When first starting therapy, many of the teens and young women I work with want to boost their self-confidence but don’t know how to do it.
I find that most of them have a negative way of thinking that highlights their weaknesses or failures, or gives their power away to something else.
Many people with negative thought patterns struggle with self-sufficiency, often becoming passive observers in their own life.
Negative or self-defeating thoughts can make you believe that you “don’t have what it takes” or you “are not good enough.” Negative thought patterns work against building self-confidence and can lead to depression, anxiety, or bad habits.
Self esteem and self confidence are rooted in how well we handle loss, failure, dissatisfaction, and grief.
People with high self-confidence and self-esteem are resilient and take personal control to change or better their situation. So changing your thoughts to focus on strengths and not weaknesses is of most importance.
I want to share my favorite therapy technique that stops negative or self defeating thoughts. It’s called: The Challenge.
The Challenge is any statement, question, or phrase that makes you see things from another perspective or provides another view on reality. The Challenge is used to identify strengths, encourage empowerment, and build self esteem. I challenge my clients to change their thinking to improve their life!
Ask yourself, “What is a common phrase I tell myself when I am faced with an obstacle?”
Many clients respond with something like, “I won’t let this thing stop me.”
While I think this is a good start, I like to attack the negative thoughts even harder! And this is where the challenge begins:
Instead of using the phrase, ‘Nothing will stop me,’ consider saying, “I will stop at nothing to reach my goals.”
The second phrase, “I will stop at nothing to reach my goals,” creates more empowering thoughts by upping your control in the situation. In the second phrase, you are the active character in the situation.
You control the outcome of the problem, the problem doesn’t control you.
To build confidence and self-esteem we have to recognize and then assert our sense of personal responsibility. By using self-talk that reinforces your stance as an active member in problem solving you are more able to recognize your abilities and be confident in asserting them. When you believe you have what it takes to overcome hardship, you are unstoppable!
In saying, “ I will stop at nothing,” you are telling yourself that whatever problem you may face will be so insignificant that it doesn’t need your attention. This mantra tells you, your abilities are so strong that no problem can stand in your way.