We have reached the end of the first month of the new decade. And this is a great time for a bit of self-reflection. How has this month gone? If you made resolutions, how have they been going? Have you been able to stick to them? Or do they already feel like a lost cause? More importantly, how are you feeling? For many, falling off the wagon on a resolution can lead to self-doubt and negative self-talk. This is why this is the perfect time to talk about your relationship with yourself and ways to build your self-worth this year!
Building Self-Worth: Positive Affirmations
You may not realize it, but your inner dialogue can greatly affect the way you view yourself in the world. The practice of incorporating positive affirmations into a daily routine has become very popular. However, for some, they don’t seem to work or help. That is because many take these affirmations to the extreme. When this happens, those with low self-worth tend to feel even worse about themselves. That is because the affirmations seem so far away from how the person actually views themselves.
If you fall into that category, there are a number of things you can do to help make positive affirmations work for you. Firstly, tweak the affirmations so they don’t feel so contradictory. For example, if self-image is an issue, instead of saying “I am model-level gorgeous”, focus on the parts you genuinely like about yourself and build from there. Compliment your hair if you’re having a good hair day, pay attention to your eyes, or your freckles, or the gap in your teeth. Focus on the things that make you uniquely you, and with practice, your self-image can improve to the point where you do think you are beautiful every day!
Another Positive Affirmation Tip
If that still feels like too much, something else you can try is identifying negative self-talk and stopping it before it spirals. The next time you begin to speak ill of yourself, take a moment and peel back the layers of why. Why are you feeling this way about yourself? What event just occurred that triggered this negative self-talk? Can you take a moment to remove yourself from the negative talk in order to see the validity of the statement? You can also try giving yourself 2 compliments every time you begin to talk about yourself in that negative light. Inner monologue comments like “Ugh I am too emotional and ruin everything” can be rephrased to “I am proud I am vulnerable enough to show others what I am really feeling” and “Being emotional helps me navigate the world and allows me truth into my inner being.”
Care for Your Whole Self
This may sound a bit silly, but our perspective of ourselves changes with the way we take care of ourselves. Just think of the times you’ve had to dress up for a fancy event or night out. When you take the time and put in the effort, you can’t help but feel the slightest bit better about yourself. And this isn’t just in regard to outward, physical, and “superficial” appearances. Rather think about it as a means of full self-care.
This is a great time to remember the PLEASE skills which include treating any illnesses you suffer from and taking prescribed meds. It also includes adequate sleep, balanced eating, and physical movement. Taking care of yourself is a means of practicing kindness. The kinder you are to yourself, the more you can begin to like yourself and build that self-esteem.
Do the Things You Enjoy
This is another one that may seem obvious, but you should try to do at least one thing a day that brings you joy. When you pay attention to your inner dialogue, you may notice you engage in less negative self-talk when you do the things you love doing. Besides, let’s be honest, life is too short to not be doing the things you love. Give yourself the space for one enjoyable thing each day and you may begin to notice a shift in the way you see yourself in the world.
Practice Gratitude and Help Others to Build Self-Worth
Around Thanksgiving, we talked about the importance of gratitude and how it can affect your overall well-being. This practice is also a means of improving self-worth. When we continually pay attention to the things we are grateful for, we begin opening ourselves up to the feelings of optimism, empathy, and selflessness. All the things we need if we want to improve upon the relationship, we have with ourselves.
The other half of this is to make a practice of helping others. It’s hard to be negative toward yourself when you are focused on others. And when you are kind, empathetic, and open towards others, you can begin to emit the same feelings towards yourself!
Surround Yourself with Those Who Think Highly of You
The last self-worth building tip we want to leave you with is to surround yourself with the right people. And we know this isn’t a new concept, as it seemed that “toxic” was the therapeutic term of 2019. But this is so incredibly true. When you have trouble being kind to yourself, you need to surround yourself with those who can help you see all the wonderful things you aren’t able to. At the same time, you need to be open to listening and actively hearing the kind things others say about you. We know how difficult it can be to accept a compliment, but how can you ever compliment yourself if you don’t believe the compliments of others?
Let CPA Help You Build Self-Worth!
Life is going to continually throw us obstacles. What matters most is not what comes our way, but how we cope with it. We know you need a toolbox full of skills in order to cope with the challenges that life throws at us. At CPA, we will always encourage parents to explore coping mechanisms that work best for them. However, we also know that a number of those skills come from counseling and different methods of therapy.
Cristina Panaccione and Associates has one location in the South Hills and one office in Robinson Township. We are currently accepting a limited number of new patients, so check out our videos to learn more about how we can help teach you the skills needed to build your self-worth!
* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.
Michael Breitenbach – LPC
I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions. If you want to change, don’t wait until the New Year, make the change today. If you chose to change, make sure you are doing it for yourself and not for anybody else. Therapy is more effective when there is an internal desire for change, but with change can bring the fear of the unknown and that’s where the support of an objective therapist can help alleviate the experience. The key to personal progress is the relationship that you have with your therapist. There is no one size fits all approach to therapy, so I have taken an eclectic approach to meet the many needs and demands of life. My expertise falls within the addiction and dual diagnosis realm, but not limited to drugs and alcohol, as addiction can permeate into many other facets of life. In my current position, I provide clinical insight to hospitals and other inpatient programs for individuals with Behavioral Health as well as Physical Health issues ranging from Schizophrenia to Hepatitis C. I help providers and individuals identify barriers to treatment while utilizing their strengths for personal progress. I may not have all the answers to your questions and problems, but I can certainly point you in the right direction, give you the resources to be successful, and work together to develop a plan for a healthier you!