Self-esteem is a tricky thing. You may feel you have it, but when the right person says the wrong thing to you or about you, it can trigger feelings of self-doubt, shame and even embarrassment.  Self-esteem can become low during certain times of the year – holidays, anniversaries of unpleasant events, and changes of seasons such as when clothing goes from layers to shorter, lighter apparel as happens during the winter to spring handoff.

Whatever you may be dealing with in terms of self-esteem, there are some simple tricks to combat those negative feelings and self-talk and instead empower the wonderful person that you are.

  1. The Bubble – this is a very easy and fun exercise, especially if you’re familiar with The Wizard of Oz. If you’re feeling uncomfortable about being in a certain situation, feeling that all eyes are on you and passing judgment, simply pretend that you are sheltered within an impenetrable, warm and comfortable bubble that you can see OUT of, but others cannot see INTO unless you grant them access. Much like Glenda the Good Witch, who could travel safely within her bubble, you can do so too, and feel safe, secure and in control.


  1. Mirror, Mirror – another fun exercise, one that you can do almost anywhere, anytime. I prefer to use this in the morning to help set the tone for the day. I look in the mirror, and pick out one thing I really like about myself. It could be the unique way my nose is slightly off-center after years of rubbing it from allergies, or maybe that my eyes change color when the weather does. Whatever the case, pick one thing about your appearance that makes you unique and special, and remember that wonderful part of you when you’re faced with a situation that’s making you feel “less than.” It can really help to rally your attitude, and bring forth your confidence.


  1. List It Out – this is something you can do once, and utilize over and over. Sit down and make a short list of accomplishments, traits, beliefs and ideas that are yours and yours alone. No one can take these things away from you, and they are gifts that you can share with the world. I actually printed a short list of my “positives” on heavy card stock and kept it in my purse for reference. On that list are things like Good Listener, Dog Rescue Volunteer and Writer. These are things unique to me that I own and will not give up. If you’re feeling down about a bad grade or the end of a relationship, take out the list and REMIND YOURSELF HOW WONDERFUL YOU ARE.


Employing all of these tools can really help to reset your negative outlook about yourself, and get you back on the road to feeling good and putting out positive energy, which people tend to flock to and admire. It’s a win/win – go for it!


Kristen Hall, is a Counselor in Training within the State of Missouri and focuses on grief, substance abuse and general life transitions. She is an adult therapist with Step By Step Counseling.