Self Esteem Word Challenge
Directions: This is an insight and self-awareness building exercise specific to self-esteem and self-image. In this exercise everyone in the group will consider different descriptive words and then discuss how they feel personally about these word descriptions. As a group go through the list of words provided below, one at a time. Group members are encouraged to share and discuss their personal comfort level with each of the items of the list below, based on their own self-assessment, using the following 1-5 scale as a guideline
5 – I have a high level of comfort with owning this word or phrase in my life today
4 – I have a moderate level of comfort with owning this word or phrase in my life today
3 – I am somewhat comfortable with this today, but I am still working on it
2 – I am not yet comfortable with this
1 – I feel very uncomfortable or awkward with this description
The counselor should carefully guide group discussion, allowing group members to share freely without judgement. It can be helpful to discuss why people have different feelings, thoughts, and reactions. Group members are encouraged to be supportive of one another to help make this easier for others to share their personal strengths and challenges both openly and honestly
Descriptive Word/Phrase List
Start with: “I have… (Add words below)
Start: “I am a good… (Add words below)”
Optional – Come up with and try some of your own?
Some Self Esteem Builders:
Engage in Change – It may take time drop a bad habit or work out a deep-rooted personality issue but if we are working to change it, we can start to feel better about ourselves. Making an effort counts
Positive Affirmations – Writing down and saying positive things about ourselves on a daily basis can build self-esteem. Choose words that are realistic rather than overly lofty. For example, “I can do this” or “I am capable” may be better for someone who may be struggling with self-esteem than “I am the greatest” or “I can do anything!”
Positive Self Talk – This is similar to affirmations but a little different in the delivery. Positive self-talk needs to happen in the moment, either before or during a time of challenge. The positive self-talk message we tell ourselves should be specific to that challenge and also reasonable and believable. A good example of positive self-talk would be when faced with a difficult task ahead, saying to oneself “If I give it my all and don’t give up, I will make this work”
Journaling – This is one of those “try it and you may just like it” ideas. People are often resistant to keeping a journal but often when people really give it a try, they find journaling to be extremely helpful. Writing down things that you did well and goals accomplished each day, no matter how small, can be a huge self-esteem builder
Goal Setting – Speaking of goals, they are essential for self esteem building. Choosing achievable goals each day and then conquering them builds momentum and belief in oneself and our abilities. Every time we reach a goal it can build more and more motivation and hope, both of which contribute to improved self esteem
Regular Physical Activity – Exercise, sports, walking, running, hiking, biking, etc. – These all can not only make us stronger and healthier physically, but the increased activity can also make us feel better about ourselves. Try it for a while and you will see!
Insight and Self Awareness – When we look inside ourselves with a mind toward self-improvement, we can find strength, ability, and potential for positive growth. Living in denial is a recipe for poor self-esteem in the long run. Learning to face our fears can be scary at first but incredibly empowering over the long term. Asking ourselves searching questions like “how can I do this better?” or “what reasonable changes can I make to start to improve?” can provide the building blocks for self-improvement and improved self-image
Media reboot – Are you spending a lot of time either watching shows, surfing the net or on social media? These things can rob us of joy especially if they take too much of our precious time and attention. For example, let’s say you spend a lot of time on a social media platform: Ask yourself questions like: “Is this bringing me more joy or frustration?” or “Am I reading material or comments that are making me angry and making me want to argue?” Many individuals have improved their lives by ditching various forms of media.