How to Boost Self-Esteem

Learn to gain confidence in yourself and improve your self-esteem

Low self-esteem causes people to feel insecure and embarrassed, which can get in the way of setting goals and achieving them. It can even interfere with serious relationships, careers, and everyday difficulties. However, it is possible to deal with this problem if you demonstrate persistence and perseverance.

To boost your self-esteem, it is important to identify and track automatic thoughts that affect your emotional state. This can be done by revisiting your usual ways of thinking and getting to the bottom of any deep beliefs that may have formed. You should also make friends with the inner critic who is always there for you.

The inner critic mainly does three things: it tells you that you deserve nothing, it drives you to depression, and it makes you doubt your abilities. By acknowledging this behavior, you allow the inner critic to express itself and to be worked out.

The inner critic is a voice that is hard to manage. It feeds on your insecurities and can lead you to think a lot of negative thoughts about yourself. To control the inner critic, first learn to listen to it and expose its criticism. You do not think this way about yourself, these words are so deeply rooted in your head that they have a direct impact on you. Recognizing such automatic thoughts and gaining control over negative emotions will be helped by CBT.

How to manage the inner critic

The first step is understanding your inner critic. Analyze your inner critic and find out what it’s telling you. Note the repeating statements and how they apply to you. There are certain simple repetitive patterns. For example, a criticism that seems to be related to appearance is often related to emotions.

Try thinking in «pro-speak» rather than in «anti-speak». Pro-speak goes as follows: «This is great! I’m really happy!» Think in «anti-speak»: «This is great. I’m glad to have done it! But I wonder if I should do it more often». In fact, it doesn’t matter if the thoughts turn out to be helpful or not, as long as you’re no longer annoyed by the thoughts. What is the positive effect of pro-speak? «Pro-speak» helps prevent the inner critic from triggering negative experiences and thus from making it impossible to enjoy activities. It allows you to improve your outlook and prevent situations from taking on a negative impact on your sense of self. Mindfulness is one way to prevent an inner critic from interfering with your life.

Be aware that thinking errors are statements that are not always true, but have become almost synonymous with what you think. These statements do not reflect your internal feelings.

Analyze the inner critic’s claims and the way you evaluate them. If there are any beliefs about yourself or about the world that does not correspond to facts, speak up and let them go.

Thinking positively is beneficial. But sometimes automatic negative thoughts emerge, too. Many of us may find ourselves trapped in a pattern of limited thinking. In the cognitive-behavioral approach, there are nine patterns of limited thinking that can be seen with low self-esteem: filtering, polarized thinking, overgeneralizing, global labeling, mind-reading, personalization, self-blame, control fallacies, and shoulds.

How to change thinking patterns

Retrain your thinking. Every time your negative thoughts are triggered, you have to stop them in the brain. This is the technique you can use to learn to control your inner critic: Each time your inner critic starts criticizing you, stop it. This is done by disrupting the idea that the critic is telling you what to do and is a part of you. You are separate from the inner critic, and you are not in control of it. Every time a negative thought is triggered, replace the negative thought with a positive one. Instead of criticizing yourself, focus on your strengths.

Ways to build lasting self-esteem

Controlling the internal critic, changing automatic thoughts and patterns will help you change your self-image and raise self-esteem. Here are a few strategies to boost your self-esteem:

1. Daily affirmations

The best affirmations work by helping you become aware of your thoughts. Simply repeat positive affirmations throughout the day to see the improvement. The best affirmations include: I am a desirable, competent, creative, and attractive person. I am excellent at my job and capable of further growth. I am a healthy, productive person. You can also use other positive affirmations to be more socially confident or improve your leadership skills.

2. Forget about perfectionism

People always define themselves by their professional status, physical appearance, or their status in their family. If they fail to reach the perfectionist standards, they criticize themselves to the max, setting themselves up for a downward spiral. Forget about achieving a level of perfection. Try to have as much fun as possible. Always make the smallest gains. But keep in mind the standards for progress.

3. Accept the self-critic’s role

This is the most important part of self-acceptance and improving your self-esteem. You can change the circumstances, not yourself. That’s because self-critic really is expressing your innermost, most powerful feelings. You can’t escape it. This doesn’t mean you should become a victim or let yourself be controlled. It means you should stop reacting to it and turn to self-honesty to refute it.

The Sensera app can help you change all your automatic thoughts and thinking patterns. As a result, you will raise your self-esteem devoting only about 20 minutes a day. This app was developed by professional psychotherapists for people who want to solve mild mental problems on their own. To see if it suits you, choose a trial period, and make a step towards a healthier you!

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