This article may have value for those of you specialising in working with clients with low self-esteem. I wrote it as a blog a few years ago. Please feel free to share the ideas with potential clients.
Although many people do decide to take steps to improve their self-esteem certain conditions are necessary for change to be effective.
Here is the news flash! The only person who can improve your self-esteem is you! When I tell people this they are often surprised and ask me how I can also say that NLP improves self-esteem. Here is the inside news, as an individual we first have to recognise that there is an alternative to our current state.
Personally, I had to hit rock bottom first. I then asked myself an important question; “there must be more to life than this!” At this point I started looking for ways forward and I tried out a few different approaches. I attended a personal development workshop almost twenty six years ago now that had a profound positive impact.
This workshop helped me to realise there were alternatives to the way I had been living. Having realised that there is an alternative we then need to seek out appropriate support and help. While there is a certain amount we can do on our own involvement with other people is a key part of the process.
Involving others is beneficial for a number of reasons. Firstly, people with low self-esteem may find it hard to realise their own self-worth. Many people read self-help books and get a certain level of success however what often happens is an experience of stagnation. Many find it possible to accept that others have value and worth but will then find ways to exclude themselves from this degree of compassion.
We need other people to challenge the limiting beliefs we may hold about ourselves and how we perceive ourselves.
It may be possible to find a small group of people also interested in improving their self-esteem and set up your own support group. This can work very well for some people. If you choose to go down this route it is important that as a group you set up a list of guidelines about how you will work together and where boundaries lie.
If you meet with a group of like-minded people regularly you might consider working through exercises in many of the excellent self help work books on the market. I would recommend Susan Jeffers book, “Feel the Fear and Do it anyway!” or Dr Phil McGraw’s books including “Life Strategies”. There are some great NLP books also, for instance Kate Burton’s “NLP for Dummies and her new book “Coaching with NLP for Dummies”.
For others, it may be more appropriate, at least in the early days to seek out professional help in the form of a workshop or one to one support, or both. Choosing a professional is very challenging as in many countries there are few regulations controlling who gets involved in this type of personal development work.
Some disciplines have their own voluntary self-regulating bodies, for example NLP in the UK has the ANLP http://www.anlp.org/ . Accredited trainers have had their work peer reviewed and have signed up to a code of ethics. The ANLP also has a list of accredited Practitioners offering coaching and therapy.
Personal recommendation is often the most reliable way to find a course, coach, practitioner or workshop to help you improve your self-esteem. For some it may be less than easy to find such a recommendation so you may need to rely on research.
These days the internet is a rich source of information however the amount of data can be overwhelming. It is fair to say that the market is saturated both with trainers and coaches, so identifying the right one for you can be rather challenging.
Start by checking the website for credibility signals. Are they aligned or members of any professional bodies? If they are you might want to check on the status of these bodies too. Are there any testimonials on the website? How genuine do they look? If you decide to go further you could ask for additional references from other clients.
Most reputable professionals will be happy to talk to you and answer questions. They may even have a low risk way for you to test the waters. For example, we run a monthly NLP Practice group. There is a small charge of £5 and it is open to anyone with an interest in the topic up for discussion.