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I never thought I’d be sharing a therapy exercise for self esteem but here we are!
I have gone through so much therapy at this point that I figure it’s time to start sharing some of what I learned so today we’re diving into the first lesson I learned from my current therapist.
The First Therapy Exercise
I will never forget my first therapy session with my current therapist.
I still have the notes saved in my phone.
That first day we mostly went through an overview of what brought me there and what I hoped to get out of therapy, but then she gave me some homework for the week.
She asked me to write down everything I liked about myself and everything I didn’t like about myself.
The likes? I spent all week trying to come up with a few. I couldn’t.
But the dislikes?
Here is what I wrote down:
I’m too much
I’m a horrible mom
I’m not enough for anyone
I won’t be loved by anyone
I deserve to be treated poorly
I’m not worthy of love
I’m too fat for love
I yell too much
I’m too quiet or too loud
My opinions don’t matter because they’re stupid
Looking back at those notes from the beginning of therapy makes me so sad for that girl. She had absolutely no idea how miserable she was and what was in store for her over the next year.
She hated everything about herself.
But with being able to open up in therapy, I was able to work through those thoughts and learn how to turn them around. How to think better of myself.
Now it’s your turn to do the therapy exercise for self esteem!
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Therapy Exercise for Self Esteem
Step 1: Pull out your journal.
Step 2: Write down everything that comes to mind that you like about yourself.
Step 3: Write down everything that comes to mind that you don’t like about yourself.
Step 4: Tuck the lists away for a week.
Step 5: After a week (or a few days at least), read through the lists. Write down how you feel about the answers you gave.
Step 6: For every negative, you wrote, write down why you believe it to be true. For example, if you wrote down that you thought you were ugly, write down why you think that. This might be because your clothes don’t look good on you (a personal example).
Step 7: After writing out why you think the negatives are true, read through your answers and brainstorm ideas for how to turn them around. For example, if one of your negative opinions was that you were ugly and your answer to that was that you don’t fit into any of your clothes, your action item should be figuring out how to shop for clothes that fit you right in order to make you feel more confident.
Step 8: Turn your action items into goals. Going back to the clothes thing, your new goal should be to go out and purchase some new clothes that make you feel better about yourself. Clothes that fit well. If funds are tight, check out Goodwill and the Facebook Marketplace/other online market places!
I hope this therapy exercise for self esteem from my therapist helps you as much as it helped me! It has been awesome being able to look back at all of the progress I made. It is going to get better from here. I know it will.