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Fiona Pendlebury-Garnett-MBACP-DIPHYP-GHR

 Integrative Counselling-Clinical Hypnotherapy-EMDR Therapy   

 Overcoming low self esteem

 What is the difference between low confidence and low self esteem

There is a subtle but definite difference between low self-esteem and low self-confidence. Self-confidence is how we feel about our capability to achieve things in life, Where as Self-esteem is more to do about the way we feel about ourselves.

When you have low self-esteem generally you have low self-confidence also. This is all determined by your negative thought patterns you have about yourself and your abilities.

These thoughts can arise due to the influence of life events, such as childhood experiences and significant influences from people around us, such as parents, siblings, teachers and friends during the course of our life.

Having low confidence and low self esteem can make a huge difference in many areas of your life. Two key areas are your career and relationships.

Lacking confidence at work may stop you from voicing your opinion and trying out new things and challenges, Building your confidence in this area will help you to reach your full potential in life thus expanding your confidence and self esteem greatly.

Relationships can be detrimentally affected, Friends, family and partners relationships may improve when you aim to increase your confidence and self esteem, Improving on this can help you feel more outgoing and comfortable in social environments.

Tips on building your confidence and self esteem


Our unconscious mind houses a set of beliefs about us that stay the same, regardless of reassurance from other people about our personal strengths.

Hypnotherapy is a deeply relaxing experience and while in this relaxed state, your unconscious mind becomes more accessible thus overcoming your deep-seated beliefs about yourself. These beliefs are in our unconscious mind, and this is where the change must take place.

Hypnotherapy accesses the unconscious mind and uses the power of positive suggestion to create change. These suggestions can be tailored for the individual to help improve confidence and self esteem. The suggestions will be positive and made in the present tense.

CBT And Counselling

In order to boost self-esteem and confidence, it is essential to identify and challenge the negative beliefs and thoughts you have about yourself.

By looking at how you feel about yourself, how you learned to feel this way and why you believe it to be true, Recognizing the negative thoughts you have about yourself and start to note these negative thoughts down on a piece of paper or in a diary, you will be able to see the pattern of your destructive beliefs.

I advise you then to start to write down evidence that challenges the negative self talk, Write down positive things you know to be true about yourself, Also write down good things that other people say about you. You can also write a list of people and things you are grateful to have in your life.

Aim to add to your list regularly, Then put your list somewhere you can see it,Read it when you wake in the morning and last thing at night, It will help you to recognize your strengths as well as weaknesses, and you will begin to see and more importantly feel those strengths in yourself.

Build positive healthy relationships

If you find certain people in your life are critical of you and are of a negative personality type, try to spend less time with them, Express how their words or actions make you feel. Make new relationships with people who are positive and who appreciate you.

Assertiveness training

Consider seeing a life coach to guide you in the right direction on being more assertive, by becoming more assertive in your life it will increases your self worth and esteem.

Learning to say no when you want to instead of going with the flow in case of fear of rejection or confrontation. Understanding that your own feelings and needs are just as important as others.


Set yourself goals in life, such as joining an exercise class or embarking on a new career or night course or a Open University course.

Positive affirmations

Affirmations are positive statements directed at yourself, such as saying to yourself in your mind "I love you "or "I am confident, calm and relaxed," or" I am happy and in control of my emotions". Repeating a positive affirmation to yourself every day several times, for example when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, dinner time and bedtime. Repetition is good the more you talk positively to yourself the more this technique will work and you can relearn how you see and feel about yourself.

Healthy Boundaries.

Having healthy boundaries and maintaining boundaries in every area of your life increases self esteem and confidence. Make a list of what you value most in your life, how you want and expect to be treated, And also vow to respect other people's boundaries and values.

Last but not least

The more you use the above suggestions the better and quicker they will make a difference to your life and wellbeing, Quick fixes don’t work long term, A quick fix can be for example anything materialistic, such as a new outfit, haircut, car, etc., The pleasurable effect is short lived, confidence and self esteem comes from a feeling and emotion deep inside of us, a inner beauty that emanates from within and without.(without=material things). Self acceptance, self love and self respect.

Written by Fiona Pendlebury-Garnett

Published by the National Council of Psychotherapists May 2016