“Brooke, I’m wondering what it would be like to explore your self-esteem” – My wonderful therapist 


What does that even mean? 

I noticed I started to become defensive in this moment. It felt icky having someone point out that self-esteem is something I might need work on. After the defensiveness settled, I started to become really curious. So many questions flooded my mind:


My self-esteem is fine? What exactly is self-esteem? Why do we need to explore “it”, anyways? If I do have low self-esteem, how do I fix it? 


As I explored my own self-esteem it became a passion of mine to help others explore this as well. Let’s break down each of these thoughts.  


My self-esteem is fine?


Self-esteem and self-confidence often get mixed up. I love how this resource separates the two.


The terms self-confidence and self-esteem are often conflated. Confidence is a measure of faith in one’s own abilities; esteem is about our sense of self. It involves both thoughts and emotions and influences how we perceive others and interact with the world.” – Meredith Cicerchia


For me, this looked like having confidence in my ability to meet people, give a presentation, or finish a task but having a deep seeded belief that my voice wasn’t valuable and what others had to say was more important.


What exactly is self-esteem? 


When measuring self-esteem here are a few components to consider:

  •     Are you able to set and maintain boundaries? Example: You mother-in-law asks you to come over and help with a task at the house. The time she asks doesn’t work with your schedule. Do you go anyways? Or, do you politely tell her that time doesn’t work but you are open to helping at another time? I could do an entire blog post on boundaries. Boundaries are the #1 way to increase self-esteem. Your time, values, voice, money, and family are important. For further reading on boundaries: Set Boundaries, Find Peace by Nedra Tawwab.
  •     What do your relationships look like? Example: If someone you are close to hurts your feelings or does something that you don’t like, how do you handle it? Are you able to express how you feel, hold others accountable? Be accountable yourself to the way you hurt others? Hurt and disappointment in relationships are normal! It is how we handle it that matters. 
  •     How do you view yourself? Example: If you make a mistake, how do you talk to yourself? Are you gentle and give grace or does your inner critic come out and say “I can’t believe you did that, you’re so stupid.” Pay attention to your thoughts. How you talk to yourself matters!


Why do we need to explore “it”, anyways? 


Exploring your own sense of self can bring up a lot of memories, feelings and questions. It is not a linear journey and there is a lot of grace that goes into it. Yet, the reward is so so great. 


Imagine this: you learn how to identify and express your needs. You start to see how your past impacts you, but feel empowered to heal those wounds. You gain the confidence to set and maintain boundaries because your needs are important too. You are able to be present and grounded when spending time with others. Self-care isn’t a chore anymore, but a priority.


If I do have low self-esteem, how do I fix it? 


First and foremost, you do not need to be fixed. Like I said above, there is SO MUCH GRACE in this process. Here are a few quick tips to start increasing your self-esteem or sense of self.


  • Say no to anything that isn’t a YES!! If you are feeling “meh” about it, politely decline and hold space for your feelings that follow. Be curious about them. 
  • Identify 3 things you love about yourself every day!
  • Take time for yourself every day, even if it is 5 minutes. Enjoy your morning coffee, spend time in prayer, exercise, go for a walk, hide in the pantry and eat a yummy snack. Take time for you! 


While this post was created for all of you, it was also created for me. This is your reminder to be gentle and to keep going. 


More content on self-esteem and self-worth:

Podcast Episodes:

Exploring Self-Esteem and Self-Worth

Connecting with our Sexual Self – Let’s Talk Sex, Masturbation, Toys and More w/ Dallys Rincon

Your Voice Matters, So Use It!

How Self-Esteem Can Make or Break Your Business w/ Lauran Grant

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