Self-esteem is one of the essential pieces of personality. High self-esteem is a predictor for happiness and healthy relationships, while low self-esteem is a predictor for addiction, depression, and crime. Feeling poorly about yourself can give you the sense that your actions don’t matter, and it can fuel self-destructive behavior, whereas feeling highly of yourself can motivate you to be good to yourself and others.
Boosting your self-esteem can benefit you in your recovery. It may seem impossible, but all you have to do is convince your brain that you’re worth it.
3 Techniques to Build Self-Esteem
While self-esteem is more in line with a person’s respect for themselves, there is an aspect of self-respect that can be earned. This is called self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is a person’s confidence in their ability to perform specific tasks.
Small successes can build a person’s self-efficacy as well as failures can hurt it. Therefore, one way to improve your self-respect is to earn your own respect.
To help yourself build self-esteem, consider the following:
#1. Set Goals
Set a goal that you feel might be hard but not impossible — work toward achieving that goal through however many steps it takes. When you accomplish that goal, set another one that’s a little bit harder. Each success will make you feel more competent, more successful, and more worthy.
Self-efficacy can go a long way toward making you feel good about yourself, but achievement can’t be the only aspect of your self-esteem. You are worthy of love and respect because you are a human, not because you’ve achieved. Because of that, the next techniques are centered on making yourself believe that.
#2. Lean on Trustworthy People
Sometimes it takes love from other people to realize you are worthy of it. Positive relationships can build self-esteem. Building a community, no matter how small, can help convince your brain of your worth. Only entrust this monumental task of building your self-esteem to the best of people, and don’t put too much pressure on them. If they spend time with you, that means a great deal.
#3. Recognize Negative Thought Patterns
Recognize when you’re being mean to yourself and stop it right away. A study in Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, called “The Psychology of Self-defense: Self-Affirmation Theory,” affirming yourself can act as a defense mechanism against threats to your sense of self.
If you’re often saying things to yourself like, “You deserve to be miserable,” or “No one could ever love you,” you’re lying to yourself, and you’ve come to trust this lie. When you hear that voice coming at you, try some breathing techniques and meditate on positive affirmation. Try phrases like, “You are worthy of love,” and “You are capable of anything you set your mind to.”
You don’t have to tackle the monumental task of recovering from addiction alone. Building a community and achieving small goals toward recovery can be hard when you’re in an isolated state because of your addiction. Alta Loma can help. At our treatment center, we strive to connect you to like-minded people who want to improve themselves and their lives. As you build life-long relationships, we’ll teach you how to build habits that will last long outside of treatment, and we’ll help you with each step toward recovery. Call Alta Loma at (866) 457-3843 to talk about your treatment options.