Self-esteem can be reached by everyone, let’s find out together what is the winning strategy to achieve it. Regardless of the problem that leads people to turn to me, the first requests that are made of me are:
“Yes, I would like to solve my difficulty (phobia, relational problem, overcoming a bereavement …), but first help me to increase my self-esteem”.
“Before solving his problem, we need to raise my son’s self-esteem”.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, self-esteem is not a gift to be wrapped and given to the person concerned, everyone must build it independently.
With brief strategic therapy, the person immediately gets involved in overcoming their limits, that is, the problems that led them to ask for help. In fact, indications are given to be put into practice between sessions. It is precisely by putting oneself on the line and overcoming his/her/their own difficulties that he will win twice, via the disturbance and via a welcome increase in self-esteem.
Of course, sometimes it is the only request that is asked of me, but even in this case it is possible to identify challenges to be overcome, which the person is avoiding engaging in fear or had not identified as necessary. In any case, if the fight is done in person (supported by the therapeutic indications), self-esteem rises.
There are those who have suffered for years insults and devaluations by those who instead should have supported them, for example the family, in this case it will be necessary to work both on the past, to ensure that the person is emancipated from it, and on the anger that may have generated all this in him/her/them. They are elaborations, sometimes painful, in which the person is an agent, so once he/she/they have reached inner peace, he/she/they can only compliment themselves.
It is necessary to overcome the belief that others can give us self-esteem, here are some reflections in this regard:
- It is better to ensure that the people we care about put themselves to the test by risking failure (but also success!), rather than preventing any difficulties that may arise. If the person doesn’t do well, he/she/they will have learned how to do better next time.
- You don’t need to praise someone to boost their self-esteem, they will notice (at any age!) if compliments are just made to make them feel better.
- It is essential to take the educational responsibility of “arguing”, if necessary, with children, to encourage them to complete the paths they have taken (e.g. sport). When they come to the end, they will be proud of themselves, they will have more confidence in their abilities, they will learn to be more resistant to effort. If at the first difficulty you accept that they surrender without wanting to, you will pass the idea that you also think they would not have succeeded. If you discuss it, you will show that you believe in him/her/they. Obviously, each case is unique and tenacity as an end in itself is not productive; it is a question of listening to understand the reasons for wanting to interrupt, if these are valid, so be it.
- If those around us want to help us achieve self-esteem, they must support us, not replace us!