Feeling down about yourself? Therapy can be a powerful tool for improving self-esteem. With the guidance of a trained therapist, you can learn to identify emotions and thoughts that contribute to negative feelings about yourself. In addition, therapy can help provide valuable insight and strategies for lasting change.
The most difficult element of improving your self-esteem is recognizing that the problem is not who you are, but it is how you see yourself.
The great news is if you are reading this article, you have likely already come to this realization. This means you have cultivated the perfect foundation for starting therapy for self-esteem.
As a licensed mental health counselor and a human being who has also struggled with self-esteem, I know it can feel virtually impossible to imagine a world in which you feel confident within your own skin. I remember a time in which I believed the reason I felt insecure was the result of me not working hard enough to be better, look better, achieve more, etc. Eventually, after reaching a point of exhaustion, I realized what I was doing wasn’t working. There was nothing I change about my appearance, my relationships, my career, or anything else in my life that would make me feel better about me because I fundamentally believed I was not good enough.
After completing my education to become a licensed therapist, alongside going to therapy for my own self-betterment, I was able to improve my self-esteem, feel at home in my own body, and be present in the happiness that my life has to offer. With that being said, I still experience insecurity and embarrassment, however, it no longer consumes me. I know that insecurity and embarrassment are natural human emotions that pass with time and that I do not have to allow them to inform my perception of myself. Keep reading to learn more about therapy for self-esteem in Jacksonville, Fl.
Myths About Therapy for Self-Esteem
“Self-esteem cannot be changed.”
Many people believe that self-esteem cannot be changed, however, it absolutely can be changed. In order to increase our self-esteem, we must first acknowledge that there is an issue with the way we perceive and speak to ourselves, rather than assuming we are fundamentally flawed. A therapist can help you understand what you believe about yourself and where these beliefs come from, while also teaching you how to practice self-compassion and combat negative thoughts.
“If I could learn to ignore my insecurities, my self-esteem would improve.”
Ignoring your insecurities is like putting a band-aid on a wound that is in desperate need of stitches. It is insufficient and will continue to drain your energy. In order to improve your self-esteem, you must first acknowledge your insecurities and learn how they came to be. Once this understanding is established, you and your therapist have a solid foundation to begin to improve your self-esteem.
“If I live a healthier lifestyle, my self-esteem will improve.”
Diet and exercise definitely have the potential to make you feel better physically, which can positively impact your mental health, however, what you eat and how often you exercise cannot change your overall perception of who you are. I wish that there was a 10-step program to follow that could fix all insecurities, however, improving self-esteem is a highly individualized experience. Working with a therapist can assist you in understanding the true root of your self-critical thoughts so that you can properly combat them.
“If I change jobs, my self-esteem will improve.”
There is no doubt that being stuck in a job that you hate can negatively impact your mood. Many of us have had bosses that have the ability to poke at our deepest insecurities. Changing jobs can have a wonderful impact on your overall mental health, however, it cannot make you believe you are deserving of good things. Therapy for self-esteem helps you change the way that you speak to yourself, so that you enjoy all elements of your life.
How Therapy for Self-Esteem Works
It may seem difficult to believe that therapy for self-esteem could work for you, because the way that you see yourself has likely remained unchanged (or possibly steadily declined) over the course of your life. A therapist who is trained to assist you in improving self-esteem can help guide you through manageable steps to make sustainable changes. Keep reading to learn how therapy for self-esteem can work for you.
Step 1: Acknowledge that You Have Low Self-Esteem
Acknowledging that you have low self-esteem may seem like a simple task and in theory, it is, however, it can be difficult fully acknowledge the extent to which your criticize yourself on a daily basis. Many of my clients are surprised when I ask them to talk or journal about what they do not like about themselves. Giving conscious attention to your greatest insecurities seems counterproductive, yet it is the most important step in therapy for self-esteem.
As my clients begin to journal about their self-critical thoughts and discuss them in their sessions, they gain a new understanding of themselves. They begin to realize the extent to which they analyze and critique their appearance and behavior. To be entirely honest, this is a particularly challenging part of therapy for self-esteem. Sometimes my clients feel overwhelmed when they realize how mean they are to themselves. I teach my clients skills to cope with the negative emotions that arise during this part of the process, while also reminding them that we are laying a foundation for long-lasting change.
Step 2: Process Past Experiences
We have all had painful experiences that have shaped the way we see ourselves. As you become aware of how you speak to yourself, therapy can assist you with learning where these self-critical thoughts stem from. Your therapist can assist you in processing painful past experiences by teaching you how to comfort yourself and practice self-compassion.
Step 3: Learn Skills to Combat Negative Self-Talk
If you understand how you speak to yourself and why you speak to yourself that way, you can then begin to challenge these thoughts, instead of subconsciously validating them. Therapy for self-esteem provides a safe space for you to reframe your perception of yourself through processing your experiences and developing positive affirmations that are unique to your experience.
Step 4: Move Toward what Makes You Happy
Self-criticism requires a TON of emotional energy. Constantly analyzing and judging yourself be exhausting. One of the most wonderful rewards of improving your self-esteem is that you are able to redirect energy that was previously consumed with insecurity towards elements of your life that are fulfilling and can bring you happiness. Imagine what could happen if you were present in a conversation, without worrying about what you needed to say next. Imagine what you might try to accomplish if you didn’t believe you were destined for failure.
Start Therapy for Self-Esteem in Jacksonville, FL Today
Philosophie Therapy provides therapy for self-esteem in Jacksonville, Fl. If you or someone you know is interested in working with a therapist who can help you improve your self-esteem, feel free to schedule a free consultation with a licensed therapist today.