Self esteem: do you know how to treat yourself right?
Society talks a lot about the importance of self esteem but very little about how to gain it.
Self belief, self esteem, self love - they sound so alien because we're never actually taught to take care of ourselves. We must respect our elders, listen to instructions, look after our family, but where in those lessons is the most crucial one? the one that allows us to develop a compassionate respect for ourselves?
It's so easy when we're upset to tell ourselves we shouldn't be - I shouldn't be crying, this shouldn't bother me, I'm just being silly etc but when we talk to ourselves that way (a way we would never talk to our friends and family) we are dismissing ourselves. How different could we feel if our automatic response was to be kind? I feel wobbly today so I will take it easy, I am feeling stressed so it's natural my emotions will be on edge etc - If we accept everything we think and feel as ok then we can accept that we ourselves are ok.
Therapy can help us change our negative ways of thinking about ourselves by first providing a space in which we are the centre of attention, and then by gently drawing attention to how much negative self talk spills out without us even knowing it. Awareness is the first step on the road to change, but once that first step is taken, the rest can quickly fall into place.
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