Improve your confidence and strengthen your sense of self using hypnotherapy
Hypnosis for confidence and self-esteem
Understanding self-esteem (1)
Confidence and self-esteem are related to what you think and believe about yourself and how you value yourself. Building self-esteem and confidence is an important step towards improving your happiness and enjoying a more fulfilling life.
Healthy self-esteem increases confidence and if you have confidence you will respect yourself. If you respect yourself you can respect others, improve your relationships, respect your achievements and increase your quality of life.
Poor self-esteem vs healthy self-esteem
Low self esteem causes unhappiness, insecurity, a lack of confidence and in time can lead to depression. Inner criticism, that nagging voice of disapproval inside you causes you to hesitate at any new challenge life seems much harder that it should be.
In psychology, self-esteem or self-worth is a person’s self-image at an emotional level; circumventing reason and logic. The term differs from ego in that the ego is a more artificial aspect; one can remain highly egotistical, while underneath have very low self-esteem:
People with poor self-esteem often rely on how they are doing in the present to determine how they feel about themselves. They need positive external experiences to counteract the negative feelings and thoughts that constantly plague them. Even then, the good feeling (from a good grade, etc.) can be temporary.
Healthy self-esteem is based on our ability to assess ourselves accurately (know ourselves) and still be able to accept and to value ourselves unconditionally. This means being able to realistically acknowledge our strengths and limitations (which is part of being human) and at the same time accepting ourselves as worthy and worthwhile without conditions or reservations. Self-esteem is largely developed during childhood.
Childhood experiences that lead to healthy self-esteem include:
- being praised and valued
- being listened to
- being respected
- getting attention
- experiencing success
- having good and close friends
Childhood experiences that lead to low self-esteem include
- being unfairly and harshly criticised
- being physically, mentally or emotionally abused
- being ignored, ridiculed or teased
- having parental expectations of perfection
- experiencing failures
People with low self-esteem were often given messages that failed experiences were failures of their whole self.
Three faces of low self-esteem
Most of us have an image of what low self-esteem looks like, but it is not always so easy to recognize. Here are three common faces that low self-esteem may wear:
The Impostor: the person who acts happy and successful, but is really terrified of failure. Lives with the constant fear that she or he will be “found out.” Needs continuous successes to maintain the mask of positive self-esteem, which may lead to problems with perfectionism, procrastination, competition, and burn-out.
The Rebel: the person who acts as if the opinions of others, especially people who are important or powerful, don’t matter. Lives with constant anger about not feeling “good enough.” Continuously needs to prove that others’ judgments and criticisms don’t hurt, which may lead to problems like blaming others excessively, breaking rules or laws, or fighting authority.
The Loser: the person who acts helpless and unable to cope with the world and waits for someone to come to the rescue. Uses self-pity or indifference as a shield against fear of taking responsibility for changing his or her life. Looks constantly to others for guidance, which can lead to such problems as lacking assertiveness skills, under-achievement, and excessive reliance on others in relationships.
Understanding self-esteem (2)
Self-esteem is related to what you think and believe about yourself and how you value yourself. Building self-esteem is a first step towards your happiness and a more fulfilling life.
Health self-esteem increases your confidence. If you have confidence you will respect yourself. If you respect yourself you can respect others, improve your relationships, respect your achievements and increase your quality of life.
Three steps to better self-esteem
Before you can begin to improve your self-esteem you must first believe that you can change it. Change doesn’t necessarily happen quickly or easily, but it does happen. You are not powerless in improving your self self-esteem; in fact you are the only person who can do so although you may need the help of others. Once you have accepted, or are at least willing to entertain the possibility that you are not powerless, there are three steps you can take to begin to change your self-esteem:
Step 1: Challenge the Inner Critic
Step 2: Practice Self-Nurturing
Step 3: Get Help from Others
Challenge the Inner Critic
The first important step in improving self-esteem is to begin to challenge the negative messages of the critical inner voice. Just because the voice speaks, does not mean what it says is true or accurate. Here are some examples of the inner critic’s voice and how you can challenge that voice.
Step 1 – The Inner Critic’s Voice:
Is Unfairly Harsh: “People said they like my work, but it was nowhere near as good as it should be. I can’t believe no-one notices all the mistakes I make. I’m such an impostor.”
Generalises Unrealistically: “I got a bad mark in the exam. I’ll never get it right. I’m such an idiot. I shouldn’t be taking this class. I’m stupid and I don’t belong at university.”
Makes Leaps That Are Not Logical: “She ignored me. She didn’t talk to me, I know it means that she doesn’t like me”
Catastrophizes: “He doesn’t want to go out with me! I’m so embarrassed and humiliated. No one likes or cares about me. I’ll always be alone.”
Should Be Reassuring: “I do good work, it isn’t perfect, but I work hard, do my best and do a good job. I’m can be proud of myself. I am successful.”
Should Be Specific: “I didn’t do well on one exam, but I’ve done O.K. overall. There are some things here that I don’t understand as well as I thought I did, but I can review them. I’ve done well in other classes that were harder.
Should Challenge The Illogical: “She ignored me, but I don’t know why. perhaps she was preoccupied or didn’t see me. It probably has nothing to do with me. Maybe I should ask.”
Should Be Objective: “That hurt. She doesn’t want to go out with me. That doesn’t mean no one does. I know I’m a nice person. I’ll find someone.”
Step 2 – Practice Self-Nurturing
Challenging your critical inner voice is an important first step, but it is not enough. As our self-esteem is in part due to how others have treated us in the past, the second step to more healthy self-esteem is to begin to treat yourself as a worthwhile person.
Beginning to challenge past negative experiences or messages by nurturing and caring for yourself in ways that show that you are valuable, competent, deserving and loveable.
There are several elements to self-nurturing:
- Practice Basic Self-Care: Look after yourself physically: get enough sleep, eat in a healthy fashion, get regular exercise, practice good hygiene.
- Have fun: Plan fun and don’t wait for others to suggest it to you. Learn relaxation of self-hypnosis techniques. You could go to a movie, take a nap, get a massage, plant a garden, buy a pet, learn to meditate-whatever you enjoy.
- Recognise yourself: Reward Yourself For Your Accomplishments. You could take time off to celebrate achievements, spend time with a friend, or compliment yourself for making that hard phone call.
- Remind Yourself of Your Strengths & Achievements: One way is to make a list of things you like about yourself, or keep a “success” file of awards, certificates and positive letters.
- Forgive Yourself: when you don’t do achieve all you’d hoped to. Self-nurturing can be surprisingly hard if you are not used to doing it. Don’t be critical of yourself-remember that inner voice!-when you don’t do it just right.
Step 3 – Get help from others
Getting help from others is often the most important step a person can take to improve his or her self-esteem, but it can also be the most difficult. People with low self-esteem often don’t ask for help because they feel they don’t deserve it. But since low self-esteem is often caused by how other people treated you in the past, you may need the help of other people in the present to challenge the critical messages that come from negative past experiences.
Here are some ways to get help from others:
- Ask for Support from Friends
- Ask friends you trust to tell you what they like about you or think you do well.
- Ask someone who cares about you to just listen to you “vent” for a little while without trying to “fix” things.
- Ask someone who loves you to remind you that they do.
- Talk to a Therapist or Counselor
- Sometimes low self-esteem can feel so painful or difficult to overcome that the professional help of a therapist or counselor is needed. Talking to a counselor is a good way to learn more about your self-esteem issues and begin to improve your self-esteem.
- Use hypnotherapy techniques to get past the conscious mind and reprogram the subconscious.
Hypnosis for Self-Confidence
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