I Am Enough


| Written by Jessica Lelinho, MA, LPC, LCADC

We’ve all heard the famous quote “You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only option.” I think it’s safe to say that sometimes we’re harder on ourselves than we need to be. I get it — we’ve all been in a place where we tend to doubt ourselves and our self-worth. Sometimes we even question if we are enough.

But we are enough and we shouldn’t doubt ourselves.

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What Is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem is the way we view ourselves. It has been proven that when our self-esteem is high we are viewing ourselves in a positive manner, and when our self-esteem is low we are viewing ourselves in a negative manner.  

Areas of Self-Esteem

Self-esteem focuses on five areas: security, identity, belonging, purpose, and competence. These five areas pertain to our psychological needs as developed by Robert Reasoner.

  • Security: I know I am safe
  • Identity: I know who I am
  • Belonging: I know others accept me
  • Purpose: I know what I want to achieve
  • Competence: I know I am capable

Additionally there are three C’s of self-confidence: competence, confidence, and connection. Each area plays an important role in strengthening our self-esteem.

Having a positive image of ourselves will aid in increasing our self-esteem, and this blog will focus on ways to boost our self-esteem and self-confidence.

Tips/Strategies To Boost Our Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

Recognize What We’re Good At:

Sometimes when our self-esteem is low we have a tendency to have difficulty in identifying our strengths. We tend to only focus on our weaknesses which we believe to be negative. Everyone is good at something, and it’s important to think about what we’re good at, whether that be cooking, baking, singing, dancing, etc. We all have our strengths. Specifically we should focus on the positives not the negatives.

Build Positive, Supportive Relationships:

Let’s face it. We all have that one friend or family member who we feel brings us down. I know personally if I am around negativity I tend to have a negative mindset and attitude. It’s important to be around positive people who bring us up and make us feel good about ourselves. Now I’m not saying to cut out all those negative individuals in our lives, but we also need to communicate with them how they make us feel and attempt to spend less time with them. We need to put ourselves first because we’re important.

Be Kind To Yourself:

I know I am not always the kindest to myself, and I am often more critical or harder on myself than I am to others. I tell my clients that sometimes we’re our own worst enemy and judge ourselves harder than we would judge others. It’s important to remember that we need to be gentle with ourselves like we would to others. The advice we give to others we need to take into consideration and think to ourselves: what would I tell others? 

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Learn to Be Assertive:

Personally, I dislike confrontation, but we can’t confuse that with assertiveness. Assertiveness is sticking up for ourselves and respecting others. While this may be something difficult to do and uncomfortable at first, we need to try to stick up for ourselves. Sometimes, we have to learn to become comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Start Saying “no”:

Has there ever been a time when you wanted to say “no” but felt that if you did it would upset that person? Unfortunately, when lacking or having low self-esteem and self-confidence we feel that we need to say “yes” to someone, even when we don’t want to. We feel that we need to please others and push our own self-pleasing to the side. But it’s important to focus on ourselves and be okay with saying “no” sometimes. We don’t have to take on everything or more than we can handle.

Challenge Yourself:

How do you feel being in a new situation for the first time? Do you feel nervous? Anxious? Excited? Unsure what to expect? Afraid even? When we suffer from low self-esteem and self-confidence we may have difficulty trying new things or putting ourselves in new situations. But don’t let that stop you! Develop a goal that you want to work towards. Maybe it’s going out to a social event and meeting new people or joining a club at school. Setting goals and working towards achieving those goals will assist in increasing your self-esteem and self-confidence.

Use Affirmations:

Positive affirmations are made up of phrases that you can say aloud to yourself in your head or even write them down; they’re meant to build confidence even if things are difficult. Studies have shown that positive affirmations decrease our negative thoughts and thinking patterns and allow us to develop more positive thoughts in our brain. 

10 Affirmations to Boost Your Self-Esteem

  1. I am worthy of love and respect, and I treat myself with kindness.
  2. Every day, I grow stronger and more confident in my abilities.
  3. I believe in my unique talents and embrace the person I am becoming.
  4. My self-esteem grows as I celebrate my achievements, big and small.
  5. I am deserving of success and approach challenges with confidence.
  6. I trust in my capabilities, and I am proud of the progress I make.
  7. Self-love and self-esteem go hand in hand; I choose both every day.
  8. I am enough as I am, and my worth is not determined by others’ opinions.
  9. I radiate positivity, and it uplifts those around me, reinforcing my self-esteem.
  10. I am a valuable and unique individual, worthy of all the good things life has to offer. 

Self-esteem and self-confidence are important and you are enough — just the way you are. These are just a few tips on how to boost your self-esteem and self-confidence.

If you are struggling with having low self-esteem and self-confidence, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Struggling with low self-esteem and self-confidence is a common symptom of anxiety, depression, and various other mental health challenges. A licensed professional can assist you in overcoming these challenges. 

When Jessica is not providing therapy, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, listening to country music, cooking, baking, and going to the beach.

Check out Jessica’s professional bio here

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