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Instructor: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes, PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC, NCC
Executive Director, AllCEUs
Host: Counselor Toolbox

Continuing Education (CE) credits for addiction and mental health counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists can be earned for this presentation at

‚Äʬ†¬† ¬†Define self-esteem
‚Äʬ†¬† ¬†Explore why self-esteem is important
‚Äʬ†¬† ¬†Examine ways to improve self esteem

Why I Care/How It Impacts Recovery
–¬†¬† ¬†In order to form healthy relationships it is important to first be okay with yourself.
–¬†¬† ¬†People with strong self esteem do not need others to validate them, or tell them they are good enough.
–¬†¬† ¬†Self-esteem means recognizing your worth as a person
What is Self Esteem
–¬†¬† ¬†Self-esteem is the way you feel about yourself.
–¬†¬† ¬†It is your evaluation of your real-self compared with your ideal-self.
–¬†¬† ¬†Your ideal self is who you believe you should be.
–¬†¬† ¬†Your real-self is who you are with all of your inherent strengths and imperfections.
Where Does Self-Esteem Come From
–¬†¬† ¬†Children form their concept of the ideal-self at an early age based upon conditions of worth
–¬†¬† ¬†When they do something right and get praise, they feel proud.
–¬†¬† ¬†Too often we forget to praise children for who they are, and not just what they do.
–¬†¬† ¬†Due to children's immature reasoning, many things are overgeneralized and made into global, stable and internal attributions, creating an unrealistic ideal-self.
–¬†¬† ¬†Often, parents use the term ‚Äúbad boy/girl‚ÄĚ which says to the child I am bad if I‚Ķ.

What is Self Esteem
–¬†¬† ¬†Activity:
–¬†¬† ¬†On a sheet of paper, describe your ideal self
–¬†¬† ¬†Review the qualities
–¬†¬† ¬†Mark out any of those that are not important to you.
–¬†¬† ¬†Highlight the ones you already have.
–¬†¬† ¬†The rest are ones that you want to develop to the best of your ability
–¬†¬† ¬†Step 1: Define it.
–¬†¬† ¬†Example: ‚ÄúSuccessful‚ÄĚ means what to you?
–¬†¬† ¬†Step 1a: Examine why it is important to you
–¬†¬† ¬†Example: What would be different if you were successful?
–¬†¬† ¬†Step 2: Make a plan
–¬†¬† ¬†Step 3: Do it

Improving Self-Esteem
–¬†¬† ¬†To improve self-esteem, you must
–¬†¬† ¬†Change the way you feel about yourself (i.e. change your feelings about your self-evaluation)
–¬†¬† ¬†Focus on your strengths
–¬†¬† ¬†Aim for effort, not perfection
–¬†¬† ¬†Decide if some of the ‚Äúideal‚ÄĚ characteristics are important to you
–¬†¬† ¬†Change yourself
–¬†¬† ¬†Likely there are some areas in which you want to improve
–¬†¬† ¬†Make a plan to tackle them ONE at a TIME
Improving Self-Esteem

–¬†¬† ¬†Make a list of positive affirmations and add one new one each day
–¬†¬† ¬†When you find a fault in yourself, remind yourself of three positive qualities
–¬†¬† ¬†Do not minimize your accomplishments.¬† Take credit where credit is due.
–¬†¬† ¬†Surround yourself with people who are positive and encouraging
–¬†¬† ¬†Instead of complaining about faults, take positive action
Improving Self-Esteem

–¬†¬† ¬†If there is something you feel “bad” about that is impossible to change, then add a new, positive quality.
–¬†¬† ¬†Do a good deed every day
–¬†¬† ¬†Make changeable, specific attributions for negative events
–¬†¬† ¬†Patience– changes do not happen overnight
–¬†¬† ¬†Accept your fears and work with and through them.¬† Nobody is perfect.

Improving Self-Esteem
–¬†¬† ¬†Evaluate whether you hold yourself to a higher standard than you hold everyone else.
–¬†¬† ¬†Do you think you are that much better than everyone else, or do you just need a reason to beat yourself up?
–¬†¬† ¬†Manage your inner critic
–¬†¬† ¬†Focus on what goes well for you.
–¬†¬† ¬†Caring about what people think about you is good. Worrying about what they think is pointless.
–¬†¬† ¬†Aim for effort rather than perfection.

Improving Self-Esteem
–¬†¬† ¬†View mistakes as learning opportunities.
–¬†¬† ¬†Remind yourself that everyone excels at different things. Stop comparing other people's strengths to your weaknesses.
–¬†¬† ¬†Use insecurities to your advantage.
–¬†¬† ¬†Recognize what you can change and what you can't.
–¬†¬† ¬†Take pride in your opinions and ideas

Apply It
–¬†¬† ¬†Identify 3 ways you could have used this information in the past week.
–¬†¬† ¬†What was the situation?
–¬†¬† ¬†What did you do?
–¬†¬† ¬†How effective was that for you?
–¬†¬† ¬†Short term
–¬†¬† ¬†Long Term
–¬†¬† ¬†If you would have had this new information, what could you have done differently?
–¬†¬† ¬†How would that have changed the outcome?
–¬†¬† ¬†How can you start integrating this knowledge into your routine
–¬†¬† ¬†As you start to like yourself and recognize your worth, your demeanor will likely change
–¬†¬† ¬†You will realize you do not need people to tell you that you are okay.¬† You already know that!
–¬†¬† ¬†You will find yourself surrounded by people who do not need you to tell them they are okay either.
–¬†¬† ¬†You will not be as afraid to create distance between yourself and those who bring negativity into your life.
–¬†¬† ¬†You will have freed up energy to make positive changes in your life because you are no longer worried about getting other people‚Äôs approval.