During and before my struggles with eating disorders (ED), I never felt good enough. I didn't feel worthy. Like everybody else was better than me. Like my opinion didn't matter as much as others' did. If you feel the same, I'd like you to know that you are worthy!
You are special! And you can learn to love yourself! It's just a matter of working on your self-esteem. Here are some exercises that helped me during my recovery—and they can make a difference in your healing journey as well!
“It’s not what you are that holds you back,
it’s what you think you’re not.”
Building Confidence to Get Rid of ED
- Stop thinking negative thoughts about yourself. Of course, that's easier said than done, but lots of practice will eliminate the negativity in your head. Pay attention to your thoughts—and whenever you catch yourself being too critical about yourself, counter it by focusing on positive aspects of yourself and your life. This exercise does get easier over time.
We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.
- Stay away from things that don’t make you feel good about yourself. During my recovery process, I stopped paying attention to celebrity and beauty magazines and certain TV shows. Even though there was a part of me that wanted to look at all these pictures, I knew it was poisonous for my mind. Whenever I saw these *perfect* celebrities, I couldn’t help but start comparing myself with them and beat myself up because I didn’t look like them. So for me the solution was learning to not pay attention to this information—and doing so made a real difference in learning to accept and eventually love myself for who I am and what I look like.
What we focus on, we empower and enlarge.
Good multiplies when focused upon.
Negativity multiplies when focused upon.
The choice is ours: Which do we want more of?
~ Julia Cameron
- View mistakes as learning experiences. We all make mistakes. They are a normal part of life. And whenever you make a mistake, don't beat yourself up for it. Learn to accept that making mistakes is normal. Accept that you will make mistakes because everyone does. And whenever you make a mistake, do your best to learn something from this experience. Take something away from it. Grow with it.
The greatest mistake you can make in life
is to be continually fearing you will make one.”
~ Elbert Hubbard
- Make a difference. Help a classmate who is having trouble, volunteer your time to help make your community a better place or do something else that makes a positive difference in someone's life. By doing so, not only do you help them, but you will also feel better too. Making a difference in someone else’s life is very rewarding, and will help you feel better about yourself as well.
Set your heart on doing good.
Do it over and over again,
and you will be filled with joy.
These are just a few ideas that can help you start to rebuild your self-esteem. Give them a try and see how it goes, how it feels. You’ll see how you grow.
All the best,