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How To Rebuild Self-Esteem After Losing a Loved One

Rebuild self-esteem after significant loss

You’ve lost a loved one—don’t lose yourself too

After a significant loss, self-esteem is often shattered. You are picking up the pieces and putting yourself back together. You may believe you could have done more to prevent the loss, that you somehow failed the person who is gone. You may feel incomplete or “less than” without your loved one. If he or she made you feel special and loved, you may not feel those things now.

Five Suggestions To Help Rebuild Self-Esteem

Cultivate Relationships

1. Cultivate relationships with people who affirm who you are and are honest with you—the kind who help you grow. Those who try to do too much for you aren’t helping you in the long run.

Stop Putting Yourself Down

2. A sure sign of low self-esteem is frequent self-disparaging remarks: “I never do anything right!” Try writing down a list of self-affirmations. It takes practice, but when you notice that you are having a negative self-thought try substituting a positive thought.

Take New Actions

3. Growth in self-esteem comes from thinking, deciding and acting, no matter what you are feeling. Even when we don’t feel good about ourselves, we can decide to act in ways that are good for us. For example, decide to get more exercise because you deserve to be healthy. When you make the decision and act on it, you begin to feel better about yourself.

Express Yourself

4. Take your own ideas, feelings and wishes seriously—just as you take others seriously and listen to them. Instead of withholding yourself from others, tell them what you think, how you feel, what you want. When you do this in a way that does not blame or attack, both your self-esteem and their esteem of

you grow.

Accept Yourself

5. No one gets close to perfect, and life is difficult at times. We all want to do right. We all make mistakes. We all deserve to like ourselves—to be our own best friend. 

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