Women with

  PTSD United

INformation, Resources, and Support for Women with PTSD

For worksheets regarding self-confidence (and other topics) click here:

Trauma survivors often exhibit a loss of self-confidence. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Often we hold ourselves responsible for what happened, or that we didn’t prevent what happened, or that we didn’t speak out about it, or that we didn’t handle it in a way that we feel was most appropriate. Whew, the list goes on and on!

Part of recovery means building back that sense of self-confidence, relearning to trust yourself, your ability to take care of yourself, and manage your world and protect your safety. There are specific actions you can take to rebuild your self-confidence. It’s a process that happens slowly. ​Fortunately, research shows that with time and effort you can improve the level of your self esteem at any stage of your life. So, what exactly can you do to increase it?

  • Treat yourself with as much love as you would your child or best friend. Spoil, speak compassionately to, and accept yourself as is.
  • Identify your negative thinking and start to shift it so that you minimize the negative and maximize the positive. Everything you think and say is your ‘story’, so make it a good one.
  • Resist coming up with negative conclusions without evidence. Facts and fears are typically two different things. It might help to remember the acronym for F.E.A.R., which is False Expectations Appearing Real.
  • Accept compliments with grace. A compliment is a gift to be received with kindness. When you’re complimented simply say a heartfelt thank you because you are worthy.
  • Make a list of all of the skills that you believe are important. Remember that these are skills that are meaningful to you by your own personal standards. Then, practice these skills so that you can attain a higher level of mastery.
  • Create several positive affirmations and use them daily. Examples of positive affirmations to increase your self esteem are ‘I love and accept myself ’, I am worthy of love and respect’, ‘I see the best in myself and others’ and ‘I deserve happiness’.
  • Emphasize your strengths and remind yourself of your positive efforts frequently. Being aware of your competencies and value is linked to happiness and high self esteem.
  • Beware that procrastination lowers self esteem and make every effort to become decisive and solution-oriented so that you tackle problems and tasks head on.​

References and Further Info: