People who have been abused or neglected in their childhoods often have low self-esteem or young people who feel they have not matched up to their parents’ expectations. Other things that can affect someone’s self-esteem include bullying, trauma, poor physical health and social exclusion.In order to change your beliefs, you have to understand your negative beliefs. Think about what your weaknesses are, when you started to feel like this; can you identify something that has happened that might have caused you to feel like this?
Here is how to move forward:
- Once you have identified the negative beliefs, gather evidence to challenge this and write them down so you have a list as evidence when you are feeling down. For example, if you feel you are unattractive, note it down when you receive a compliment from someone that says you look pretty or they like your new haircut.
- Positive thinking exercises – write down the things you like about yourself. Think about your best feature and write it down – I like my eyes, for example. Think about things you have achieved and add them to the list. Think about nice things you have done for other people, skills you have, talents that you or others have noticed and write all these positive things down. This is good to look back on when you are having a bad day or when you are nervous about something such as an exam.
- Friends and family – look at the people you have around you on a regular basis and think about how they make you feel. If you are spending a lot of time with someone who makes you feel rubbish about yourself then spend a bit less time with them and spend more time with people who make you feel good about yourself.