Self Esteem Writing Exercise: A Tool… | Counseling | Therapy

Self Esteem Writing Exercise

InPerson and Virtual Self Esteem Therapy in Philadelphia, Ocean City, Santa Fe, Mechanicsville

self esteem therapy in philadelphia, Ocean City, Santa Fe, Mechaniscville image

Self-Esteem Writing Exercise: A tool used at TCFG, located in Philadelphia PA, Mechanicsville VA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe, NM

Self-esteem is the picture we have of ourselves in our minds. It’s how we view ourselves and how we imagine that others perceive us. It is also our assessment of our personal worth and value. In our culture, self-worth is often based on what you’re doing, what you’ve accomplished or how closely you are meeting the socially prescribed standards. However, we have to strive for balance by not only rejoicing in our achievements, but also taking time to recognize and remember our inner strengths, positive qualities, values and priorities. This article is for anyone who needs a self-esteem boost, a reminder of your superpowers. This article will provide you with a guided self-esteem writing exercise to help you “tune-up” your self-esteem by focusing on strengths, values and lessons learned from your very own life. The self-esteem writing exercise includes some narrative work, or “storytelling.” The story we tell ourselves is powerful, so it’s essential to weave that into the process of acknowledging our strengths and values.

Self-esteem often takes a hit when we are faced with life’s challenges. Even the most healthy, well-adjusted individuals struggle with feeling good about themselves during hard times. The truth is that we win some and we lose some. Life will throw its curve balls, it’s unfortunate events and we’ll all experience let-downs. Perhaps you are going through a tough transition, a break-up or a job loss. Or, you are having a hard time with your family, or in your long-term relationship. Maybe you’ve put others in front of yourself so much that you’ve forgotten your strengths and values. This self-esteem writing exercise will help you to re-engage with those aspects of yourself and be reminded of your strengths, boosting self-esteem. The self-esteem writing exercise will also help you to hone in on your values so that you can feel and act in alignment with them.

When we view ourselves in a positive light, our lives get easier. Even the storms we have to weather will become easier to navigate when we hold ourselves in high regard. The more we are invested in the strengths-based picture of ourselves, the less we will feel swayed and affected by the negative opinions of others. We want to value the opinions of others sometimes, but ultimately, if we are not in touch with our strengths, we aren’t giving ourselves the stable ground we need to discern what is “good advice” from the outside world. We might end up taking in the wrong kind of opinions when we aren’t strong in ourselves. Building healthy self-esteem is an inside job, and we have to find our baseline level of self-worth.

Self-Esteem Therapy in Philadelphia PA, Mechanicsville VA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe, NM

Self-Esteem Writing Exercise

The first step in the self-esteem writing exercise is to choose your strengths. To make this process easier, take a look at the list below. Allow yourself to reflect on your past accomplishments, what has it taken for you to get where you are today? Even if today is not perfect, you needed strength to get here. Reflect on the compliments you’ve received from people in your life who you trust. What would your loved-ones say about you? If you’re comfortable, you can even ask your trusted friends or family members what they think your strengths are.

With a pen and paper, or in your journal, write down strengths from this list. Try for at least 5-10. And if something isn’t on this list, allow yourself to be creative and come up with your own strengths. And then, add in a narrative to your strengths list, exemplifying why you chose the strength. Check out the example below the strengths list for clarity and inspiration.

List of Strengths












Love of Learning




Team Player



































Self-Esteem Therapy in Philadelphia PA, Mechanicsville VA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe, NM

An Example with Narrative (Strengths are Highlighted)

“ I am compassionate and empathic because I care about other people and how they’re doing. I check in with my friends when they’re struggling. I am self-caring because I try to stretch my body every day. I am resilient because I am doing this exercise and I want to get back in touch with my strengths and raise my self-esteem. I am determined to get a promotion at work, and I remain positive while I wait for it. I’m open-minded and hopeful that if I work on myself, I can live a happier life. My friends would say I am respectful because I listen well, and give people space to be themselves.”

With your strengths defined and your brief narrative constructed, you can move onto the second step in the self-esteem writing exercise.

Self-Esteem Therapy in Philadelphia PA, Mechanicsville VA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe, NM

Self-Esteem Writing Exercise Step 2: Choose Your Values

The second step in the self-esteem writing exercise is to choose your values. Choosing your values ties directly into self-esteem and how you see yourself. When we have a clear picture of what’s important to us, we have the opportunity to act with our values in mind. When we act out of alignment with our values, we might experience a decrease in self-esteem, or we start to feel less authentic. Assessing and re-engaging with our values can be a way of remembering ourselves into high self-esteem.

With a pen and paper, or your journal in hand, choose 5-10 values that speak to you. Questions to ask yourself to help you choose your values in earnest are: Who do you admire, and what is it about them that inspires you? These can be your values. Do they have behaviors you would like to emulate? What values are in alignment with the behaviors you wish to replicate? What is the most important to you? What inspires you to take action? When do you feel the most authentic? What is that like? Who are you with? What are their values? What are you doing when you feel like yourself? Choose values based on these experiences. And when you’ve chosen 5-10 values, create a brief narrative (just like we did when we chose our strengths), that really connects you to the values you’ve chosen. Check out the narrative example below the values list for inspiration.

Values List

Financial Security
















Healthy Sex Life

Free Time






Trusting Yourself






Positive Mindset


Personal Growth



















Self-Esteem Therapy in Philadelphia PA, Mechanicsville VA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe, NM

Values Narrative Example (Values are Highlighted)

“I value patience and forgiveness because that’s how I saw my family interact with each other growing up. These values helped us to remain close and get along well. I value knowledge and education, and I’m proud of myself for going back to school. I value spirituality and self-growth, so I try to make time to meditate on a daily basis. I value career and I’m happy with the way that I’ve developed my career over the last few years, even though I’m not exactly where I want to be. I value gratitude because it helps me keep things in perspective.”

With your values defined and narrative constructed, you can move onto the third and final step in the self-esteem writing exercise.

Self-Esteem Writing Exercise Step 3: Applying Strengths and Values in the Present

Given all that you’ve learned thus far in your re-discovery of strengths and values, here is your chance to create a new narrative pertaining to a present challenge in your life. With your new knowledge of strengths and values, now you get to apply them to a present situation. You can approach the present situation with more confidence, self-esteem and hopefulness. Once you are reminded of strengths and values, you can tackle present situations with courage and authenticity, staying true to your values and remembering the capable being that you are.

See the example of what a new narrative might look like when incorporating strengths and values. Think of this last step as an example of holding your head high, remembering your power and strength and approaching your life situation with a higher level of self-esteem, higher self-regard and increased confidence.

Applying Strengths and Values in the Present Example (Strengths and Values Highlighted):

“I am really struggling with the break-up; I am beating myself up about how it ended. However, I’ve gotten through worse before because I am resilient, and I need to remember my strength of compassion and self-care. I can be self-compassionate, and make sure that I work out, and re-engage with my interests so that I can accelerate my healing process. I am open-minded, and ready to try new things, like rock climbing. Through trying new things, I can remind myself that I am adaptable and brave. Because I value bravery, this will allow me to feel like I am living in alignment with my authentic self. Since I value knowledge, I want to read books on self-improvement so that I can learn how to forgive myself and my ex-partner for mistakes that were made. I want to be patient, because that’s a value that helped shape my life through witnessing family members being patient with themselves and others. I can focus on my education, which is of high value for me. I am halfway done my master’s program, which will keep me busy. My dedication and diligence in graduate school shows my commitment to self-growth. Remember my strengths and values can help to boost my self-esteem and keep my life in perspective.

Self-Esteem Therapy in Philadelphia PA, Mechanicsville VA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe, NM


The self-esteem writing exercise is a great way to highlight your strengths and values, which are building blocks to higher self-esteem. When you recognize strengths and values and put them into a narrative, it helps you to absorb a new storyline. When we form a new narrative, it’s more powerful than just making lists. We get to see our strengths and values in action, and why they mean so much to us. And when we can apply our strengths and values to a present day challenge, we can see how resourced we actually are. When we feel capable, and see ourselves in a positive light, we increase self-esteem.

Looking for other exercises? Try our self esteem workouts?

or do our beating low self esteem exercise or following another therapists guide to improving self esteem. I'm partial to the self esteem flower pot concept As you can see there are many ways to tackle this complex issue.

Self-Esteem Therapy in Philadelphia PA, Mechanicsville VA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe, NM

At the Center for Growth, we understand the importance of increasing self-esteem. We offer self-esteem therapy to increase self-worth and self-confidence to adults, teens and families. Call 215- 922 - 5683 x 100 to speak to one of our self-esteem expert therapists to set up a therapy appointment today. We have 2 locations in Philadelphia PA: Society Hill Therapy Office and Art Museum / Fairmount Therapy Office and in Mechanicsville VA: Mechanicsville Therapy Office and in Santa Fe NM: Santa Fe Therapy Office and in Ocean City NJ, Ocean City Therapy Office and we provide virtual counseling services in Georgia and Florida

Ever wondered how you can change your self-esteem? We believe it’s possible. Call 215 922 5683 x 100 and schedule an appointment today.

InPerson Therapy & Virtual Counseling: Child, Teens, Adults, Couples, Family Therapy and Support Groups. Anxiety, OCD, Panic Attack Therapy, Depression Therapy, FND Therapy, Grief Therapy, Neurodiversity Counseling, Sex Therapy, Trauma Therapy: Therapy in Providence RI, Philadelphia PA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe NM, Mechanicsville VA