5 Steps to Building Self Esteem

As summer is ending, you may have children going back to school, a college student returning to campus, or you may be an adult learner restarting course work. On all levels, the excitement and transition of buckling down means additional stress. This can be a tough time for those who struggle with self-esteem. You may have to remind yourself and others that you are all capable and competent.

Healthy self-esteem can be tricky, yet it is necessary and something we can all work on. How you view yourself plays a significant part in your daily life, and self-esteem can be a struggle. Poor self-esteem is often the cause of anxiety and mood issues. Why not use the start of a new semester as a time to focus on building and improving your self-esteem and helping your children do the same?


Here are five ways to build self-esteem with lasting impact that may not be as difficult as you think:

  1. Live consciously. You can do this by learning to focus on the things that are happening in the moment, and not dwelling on the past or overthinking the future. This is called mindfulness. Pay attention to the here and now and make the decision to do this going into each day. This takes practice but you will be amazed at how good you will become at this and how being mindful can provide balance in your life.
  2. Practice self-acceptance. Accept yourself unconditionally and show yourself compassion when you make mistakes or do not perform as well as you hoped. You are in charge of your choices and your behavior with self-responsibility and discipline. Children can also learn this practice when they make mistakes or do not do as well as they wanted, or even how we as adults or parents expected them to. Let these be moments of growth through acceptance and working through disappointments.
  3. Be assertive. Honor what you need and put yourselves first. Set boundaries and help your children learn to do so. It is all right to say “no” to things and to simplify your schedules. Protect your family time and alone time to recharge, engage with others and to focus on learning. Saying “yes” when you do not want to or are feeling overwhelmed is a sure way to face burnout and lose touch with yourself and loved ones. This can easily result in feelings of failure.
  4. Identify your purpose. This is the cure for feeling worthless. When you clearly know your purpose, you can set and achieve goals which not only feel good but keep you moving forward.
  5. Live your life with integrity. This is the center of self-esteem. It focuses on your moral compass and core values. This is how you live authentically and allows you to develop self-respect and trust in yourself. Helping children identify the things that are morally important to them is an important part of growth and development, and one of the honors of parenting. This promotes self-awareness and a healthy regard for everyone.

If you struggle with low self-esteem, it can be challenging to shift your mindset. Use these suggestions to start seeing yourself in a more positive way. These are also ways to approach your children who may also be challenged by this. The hope is that you find ways to adjust your thoughts and find a healthy view of yourself where you feel positive and confident.

Jill Hey, Clinical Therapist

For questions or comments, please contact wellness@viarohealth.com

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