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Boost Your Self-Esteem Day 1: Recovery from Low Self-Esteem is Possible

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Thank you for joining our 10 Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem challenge!  We hope you'll gain some valuable tools for improving the way you feel about yourself.

Dr. Marilyn Sorensen will start us off by explaining when our self image is formed and how alter it for the better.

From Dr. Sorensen:

Recovery from Low Self-Esteem is Possible

Self-Esteem (whether healthy self-esteem or low self-esteem) always forms in childhood and is stable by age 10. During this decade, we develop a picture, a belief, a perception of ourselves as: adequate or inadequate, acceptable or unacceptable, lovable or unlovable, worthy or unworthy, competent or incompetent. This self-view becomes the roadmap for our lives. If it is negative, we may be hungry for love and affection, vulnerable to whoever shows an interest. We may settle for less than we could do and not try to better ourselves-it's too big a risk or impossible. Some become people pleasers. Discouragement, depression, and desperation set in marking full blown low self-esteem.

First I emphasize that low self-esteem is not something you did to yourself, but now is, unfortunately something that you can-and must-overcome. Recovery is possible! My program focuses on understanding what you say to yourself and altering each irrational & distorted negative self-statement that is preventing you from living a full, satisfying life.

Write down four negative self-statements. Examine each one, asking yourself: Is it based on FACT, TRUTH, or HISTORY? If it is not based on one of those words, the statement is negatively distorted and irrational. Next, rewrite that statement to make it based on FTH Therapy. Once you've rewritten your statements to make them based on fact truth, or history, put the 4 new statements on a 3 X 5 index card and read those cards 5 times a day, spread out over the day. If you continue to work on this you will gradually replace negatively distorted thinking with rational and truthful thinking.

Thinking is what creates feelings (negative or positive, uplifting or discouraging.) The feelings then propel self-defeating behavior, so you must start with altering the destructive thinking-things that you tell yourself but are distortions.

Marilyn J Sorensen, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, national speaker, founder of The Self-Esteem Institute, and author of Breaking the Chain of Low Self-Esteem, The Personal Workbook for Breaking the Chain of Low Self-Esteem, Low Self: Misunderstood and Misdiagnosed, The Handbook for Building Healthy Self-Esteem in Children, and Low Self-Esteem in the Bedroom.

Can you relate to Dr. Sorensen's description of low self-esteem?  Did you try writing down 4 negative statements, then rewriting them using FTH Therapy?   

by on Feb. 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM
Replies (71-79):
by on Feb. 22, 2012 at 8:26 AM

The best mirror is a friend's eye.   If you are having difficulty turning them into positive statements, try sharing them with an honest but kind friend who can tell you if the statement is FTH?  .

by on Feb. 23, 2012 at 3:56 PM

 I see what dr. sorensen means but doing the exercise, I feel like mine are all facts too.  I guess that would be a crutch in getting over it

by on Feb. 23, 2012 at 6:45 PM

 i'm going to write mine down.  its really hard to see them as not fact though.

by on Feb. 23, 2012 at 7:31 PM

I don't quite understand this one. I actually started with Day 3 (read emails late). The negative statements that I have are mostly related to my history (which haunts me daily), and the other one has to do with my weight, which I am working on. Not understanding this one at all.

** Re-read this and I guess I'm doing rational thinking.

by on Feb. 24, 2012 at 10:40 PM

While I feel I struggle with my self esteem, I have a hard time relating that to the fact that I am a people pleaser. I also agree that I tend to settle, but what can be seen as settling can also be seen as compromising. Unless I am just making excuses to justify my actions. I did ignore warning after warning that my husband was cheating on me before I chose to leave him. I debated for 2 years in leaving and during that 2 years, I still caught him over and over texting and having women in my home. I thought it was something we could work through.

But can self esteem be established later in life. When I look back to my childhood, I just have a hard time seeing anything that was done wrong to give me a negative image of myself. My parents were encouraging and loving. I did have 4 siblings though.

In writing my negative self-statements, I found that each was a fact. But I have a logical mind. But most are things I have done that can not be changed. I find it hard to turn them positive but I will read them daily and often to see how my views change.

by on Feb. 25, 2012 at 2:37 AM

My therapist taught me a similar techinique several years ago.  It really does work.  I've just gotten out of the habit.  I've been really down on myself lately.  Guess I need to dust of the old coping skills again!

by on Feb. 26, 2012 at 4:11 PM

I tried it and I can see how this can help.

by on Feb. 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM

I totally related to this article. I am very good at the negative self talk. I am going to take her advice and turn these negatives into a positive and repeat them to myself. I know I am a good person.

by on Feb. 28, 2012 at 1:23 AM


         I WILL TRY THIS !



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