- Helping Employees with Mental Health Issues Get Back to Work
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Oct 20th 2015
- Secrecy at Work: A Growing Phenomenon
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Oct 15th 2015
- Life Goals and the Perception of Time: Do It Now!
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Oct 1st 2014
- Tackling Mental Illness Stigma at the College Level
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Sep 24th 2014
- Social Workers in Emergency Rooms: An Idea Long Overdue
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Sep 17th 2014
- New Biochemical Research Points to Five Types of Depression
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Sep 10th 2014
- Challenges Increase for Family Caregivers when Cognitive and Behavioral Issues are Present
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Sep 5th 2014
- Are You a Caregiver?
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Aug 29th 2014
- To Age with Joy, Be True to Yourself
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Aug 26th 2014
- Eight Ways to Take Care of Yourself During a Health Crisis
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Aug 22nd 2014
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Try Something New to Boost Self-Esteem
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Tue, Jul 30th 2013
In my last post, I talked about the two keys to self-esteem: efficacy and self-worth. Efficacy is a sense of competence or confidence in one's abilities. Self-worth is a basic belief in oneself as a good person and worthy of existing.
Both efficacy and self-worth are crucial for a healthy level of self-esteem. In this post, we're going to talk about efficacy and how to increase it by trying new things. Research has shown that we're more likely to attempt a new activity if we engage in "warm-up" exercises including thinking about, talking about, and visualizing the new behavior.
To become more familiar with this process, I encourage you to complete the following steps, which I adapted from an activity created by Mark Young, author of Learning the Art of Helping:
- Make a list of 5 things you cannot do right now but would like to be able to do someday. For instance, you might write, "I would like to learn to ski" or "I would like to be able to create spreadsheets on the computer."
- When making this list, do not include personal qualities that you would like to develop or global statements about self-worth such as, "I would like to be more compassionate" or "I would like to be a better human being."
- Now, place the letter "T" next to an item on your list if you have talked to a friend or family member about engaging in this activity. Mark as many items as apply.
- Next, place the letter "V" next to an item if you have ever visualized or daydreamed about yourself performing this task.
- Place the letter "M" by an item if you have seen other people perform this task on several occasions.
- Finally, place the letter "A" next to each task that you have attempted to perform within the last year.
Studies indicate that a person is more likely to try a new behavior if he or she gets ready for it by talking about it, visualizing it, and watching the behavior modeled by someone else. On the other hand, when we haven't readied ourselves through these "warm-up" activities, we are farther away from ever actually attempting the behavior.
Take a look at your list. Do your answers confirm this "readiness hypothesis"? If you see items with several letters by them, perhaps it's time to take the leap and try them. If you see items on your list with very few letters next to them, ask yourself: Which letters are missing? Is there a pattern? The missing letters should indicate which "warm-up" activities you can initiate if you want to increase your readiness.
Do you think you might experience a boost in your self-esteem if you tried any of the activities on your list? Why or why not? Leave a comment here and share your thoughts.
Young, M. E. (2013). Learning the art of helping: Building blocks and techniques (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.