Self-esteem, self-worth, self-love, and self-confidence—these are all areas that are impacted by the messages that we receive from others [and ourselves]. These are also common areas that individuals seek to work on in therapy.
Positive messages that are short statements known as affirmation can encourage and motivate one to challenge negative thinking and shape beliefs to confirm these messages about oneself.
Affirmations-are-important-for-children and they are also important for adults!
Imagine the profound impact on one’s self-esteem and beliefs about self when repeatedly told throughout life they are special and loved. One’s own internal self-talk reinforces messaging.
Now imagine the devastating consequences on one’s self-esteem and beliefs about self when repeatedly told throughout life they are a worthless piece of sh*t. One’s internal self-talk messaging reinforces the belief of being unlovable. Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors begin to reinforce these messages, leading to a core belief of being worthless. Behaviors may reinforce beliefs. One example is choosing to remain in an unhealthy relationship due to feeling unworthy of loving relationships.
Even for those for have received consistent positive messaging in childhood, self-doubt, social comparison, and one’s own unhelpful messaging is powerful. Often, we tie self-worth into things that we can easily compare ourselves to others—our physical attractiveness, net worth, social circle, career, and personal achievement. We can begin to feel not [pretty, successful, smart, or popular] enough.
There are often overlaps with other areas of stress, with common themes at various stages-of-psychosocial-development. School-aged children may struggle with feeling of inferiority, impacting self-confidence. Adolescents may struggle with identity and social relationships, impacting feelings of belonging. Adults may struggle with intimacy within relationships, impacting feelings of security.
No matter your current age, stage, or situation in life, know that you are accepted and valued for who you are.
Here are examples of affirmations that can help build self-esteem & self-worth:
- I am enough.
- I am worthy of love.
- I choose me.
- I can embrace my imperfections.
- I am more than my body.
- I am stronger than I think.
- I can face challenges.
- I believe in my myself.
- Every day I become a better version of myself.
- I do not need to go through hardship alone.
- Asking for help is a sign of self-respect and self-awareness.
CARE Counseling is here for me as a resource.
Written By: Charlotte Johnson, MA, LPCC
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