Self-Esteem Treatment Goals

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Written By Muhammad Saad

I'm a psychologist dedicated to evidence-based research in psychology, covering diverse aspects of the field.

Low self-esteem? Nah, we ain’t rollin’ with that vibe. Low self-esteem can be a heavy burden to carry. It can affect your relationships, career, and overall well-being. But there’s hope! With the right treatment goals, you can improve your self-esteem and live a happier, more fulfilling life. In this article, we will discuss the treatment goals for self-esteem and how to achieve them, backed by research and real-life examples!

Simple Self-Esteem Treatment Goals

Practicing Gratitude

Did you know that practicing gratitude can help improve self-esteem? According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, athletes who practiced gratitude had higher levels of self-esteem than those who didn’t. The researchers found that gratitude helped the athletes focus on their strengths and accomplishments, rather than their weaknesses and failures.

Gratitude turns what we have into enough.
Melody Beattie

This finding can be applied to anyone looking to improve their self-esteem. By practicing gratitude, we can shift our focus from negative self-talk to positive thoughts and feelings. One practical way to practice gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal. Each day, write down three things you’re grateful for, no matter how small they may seem. Over time, this practice can help improve your self-esteem and overall well-being.

Challenging Negative Thoughts

Challenging negative thoughts is another important treatment goal for self-esteem. Managing low self-esteem means going all-in against those negative thoughts. It’s recognizing them, giving them the side-eye, and not letting them mess with your self-worth. When those thoughts hit, it’s a game of questioning their validity, breaking free from the cycle of negativity.

According to cognitive behavioral therapy expert Aaron Beck, “How we think determines how we feel and behave.” Research shows that negative self-talk is a major factor in low self-esteem. A treatment goal could be to replace at least one negative thought per day with a more balanced perspective. For example, instead of telling yourself “I’m no good at my job,” you may think “I still have areas to improve, but my boss seems pleased with my work overall.” Over time, challenging harmful thoughts can lift your mood and boost confidence.

To challenge negative thoughts, one must first learn to identify them. This may involve keeping a journal of negative thoughts or simply becoming more aware of one’s inner dialogue. Once negative thoughts are identified, they can be challenged by asking questions such as:

  • Is this thought based on facts or assumptions?
  • Is there evidence to support this thought?
  • What would I say to a friend who had this thought?
  • Is there an alternative way to view this situation?

Build New Skills

Build New Skills

A quote from Motivational Speaker Les Brown motivates people by saying “shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Setting small, achievable goals to learn new abilities can empower you with a sense of competence. For instance, you may goal to learn how to cook one new healthy meal per week or practice basic conversational skills in social situations. Like exercising a muscle, developing skills through goal-oriented efforts proves to yourself that you are capable.

Here are a few ways to work towards this goal

  • Identify areas for growth: Think about what skills you would like to develop or improve upon. This could be anything from learning a new language to improving your public speaking skills.
  • Set specific goals: Once you have identified the skills you want to work on, set specific and achievable goals for yourself. For example, if you want to improve your public speaking skills, you might set a goal to give a presentation at work or join a public speaking group.
  • Seek out resources: Look for resources that can help you develop your skills. This could include taking a class, finding a mentor, or seeking out online resources.
  • Practice consistently: Consistent practice is key to building new skills. Set aside time each day or week to practice your new skill.
  • Celebrate progress: Celebrate your progress along the way, no matter how small. Recognizing your accomplishments can help build confidence and motivation to continue improving.

Building Positive Relationships

Another important treatment goal for self-esteem is building positive relationships. Research shows that social support can help improve self-esteem. Surrounding ourselves with positive, supportive people can help us feel more confident and valued.

One practical way to build positive relationships is to join a group or club that aligns with your interests. This can help you meet like-minded people and build connections based on shared passions. Additionally, practicing active listening and showing genuine interest in others can help strengthen existing relationships and build new ones.

Compare Your Progress

Visualizing how far you’ve come keeps you motivated on the journey to improving your self-esteem. Many people who struggle with low self-worth get stuck focusing excessively on past failures or perceived flaws in themselves, instead of appreciating their strengths and achievements. Making note of accomplishments, even small wins, trains the mind to adopt a more balanced, grateful perspective over time.

One effective treatment goal is to keep a weekly journal dedicated to cataloging progress. This could include noting positive social interactions that once caused anxiety but are now easier to handle, times you challenged limiting beliefs by trying something new, or days you engaged in self-care activities instead of being overly critical. By looking back at journal entries from a few months ago and comparing where you are now, you gain perspective on improvements.

Much like watching a flower blossom week after week gives the hope and motivation to keep watering and tending to it, seeing concrete examples of progress fuels continued efforts to boost self-esteem. What once felt out of reach becomes recognition of growing skills and healthier patterns. Over time, the journal provides evidence that contradictions ingrained negative core beliefs. It proves through documented strides that a person has the power to shape their self-view in a direction of self-acceptance. Comparing progress is a valuable self-esteem treatment goal to stay encouraged.

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