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  • Writer's pictureSabrina Simmons, LMHC

Clearing the Path to Higher Self-esteem

People with high self-esteem enjoy a sense of calmness while also being comfortable with taking risks. They speak about themselves in realistic yet self-supporting ways. They appear to be encircled by enjoyable friends and activities.

People with low self-esteem, on the other hand, take too much risk or play it so safe that their life is starved of adventure. There’s an undercurrent of self-deprecation in most things they say. And there are often unmet longings for closer friendships and pleasurable activities.

Have you ever seen the disappointment of someone who just finished building a beautiful sandcastle only to see it demolished by ocean waves? This is what self-criticism does to self-esteem.

Most people hear some sort of criticism from and towards oneself occasionally. This helps keep us in check, making sure we act with diligence and compassion, and that we strive to do the best we can. However, excessive self-criticism can damage your emotional, physical, and social life - gradually causing life to shrink.

Self-criticism often sounds like internal messages that remind you of your weaknesses. These messages can bring you down or cause internal agitation, depending on their content. Thoughts of deficiency can lower your mood and with it your energy level. Beliefs that cause you to worry about how you’re being perceived by others can cause anxiety. Either way, minor mistakes now turn into overwhelming examples of defectiveness, which can be exhausting for your body and mind.

Plagued by dislike and low mood, you might start isolating, slowly disconnecting from people and activities you enjoy. Defeated and alone, you stop doing the things that provide you with feelings of enjoyment and emotional reward. This is problematic because left unattended, self-criticism perpetuates a cycle that can be difficult for you to break on your own.

Self-criticism demolishes self-esteem. And the first step you can take towards improvement is to notice the critical messages you say to yourself. Please remember that this can change, and if your goal is to feel good about yourself, overcoming this difficulty is essential.

In my counseling office, I’ve seen many people increase their awareness of the messages they say to themselves and with help, they learn to replace the negative messages with statements that support higher self-esteem. If you need additional support in overcoming negative self-talk, self-criticism, or low-self esteem, counseling can help!

I invite you to contact me for your complimentary phone consultation at 954-391-5305 so we can discuss how I can help you live a more confident, peaceful, and fulfilling life.

I provide counseling in our beautiful Fort Lauderdale office and online through our secure telehealth platform for those who reside in Florida.

For more information about my approach to therapy or EMDR, click here. I look forward to speaking with you!


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