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-   -   Building Self Esteem - What Works? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14767)

polycouple 09-21-2011 01:40 AM

Building Self Esteem - What Works?
It seems many people go through a point in time where they realize self esteem is an issue. I am at that point. Most people don't know this about me. I am 27, live on my own in a cute apartment, have great friends, a loving family, two lovers, and I am in my last year of a graduate program at a prestigious university. Despite all of this, I am have low self esteem that follows me like a shadow. I find myself wondering often, can I do this right? Do people really like me? Am I good enough? Why can't I do more? etc...

I am looking to change this. I just want to be more loving towards myself. I have taken a lot of great advice from members of this site about my relationship with an established couple (which may or may not be a permutation of a negative relationship pattern that I have). Mainly, I have taken a step back from the relationship, started to take time to myself, and seek friendships outside of my relationship. It's been hard the last week, feeling lonely daily, lots of teary calls to mom who is thousands of miles away.

I guess what I am after is some ideas about what has worked for you in terms of enhancing self esteem? What works?

Thanks ahead for any advice/insight!

I don't think this is necessary but if you want some more context on my situation feel free to look up some background info here:



NeonKaos 09-21-2011 03:28 AM


Originally Posted by polycouple (Post 103086)
I guess what I am after is some ideas about what has worked for you in terms of enhancing self esteem? What works?

I used to feel that way, "why would anyone like me". The thing I remember that changed how I felt about myself was when I discovered I was really good at giving massages. I was working as a picture framer and I used to do people's wrists and shoulders on our breaks. ONe thing led to another and I started to feel better about myself. I still continued to have those low points every now and then but as I learned new things started writing bad poetry that other people liked... well I liked it then too but I don't relate to it anymore.

I haven't felt like you said in years. I think I'm the coolest person I know. :cool:

neegoola 09-21-2011 06:32 AM

hi PC!


The Essence resolves low self esteem, lack of confidence and diminished self love. In the negative mode the person will appear crushed and 'held in'.

the first thing i did (that was suggested to me by someone) when i had to face serious problems jumping out from my low self esteem, was getting this Flower

it's named Five Corners; it gives a strong stability as if our five limbs become five columns. the first few days in taking this flower (2 drops under your tongue every evening, last thing you do before sleeping also to be sure that you don't stop its effect while "dirtying" your mouth with other susbtances like food or smoke) may be a bit strange 'cause we have to give time to our "system" to approach to a completely new circumstance. than it will give a proper, direct answer to what you're looking within yourself.

in addition to this i asked for and received a good kind of literature that could substain this path.
i didn't approach any psycologist for this kind of ego-tricks.
my motto is "pił pratica e meno grammatica".

if you feel in getting Flowers (you may buy it in your chemistry) maybe i let you know little advice more about. ;)

marksbabygirl 09-21-2011 02:13 PM

Building self-esteem is as simple as changing the way you talk to yourself.

Its also as hard as the way you talk to yourself.

A friend once said, "Positive thinking is powerful, but negative thinking is 1000X more powerful"

Its a matter of retraining your brain as to how you think. A couple of methods:

Mantras - create a mantra (or two) for yourself and tell yourself that whenever you look in the mirror. It works better if you say it out loud. That way your brain processes it verbally as well as in thought form.

"What's good about me" lists. Create a journal about what's good about you. Add to it. Read it frequently.

Find something you're good at and get better. Find something you'd like to do and get good. Find something that you want to do and excel at it. Learn a new skill.

Ask your friends, "what is it about me?" and write it down.

Wash, rinse, repeat. The messages we hear when we are very young permeate into our daily lives as adults. We need to rewrite those messages.

polycouple 09-22-2011 01:50 AM

Thanks all for your replies. They are much appreciated! I do think I need to change my perspective. I've been feeling really lonely, wondering if I will find new people to connect with in my new-ish town.

RunicWolf 09-22-2011 01:51 AM

This is something I've been struggling with for a long time. With my home life I never got out much, and my father put a huge early dent in my self-esteem. I always think I'm not smart enough, strong enough, fast enough, attractive enough, to fat, or in other words, always lacking. Because I have this view of myself, I'm extremely self critical of any perceived failures, personal, social, or with relationships.

How do I fight it? It's hard some days. Sometimes a massive "failure" can send me tumbling deeper into a depression cycle for my bi-polar. But there is one thing I always do that helps me gather my self-esteem up.

I get up, dust off, and have another go.

The worst thing you can do is fall on your ass and not get back up again. Trying something over and over again can hurt, but the feeling of beating it can help build more self-esteem then all the failures combined. As was said before, learn a new skill, or try something new and see if you have a talent for it.

But most of all, believe that you can do something and keep on trying. Don't know it, feel it.

Minxxa 09-22-2011 08:05 PM

I'm finding that learning about mindfulness is helping. I'm reading Tara Brach and listening to her audio talks and they really bring home the point that most of us feel some sense of deficiency about ourselves at some point. She has an audio CD series called Radical Self-Acceptance that is cool, and her audio talks free on her website can really help.

I also really enjoy Brene Brown's books and talks. She has a couple on you tube from some conferences-- good stuff.

For me these things have helped me realize that I'm not alone in this, that I'm worth loving and given me some tools I'm learning to use to shake myself out of the denigrating self-talk.

Plus-- both of these ladies are awesome and FUNNY. And laughter helps a lot.

That and yoga. :)

River 09-22-2011 10:32 PM

Tara Brach / Radical Acceptance thread here: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7021

Tara Brach's website (which has free "Audio Talks" - podcasts):

Related thread and book on self-compassion:

Brene Brown:


AnnabelMore 09-26-2011 04:21 AM


Originally Posted by polycouple (Post 103244)
I've been feeling really lonely, wondering if I will find new people to connect with in my new-ish town.

Some friends of mine moved to a new city two years ago and they told me today that they're just now really starting to make new, good friends. I'm not saying it'll take you that long (these particular friends have some small amount of social anxiety going on), I just wanted to make the point that you're not abnormal for feeling isolated now -- it can be *hard* to build a brand new network from scratch! But it'll get easier with time.

INo 09-26-2011 11:39 PM

I usually go to the gym twice a week. Plus having friends will help also.

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