How to build your self-esteem and confidence

By | July 27, 2016

How to build your self-esteem and confidenceAfter shattering experiences, it is quite common to have a low self-esteem and confidence. You tend to degrade yourself and have low self-respect. You can build your self-esteem and confidence after damage. Self- esteem is learned during the initial stages of life. Some childhood experiences interfere with the development of self-esteem especially abuse and criticism from caregivers and parents. Some children are stigmatized for various reasons such as unusual appearances, race, class, physical disabilities, etc.

It is vital to note that even grown-ups with a high self-esteem can have some experiences that challenge their confidence. A well-developed self-esteem can be broken by perceived failures such as physical health concerns, losing a job, failing relationships, legal troubles, etc. Many people do not know how to build up their self-esteem and confidence after damage.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help a person put such events in a perception where he/she can be able to work on the strengths to increase resilience, hope, and social support. CBT has been well researched, and is proven to be effective in improving self-esteem and confidence. It is brief, active, and problem-focused. Unlike other therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy aims at the problems that are taking place at the moment. CBT for low-self esteem and confidence include the following treatments.

Cognitive restructuring

This is a combination of identifying unhelpful thoughts and replacing them with positive thinking patterns. Cognitive restructuring for low self-esteem focused on recognizing the negative opinions and distorted thinking about oneself such as labeling oneself as a loser due to negative events or skills deficit and transforming them to positive thinking.

Behavioral activation

People with low self-esteem avoid those activities that broke them. They fear to lose again and hence will avoid those situations at all costs. This limits their opportunities to be rewarded. This may lead to depression. Behavioral activation reverses this trend by helping people to re-engage in the activities that led to their downfall and thus have rewarding experiences.

Problem-solving training

When a person has remained in the state of low self-esteem for long, he/she tends to feel helpless in many occasions. The problem-solving training aims to help people regain a sense of agency by training them to identify problems, resources, potential solutions, and apply effective plans.

Social skills training

Low confidence and self-esteem are goes hand in hand with social skills deficits. Social skills training aims to assist people improve rewarding and positive social behaviors and decrease the negative social behaviors.

Assertive training

Individuals with low self-esteem are unable to say what they want boldly. They tend to say no to requests often hide their true feelings. Assertive training focuses on helping people to learn how to get what they want from other people skillfully and effectively without forgoing their relationships.

Cognitive behavioral therapy aims at a certain goal. This treatment helps a broken person challenge and then modify the negative beliefs and thoughts. It focuses on transforming unhealthy and unhelpful behaviors and thoughts. As the name suggests, cognitive behavior therapy is a blend of two therapies, cognitive and behavior therapy.


6 thoughts on “How to build your self-esteem and confidence

  1. JoshyT

    Hi johann, your article has hit home with me, as I’ve suffered from low self esteem for sometime now. I haven’t always lacked confidence, I seem to roller coaster depending on what occupation I’m doing. For the last 18 months I’ve been a supervisor, and I often feel as though I am the centre of hate. I comfort my self by saying “as long as the job gets done, I don’t care how much Im hated”, but in truth I feel as though I suck at my job, and there is quite a lot of animosity towards me. It’s a viscous circle; the less I care how much I’m hated, the more I act in a way that gets me hated. I’m telling myself now that I don’t care.

    I’ve always found that my self-confidence and respect is a reflection of how much confidence and respect my colleagues have for me, and in previous jobs (that I actually have been target good at) i have thought quite highly of myself, but right now I’m in a rut.

    CBT is something i shall look into, because for quite a while now Ive hated myself. Thank you for the insightful review!

    1. Johann H Ragnarsson Post author

      Hi, JoshyT and thank you for the honest comment.

      In the start, stop hating yourself! I see it in your writing that you are a good person who cares about other people, and that is an important and big thing! I don´t know your situations about the work if you can change a job and if it´s good. But I know that you need to try to think positive about yourself. And trust me, I know it can sometimes be difficult!

      But at the start, plus look at CBT and maybe talk to a specialist if you can to get a good start because it´s good for everybody in your situation, I recommend you do two things and be neutral and very honest with yourself in it.

      A). Write down your strengths as a person, special with your friends. Look at it and build on it.

      B) Take a piece of paper and set a 5 row in it and in all rows it´s the questions of your personal thinking.

      In 1 row you explain the situation (for example I was talking with the boss about…).

      In 2 row you write which thinking you feel inside of you or image.

      In 3 row you write how the feeling was, which you got, on the scale of 1 to 10.

      In row 4 you think about it and think if you were fair to yourself. Many of us are too critical of our self so we will judge us too hard. After you have thought about it, write down the counterargument. Again, I will stress that you be fair to yourself. If you have a problem with it, think you were talking with your best friend.

      In the 5 row, you write the conclusion which is about; how do you feel now? Look again in row 3 and see if something has gone or added. How is the scale now from 1 to 10?

      Use this as much as needed! This is one of the best ways to change the thinking.

      1. JoshyT

        That’s some great advice johann, thank you for taking the time to help me. I shall be taking your advice, I could do with some positive energy in my life right about now!

  2. Marcus

    This is a great post Johann. So many different methods of building up your self-esteem again.

    I think a very important thing is to realize that self-esteem can only come from the inside.

    There are so many people today that will buy the newest coolest clothes because they think that people will like them and therefore they will get a good self-esteem.

    Once you realized that good self-esteem can only come from the inside a lot of your anxiety will go away. That if you feel good in yourself and can look yourself in the mirror and feel good then it doesn’t matter what you wear or what other people think about you.

    What do you think about that? I know that some people are more broken than others but I think you should strive to feel good inside when building up your self-esteem. That way you don’t get broken down again.

    1. Johann H Ragnarsson Post author

      Thank you, Marcus, for this. You are an absolute right. When you feel good about yourself, your self-confidence grow. Too, it´s incredible freedom to stop thinking about what other people think about you. Because almost all are just thinking about their self. They have their problems which they are focused on solve and don´t think if you are like this or that!

      So start inside yourself, think positive and build on it!


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