The Gentle Mind

Esteem / Confidence

This is all about how we see ourselves.

When we have healthy self-esteem, we tend to feel positive about ourselves and about life in general. You’re better equipped to face life's ups and downs.

But when our self-esteem is low, we tend to see ourselves and our life in a negative and critical light. You’re also less able to take on the challenges life throws at us.

What causes low self-esteem?

Low self-esteem often begins in childhood. Teachers, friends, siblings, and parents send us messages about ourselves, both positive and negative.

For some reason, the message that you aren't good enough is the one that stays with you.

Perhaps you found it difficult to live up to other people's expectations of you, or to your own expectations.

Stress and difficult life events, such as serious illness or death, can also have a negative effect on your self-esteem.

You’re unrealistic. You set impossibly high standards for yourself.

You may also feel that others may leave you. You’re abandoned. That loss is inevitable.

There may be a belief that you are flawed damaged or unlovable and will be rejected.

How it affects you

With low self-esteem or confidence, you may hide away from social situations, stop trying new things, and avoid things you find challenging.

And maybe in the short term, avoiding challenging and difficult situations makes you feel a lot safer, but long term, this can backfire - it reinforces your underlying doubts and fears. It teaches you the unhelpful rule that the only way to cope is by avoiding things.

Possibly you harm your mental health, leading to depression and anxiety. You may also develop unhelpful habits, such as smoking and drinking too much to help you cope.

Let’s build your self-esteem

Using CBT and hypnotherapy we can change the way you think, feel, and act about yourself.

  • Let’s look at the evidence. Let’s look at what you’re good at.
  • Changing your behaviour. Let’s build positive relationships. For example, if you find certain people tend to bring you down, try to spend less time with them, or tell them how you feel about their words or actions. Look for people who are positive and who appreciate you.
  • Learning to be kind to yourself. Especially when you feel like being self-critical. For example, think about what you'd say to a friend in a similar situation. We often give far better advice to others than we do to ourselves.
  • Starting to say 'no'. If you have low self-esteem you often feel you have to say yes to other people, even when they don't really want to. You risk becoming overburdened, resentful, angry and depressed.
  • Finding a challenge for you. We all feel nervous or afraid to do things at times. But part of developing your self-esteem is not to let these feelings stop you from trying new things or taking on challenges. Go for it!
  • We’ll use hypnosis and self-hypnosis to strengthen your ego. Remind yourself how good you really are.
  • Let’s role-play being good to yourself. We’ll rehearse, rehearse, rehearse this.
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