For many people, self-esteem does not come easy. It’s not uncommon to have a negative and critical inner dialogue, but it can lead to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and other mental health issues. Building better self-esteem takes a lot of time, but here are some starting points:
Notice negative self-talk: Try to pay more attention to your inner dialogue. Do you notice that you criticize yourself over conversations that you’ve had or decisions you’ve made? Be mindful of the words you use when you are thinking to yourself.
Practice self-compassion: Once you notice negative self-talk, ask yourself if you would ever talk to anybody else that way. If the answer is no, consider how you might respond to a friend who was feeling critical. Then, see if you can turn that same response inward.
Fake it ‘til you make it: Sometimes, acting more confident can make you feel that way, too! Carry yourself with confidence by maintaining good posture and a strong tone of voice.
Bethany Kriegel, LMHC, earned her master’s degree in mental health counseling from Boston College. She has experience working with adults in residential treatment settings, helping those struggling with eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder, among other issues.