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
• Define self-esteem
• Explore why self-esteem is important
• 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 “bad boy/girl” which says to the child I am bad if I….
What is Self Esteem
– 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: “Successful” 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
– 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 “ideal” 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
– 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
– 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.
– 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.
– 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
– 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’s approval.