Self-Esteem Sinkers

Lisa Larsen, LPC
Self-Esteem (noun): confidence and satisfaction in oneself; pride;

Let’s revisit an oldy but goody, the concept of self-esteem. As a common topic of discussion with students, it’s important as parents to be reminded about how valuable it is to reflect on how we are feeling about ourselves. Yes, even in those moments of sheer chaos getting kids ready for school or scrambling to taxi kids to practice or just feeling accomplished that we got that single run in this week, be conscious of that small voice in your head. Is it reminding you how awesome you are? Are you showing yourself the same grace and patience you show others? Do you celebrate the small but oh so important accomplishments that are the cornerstone of being a loving parent?

Let’s review those things I often share with students that can lift us up and those things that can sink us.

Some things that can make you feel good about yourself:

Caring for other people.
Treating others with kindness and respect.
Caring about yourself.
Being cared about by people who matter to you.
Being treated with kindness and respect by the people you care about.

Remember, the stronger your self-esteem, the stronger YOU are. This means you can face life’s challenges with a positive attitude, set and reach personal goals, take positive risks in order to succeed, and handle disappointments and mistakes with grace. 

Self-Esteem Sinkers:

Worrying about what other people think.
Comparing yourself negatively to other people.
Expecting to be perfect (You know who you are!).
Playing the “I’ll be happy when...“ game.

When we get caught in some of these slippery traps, it can be hard to get back on track. Here are few ideas on how to re-route our psyches into a healthier frame of mind:
  1. Create a list of things that make you proud. From the smallest to the grandest, putting it down on paper can open our minds and hearts. Lists are excellent reminders!
  2. Practice some positive visualization or meditation. Imagine the quality you’d like to have or the specific goal you want to achieve. Now create a scene in which you ARE that quality and you ARE reaching that goal.
  3. Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy foods, and get regular exercise. A simple walk in the sunshine can reset our minds and connect us to our bodies and the beauty around us.
  4. Surround yourself with inspiring quotes, art, and music. This includes listening to inspiring audiobooks or podcasts.
  5. And finally, give yourself little gifts. It can be as simple as a massage, a pedicure, a weekend trip alone, or a visit with an old friend. 
I encourage you to reflect on what you need to boost and nurture your own self-esteem this week!

(Self Esteem information from Too Old for This, Too Young for That! Your Survival Guide for the Middle-School Years by Harriet S. Mosatche, Ph.D. & Karen Unger, M.A)

Lisa Hellmer, LPC
St Gabriel’s Counselor
St. Gabriel's Catholic School is an Independent Catholic school in Austin TX, educating children in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school.