Why Low Self-Esteem ISN’T Permanent!

Why Low Self-Esteem ISN’T Permanent

I am writing this blog because I talk to a lot of people who have social anxiety. For me, social anxiety is primarily a diagnosis of self-esteem and a highly treatable disorder in this sense. Self esteem although it causes mental health symptoms, is often a disorder of thinking… in that it is controlled by the thoughts we have about ourselves.

If you have downloaded or read my free introduction to anxiety you will know that low self esteem is a build up of negative self experiences, negative experiences with others and beliefs about how we “should” be/look/behave etc. Some of us, like myself born with a facial deformity, have innate insecurities that over time can become even bigger when people make continued comments about this particular feature.

If you struggle with low self esteem a really great place to start can be to understand that thoughts you have about yourself are not always facts. Our minds are often flooded with opinions about things we like, do not like or find okay. If you start to understand how you value yourself….you will begin to see that it is subjective. You may value yourself really low on the subjective scale of value and worth, but others view you extremely high.

In fact, maybe you think of others in positive ways who have very low thoughts about themselves. This is often because their experience of the world has been one that has judged or demeaned them…over time this becomes their truth and builds up into low self esteem.

So where do we start on the road to changing this?

1) Start complimenting people … how often do we truly share our positive views of others with them? Do you more often share complaints or concerns than affirmations? In starting to share compliments and positive feedback you will begin to reframe negative thinking, you will help boost the confidence of others and ultimately you engage in a process of self esteem BUILDING in your community of friends, family, colleagues etc.

2) Notice what you like about yourself. Instead of being so hard on yourself start to notice some of the positives even close to as much as you notice the negatives. If you need more tips with this check out my video on self-care and self esteem tips.

3) Make yourself accountable for facts vs opinions. Start acknowledging when your thoughts contain objective facts or if they are actually just opinions you hold about yourself. Then notice if they are actually negative opinions! REMEMBER: WHEN YOU START BEING ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR THOUGHTS YOU GAIN CONTROL OF YOUR EMOTIONS.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget
Love. Your. Life

Your friend and Therapist,
Jordan!

You Could be Making your Kids Anxious…and this is Why

You Could be Making your Kids Anxious…and this is Why

Lately anxiety has become a buzzword. It is used in varied situations and people place the term “anxiety disorder” on anyone who shows a symptom of “nervousness”. Many know that I currently do child and youth therapy in my practice and is an area that I absolutely love. I believe children are the pathways into tomorrow and we need to build them up… but one thing I feel like I do fight against is the notion that because a child feels a healthy amount of nervousness before a test, that they have a clinical type of ANXIETY.

Even in the DSM 5 (the diagnostic manual for all disorders related to mental health) a diagnosis of a general anxiety disorder (not a specified one) means that a person must have excessive worry for at least six months and that the worry must be challenging to control as well as accompanied by some physical symptoms (3 at least, to be precise).

This is why I feel hesitant to label children who to me, are experiencing a healthy level of nervousness…as being anxiety disordered. Infact, below a certain age I will only refer to this as worry in front of the child and work on externalizing the worry as a 3rd person to help it make more sense for children e.g: your worried talk, worry dragon, worried person etc.

When we make buzzwords and then function around the label of disorder…it is my view that it feeds into making our children feel “less than” and they begin to believe that this “disorder” is intact, their destiny. But when we talk about anxiety symptoms as worry that tries to take over….and give kids tools for responding to their “worried talk” we empower them to cope with anxious symptoms and avoid being overwhelmed with anxiety disorders/ maladaptive coping in their later years.

If we explain to children, and understand ourselves, that every human being experiences the “adrenaline” response to a feeling of threat…and that these symptoms, while uncomfortable, are also normal….we give them great power by normalizing what they are going through. Life is not always comfortable and learning to cope with this now creates resilient children. If we as adults are not aware of our own nervous energy and our own anxiety…we can pass this onto kids. If we don’t have control of our own anxiety responses…we cannot expect our children or the children we encounter to be calm and in control of their own responses.

If you want more info about anxiety and tools to use in your own life and ways to help kids and others you know get a handle on anxiety… don’t forget to download my free guide you can sign up for it here: www.jordanburness.com/mindfulpathways

The three detrimental effects of Negative Self Talk!

WHY WE SHOULDN’T APOLOGIZE FOR OURSELVES: The THREE Detrimental Effects of Negative Self Talk!

As a therapist I deal with a lot of issues of low self-esteem and I hear negative self talk* regularly dropped in sessions. Women, men and even children in our culture have┬ábecome so used to negative self talk as part of “conversation” that it just slips out “I obviously wouldn’t know what i’m talking about”, “as an ugly person i have just accepted that…”, “I’m not worth your time anyway”.

In a culture where no one wants to be seen as too arrogant, self absorbed or overly “confident” this is what we are reduced to. Minimizing ourselves in conversation to either make others feel better, so as not to seem arrogant or because we have only learned the negative traits of ourselves.

The problem is when we live apologizing for who we are it goes beyond a conversational level. If we are constantly apologizing and trying to belittle our positives, or play down our achievements – eventually we begin to believe this as a “truth”. The self-talk becomes not only conversational, but it becomes part of our daily practice.

We then begin to talk to ourselves like that ALL of the time. I discuss this topic in my course on Mindfulness “Becoming Zen” because I believe that this type of self talk is the equivalent of being in an abusive relationship on our self esteem. If we walk around all day putting ourselves down, the result is that we are basically mentally and emotionally abusing ourselves. I created my course┬áto help men and women who struggle with self-talk and show them ways to develop a positive self image.

There are three main effects I see when negative self-talk becomes the “norm” in a person’s life and these are:

  1. Hopelessness – hopelessness becomes a baseline and the negative self talk becomes the persons sense of agency/ ability. If all they are exposed to is their own negative thoughts about themselves, then it creates a hopelessness and ruins their ability to cope.
  2. Goals are Lowered – The person experiencing the negative self talk will set their goals lower and feel less able to achieve what they want to out of life.
  3. Affect on friends and family – When negative self talk is the normal in a household or group of friends, it has a shared effect. Children also model the negative self talk about themselves and learn that this is the way to communicate.

But it doesn’t have to be hopeless – Negative self talk can be changed and I focus on this on my youtube channel as well “You Counselling” with weekly videos on agency and positive self esteem. One great way to begin your journey to positive self esteem is to begin journalling about one thing you appreciate or like about yourself each day.

You can sign up here for my free e-book and you will also be sent free gratitude journal templates to get started on your practice!

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to LOVE. YOUR. LIFE.

Your friend and therapist,

Jordan!

 

 

Mental Health Vlogging – Why I do it?

Since I began Vlogging several months ago a lot of people have asked me why I do it.

My message is simple and that is that Mental Health doesn’t wait for you to have time to get in to see your therapist. It doesn’t always hit at the most convenient times and sometimes people just want an accessible way to work on their coping skills and feel connected.

It is not something I hide that throughout much of my childhood and teenage years I struggled with immense social anxiety. I was born with a facial deformity that left me feeling very self conscious and I moved all over the world. I believe that if I had had as much access to social media, connection and communities of people who had the same struggles as me that I would have felt more accepted, confident and OK with where I was at.

Many of the symptoms we feel are actually really normal. Most people deal to some extent with Anxiety, Depression or even confidence issues once in a while and the purpose of You Counselling and the You Therapy VLOGS are to remind you that ITS OK not to always be okay.

Don’t strive for perfection, just strive to be grateful for today and to embrace the present as it comes.

Most of all…don’t forget to love yourself. Imperfections and all. Because if you don’t…you give others the message that it’s okay not to love you as well.

Please subscribe to my YouTube for weekly videos:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv_i4n5GE7G-DklaPBgxw_Q?sub_confirmation=1
And instagram for updates: www.instagram.com/you_counselling