Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career
CBT Jealousy Depression Relationships Conflict Self-efficacy Happiness Goal-setting Motivation Wellness Sport Psych

Popular Articles

Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

When You Have Been Betrayed

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Happiness is An Attitude

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

Popular Audios

Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

All Audio Articles

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem--page 3
by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.

Step 3. Examine Your Self-labels

print

How often do you call yourself names or label yourself in a negative way? Many times in the first session with someone when I notice their excessive negative self-labeling I will say, “Do you realize you have called yourself names or put yourself down in some way at least a half dozen times in the last 10 minutes?” Often, I find they aren't even aware of their self-talk.

golf counter

Awareness is an important part of change. Start noticing when you label yourself. Pay attention to the words you use in your self-talk such as “That was stupid” or “I can't do anything right.” Keep a log of how many times you use negative labels over several days and find your average. All you need to do is keep a count such as making a little mark on a piece of paper (something you can carry with you). Golf counters are a nice tool to keep track of a count because you can keep them in your pocket and just click them whenever the behavior occurs.

At this point you are not trying to change the labels. It is first necessary to develop greater awareness of the labeling. In addition, obtaining a baseline which is the average number of times you apply a negative label to yourself will make it easier to determine progress.

Often people will want to skip this step, “I know I'm using negative labels so I'll just focus on stopping.” However, change is not that simple and taking such an approach can lead to not fully recognizing the self-talk, forgetting to pay attention to the self-talk, and frustration about lack of change. I know it can be annoying to have to carry a piece of paper or a golf counter but by getting in the habit of recording your negative labels you will be more effective at reducing them.

In addition, progress isn't all-or-nothing which is discouraging for many people. However, seeing the numbers decrease over time can encourage you to keep trying. Once you have your average, write that number down so you can keep it in mind as you work to change.

If you have trouble with awareness of your self-labels, you can solicit help from people close to you. Have them give you a sign when you engage in negative labeling. It is important that the helper do this in a non-judgmental way. “There you go again!” is not helpful. You could have them just use a word or a signal that the two of you agree upon.

Index

Previous        Next



print

Questions and Comments

All comments and questions require approval so you may not see your submission immediately.

Kindle Books by
Dr. Monica Frank



Recent Articles

Analyzing Your Moods, Symptoms, and Events with Excel At Life's Mood Log

Why You Get Anxious When You Don't Want To

Why People Feel Grief at the Loss of an Abusive Spouse or Parent

“Are You Depressed?”: Understanding Diagnosis and Treatment

15 Coping Statements for Panic and Anxiety

Beyond Tolerating Emotions: Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort

Emotion Training: What is it and How Does it Work?

How You Can Be More Resistant to Workplace Bullying

Are You Passive Aggressive and Want to Change?

When Your Loved One Refuses Help

Newest Audios

Building Blocks Emotion Training

Hot Springs Relaxation

5 Methods to Managing Anger

Panic Assistance While Driving

Autogenic Relaxation Training

Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

Mindfulness Training