CBT for Low Self-Esteem

In my clinical experience, people are commonly aware if their lives are negatively affected by what they often see as a lack of confidence. They express frustration at not taking opportunities but are afraid that any change could mean their inadequacies are exposed for all to see. Low self esteem can also leave us vulnerable to anxiety, depression and stress. If your inner critic is holding you back then get in touch to discuss how CBT can move your life forward. 

What is Self-Esteem?

Self-image. Self-confidence. Self-worth. We have many ways of referring to the way we view ourselves and the value we place on ourselves as people. At the heart of self-esteem lie your central beliefs about yourself, and your core ideas about the kind of person you are. You may view your central beliefs as fact, but they are more likely to be opinions based on your life experiences and the signs you have received from others about the kind of person you are. 

I can be changed by what has happened to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.

Maya Angelou

If your life experiences have generally been positive then your beliefs about yourself are likely to be just as positive. If your experiences have been mixed, like most people’s are, then you may have a range of different views and ideas about yourself, which you may apply flexibly depending on the situation.

If your experiences have been generally negative, then your beliefs about yourself are likely to match. Bad experiences may lead us to develop low self-esteem if we see them as signs of personal inadequacy, rather than unfortunate events that could happen to anyone.

When you’re suffering from low self-esteem, it can feel like your inner critic is so deeply entrenched that you are unable to get a clear perspective on your reality. Although our opinions of ourselves can be realistic, they can also be inaccurate, outdated, or completely false. This is not surprising when we remember that these beliefs start to form during early childhood, before we have much understanding of relationships and the world around us.

Low Self Esteem: Imposter

How CBT can Help

By identifying our negative self-beliefs and their origins we can learn more effective, helpful and compassionate ways of thinking about ourselves and our abilities. Assuming that our beliefs are opinions rather than fact, opens the way for a curious attitude towards discovering ourselves and challenging the judgemental thoughts that have governed our choices. Using a personalised treatment plan, clients step outside of their comfort zone and try out new ways of approaching the world, whilst leaning on the expertise, guidance and support of the therapist, either face to face or online. Find out where better self self esteem could take you in life. Get in touch. 

Further information

NHS: Raising Low Self Esteem

Further reading

Overcoming Low Self-Esteem Melanie Fennell

Further listening

Overcoming Low Self-Esteem: Talks with Your Therapist Melanie Fennell available on Audible