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Self esteem: the four steps in detail

Self esteem (Continued from Self Esteem)

If you have a need to rebuild your self esteem, then here are four techniques that may help:

#1: Get your facts right

This may seem an odd place to start, but low self esteem is often the result of holding incorrect views, such as "I'm no good at anything" or "no one likes me" or "I am unimportant".

If you "get your facts right" that you will put aside these false beliefs. This doesn't mean having an over-inflated view of yourself, but rather a realistic view of yourself in comparison to others. In particular, there are some truisms that you need to recognise and accept:

It is therefore important to 'get your facts right' and take a realistic, balanced view of yourself in comparison with others. If you take the view that you are inferior, then you are kidding yourself into believing something that is not true.

#2: Get a supply of warm fuzzies

There is a popular psychological theory ("transactional analysis") that recognises we all need "warm fuzzies" to maintain healthy self-esteem. Warm fuzzies are transactions of recognition from other people - they range from simply looking someone in the eye to telling them what they have done well - and warm fuzzies are free. You can give them to other people, and you can get them from other people.

If the people you spend most of your time with don't give you recognition, then you have two options:

To get recognition from other people, you can ask. In a business environment, this can be done in appraisals, in evaluation forms, in customer satisfaction surveys, in review meetings. Outside of business, it is more informal, but you ask friends to spend time with you (invite them to the cinema or a party), which is a type of recognition or warm fuzzy.

#3: Don't discount yourself

"Discounting" is the practice of playing down your own worth. It can appear in the following types of conversations: In each of these examples, the other person has given you a warm fuzzy, but you have refused to accept it by "discounting" your own contribution.

Don't discount yourself. When someone praises you, accept the praise (eg: say "thank you").

#4: Don't accept the baton of low self-esteem

When people suffer from low self esteem - ie they are carrying the baton of low self esteem - they sometimes try to make themselves feel better by giving the baton to someone else.

If that happens, don't accept it. (But don't try to make the other person feel bad in the process)

The following examples show how someone might try to pass on the baton of low self-esteem, and how you might accept it, or reject it:

Other personYou accepting the baton of low self-esteemYou rejecting the baton of low self-esteem
"You're totally useless""I'm sorry""There are some things I'm good at, and some things I'm not so good at. But I am not 'totally useless' so please don't say that"
"You're really ugly"(Feel bad and cry)"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and real beauty is in the personality."
"You're opinion is irrelevant"(Go quiet)"You are entitled to disagree with my view. But you are not entitled to discount it."

Self esteem summary

This page has outlined four ways to get self-esteem:

Remember, no matter what other people say (when they are suffering from low self and try and take it out on you): you are of significant self-worth. Start believing it, and start behaving as if it is true (because it is true).



Invest in Yourself