yourself and how you choose to act on your thoughts, you can seize greater control over the way that you perceive yourself.

Dr. Clare Albright, Psychologist CA License PSY11660 can be reached at 949-454-0996and

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