Keys to Helping Someone Overcome Low Self-esteem, Anxiety, or Early Signs of Depression

How do you help someone who is suffering from low self-esteem, anxiety or early signs of depression?

How do you connect with them to help pull them out of that hole they are stuck in?

How do you put yourself in their shoes to feel the pain they are going through?

These are questions I am sure many of you have. Whatever you do doesn’t seem to be enough, help enough and you just seem to be making things worse because you see something that needs to be fixed and they aren’t willing to fix it within themselves.

You live through these thoughts, these moments, wondering if anything you do would help the situation or make a difference with them. All you want to do is make them happier, help them smile and laugh, and show them how wonderful they are. Instead, you get attitude, anger, tears, hurtful words, loneliness, fighting, and push back.

Living with someone who has anxiety & depression is a heart wrenching experience.  Watching someone you love live through sadness and self-hate is hard to stand by and witness. You feel helpless when they explode with disturbing thoughts, harmful words, and careless behaviors.

You desperately want to help them see how amazing they are, how beautiful they are, how incredible they although they have never seen those qualities in themselves.

Your heart breaks as you see the sadness lurk in their eyes.

It’s hard to watch someone with low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and sadness. It’s hard to love them because they want to push you away. They make it nearly impossible and challenging to love them. Our natural reaction is to fix it, argue with them, fight with them, battle to get them to snap out of their mindset so they can be happy with themselves, happy with life.

You want them to see what you see, feel what you feel, love themselves like you love them.

You want to love them enough for both of you.

Unfortunately, they have to love themselves before they will let us love them.

What I learned about helping someone who suffers from low self-esteem, anxiety, or depression is that “fixing” is NOT how you go about it. I learned that finding solutions for them isn’t the answer either.

What I learned was that compassion, understanding, honesty, trust, and love was what mattered.

Helping someone doesn’t mean “fixing” their problem because it’s how you would do it. Helping someone means listening to them, empathizing with them, understanding where they are coming from because it was their experiences that got them there. Learning to love them unconditionally and understanding how they got to that place in life helps you get clearer on what they are going through.

Here are some actions you can take to help someone that struggles with low self-esteem, anxiety, or early signs of depression.

First, listening is one of the greatest gifts you can give someone.  Listening is such a critical skill when it comes to wanting to help someone. Not solving their problems but listening. So many times, we are distracted by our cell phones, the TV, work, or our own thoughts and we don’t give our full attention to the person who is speaking. Being able to shut down the outside noise and fully tune into the speaker has such a lasting impact on that individual and shows you care, you value them, what they say is important, and allows you to understand their situation better. By asking clarifying questions while listening, you can gain a full perspective of what they are speaking about.

Listening comes from a place of non-judgement.

Many times, the individual will talk themselves through their problems because just saying it out loud can have a huge impact on them and saying it out loud props it in front of them so it’s easier to see. By actively listening, you are able to receive information, process it, and are able to engage when necessary, in the conversation.

Active listening or deep listening can also help you avoid creating frustration.  Nothing is more frustrating when someone is not paying attention and they catch half of the story. It’s frustrating because you have to repeat yourself, answer questions that don’t make sense to what you were saying, and makes you not want to share anymore.

By listening, you provide the greatest gift to someone that is scared to share their inner thoughts and who already have poor esteem.

A second way to help someone with anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem is by showing compassion and empathy. These were difficult for me to learn. A dear friend always said, “Dang Duemmel, where’s your compassion?” I had my moments in life but I really never struggled much from depression or anxiety much. My self-esteem had moments growing up but it never seemed to affect my dreams, my goals, and the life I wanted for myself. Unfortunately, I had a hard time putting myself in someone’s shoes who didn’t have dreams, who didn’t have goals, and who never saw a good life for themselves because of their mindset of themselves. It was a rude awakening for me. Something I needed to learn. Something that would help me connect with people more.

Through personal awareness, seeing depression firsthand, and learning more about my levels of compassion for others, I was able to grow and learn what compassion was and what it meant.

Compassion is being able to show someone that you understand, and you share in their emotions and hurt. It is being able to put yourself in their shoes, their mindset, their pain. It is being supportive without judgment.  It is sharing their experience and helping them feel like they are no longer alone, and you are there to support them in any way you can. Showing compassion can help someone when they are in need and provide the type of support needed during that time.

Through compassion, you are telling the person that you understand, you can relate to what they are feeling, and you are committing to supporting them, loving them, and building trust with them.

The third key to helping someone is to build trust with them. Someone who suffers from poor self-esteem, anxiety, and depression, doesn’t trust themselves.  They don’t believe in themselves. Their favorite words are “I can’t”.  They don’t believe in their abilities, their dreams, their thoughts, their courage, nor their impact to the world around them. By building trust, it helps them feel safe.  It helps them feel like you aren’t going anywhere. It helps them believe that you have their best interest at heart and that you will do everything in your power to minimize any hurt or pain that surrounds them.  By earning their trust, you can slowly show them a different perspective on life that will guide them out of the turmoil within them to a happier, healthier, belief system.

Watching someone live with depression taught me that life isn’t just about me. It taught me that it isn’t how I feel about what others are going through. It isn’t about me solving the problems for them. It taught me that we all have our own perfect solutions, and it is up to the individual to find those solutions.

My role in all this was to be supportive, listen, show compassion, and show up for them day after day. I had to show the individual that I wasn’t going anywhere, and I was there to support them every single day until we worked through the negative to see the positive.




Motivating your Teen to Get More out of Life

This past year more and more teens have lost motivation in life due to the situations around them. Teens are carrying more anxiety and stress that keeps them locked in their rooms, choosing to seclude themselves from others. Fear holds them back and keeps them from finding the motivation to change their environment or their situation in life so they can grow a happier, healthy, and more productive mindset. Many teens have lost motivation to set goals that will help them live the life they have dreamed of. Setting goals is essential to finding happiness in life. Teaching teens how to set goals can help them shut down the fear that is holding them back.

Helping teenagers set their own goals starts with conversation. Ask them what they want in life.  Ask them what makes them happy and what motivates them.  It starts with a discussion of purpose and passion and what areas of life provide that for them. Teens need to set their own goals because they know what they like to achieve better than you do.

Once the teen can determine the answers to those questions, you can then help them set a future vision and help them set their own goals, be it in the long-term or in the short-term.

Teenagers need guidance and proper advice, especially as they grow into their young adult years. They need help with discernment, decision making, problem solving, and leadership skills. It’s important to help them understand that growing is a process as well as growing “up”.  Helping teens become aware of the different skills they will have to build will help them understand and be more patient with themselves in their growth.

 Teens have so much to learn, and as a parent or a guardian, it is our responsibility to make sure their dreams are on the right path and are achievable and reasonable.  Setting goals can help teenagers find the motivation they need to get them out of their funk.

Here are some useful tips that would help you teach your teens to effectively set their goals:

  • Explain to the teen why goals, be it for the short term or the long term, are very crucial and important. Sometimes, teens would not understand why they would have to set goals when there is no guarantee that these goals would ever be achieved. Setting goals helps us find motivation to learn, grow, and find success which builds self-esteem and confidence.
  • Teach the teen to clearly identify his or her goals. Help your teen create specific goals, goals that are time bound, realistic, achievable, and measurable. Help them create goals based on interests, likes, ambition, knowledge, skill and talent. Because the teens are basically in the age of confusion, wisdom and practical advice from elders and guardians would really be helpful and insightful.
  • Help the teen create a starting point. The time frame, or the when, of the process should also be suggested. By doing so, the teen would have a clear idea and concept of where he/she would start to move towards the achievement of the goals, and when to start acting on it.
  • Suggest some step-by-step procedures or processes on how the set goals can be achieved. Helping the teen figure out a roadmap is critical to their success and achievement of those goals. You can help by offering suggestions in building that roadmap, so the teen is clear on how to effectively accomplish the goals. Remember that as a role model and having many more life events, you are far more knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to matters in life, so imparting a little knowledge and wisdom would be a welcome note in the part of the teen.
  • Orient the teen on how to overcome obstacles and effectively deal with temporary setbacks that may come along the way. Teach your teen the value of understanding that all people have failures, but successful people turn those failures into opportunities. Help them establish determination to overcome any hiccups along the way. Help your teenager understand that viewing failure as opportunity creates more options to achieve the goal.
  • Share stories of some difficult moments you had when you were growing up and how you overcame those periods in your life that were most challenging. Teens want to know adults are human and not “know it all’s”. Teenagers could benefit from our personal experiences as long as we are not telling them how to fix everything in their life.  Offer suggestions, feedback, or experiences that might help them feel less alone, less of a failure, and less of a human being.  Help them see that they are just learning how to achieve things in life and help them understand that you are there to help them with their growth into a young adult.

Helping your teenager learn to create goals, learn more, solve problems, and build a roadmap to achieving those goals will help you get your teenager off the couch and out of their room to find a happier, healthier mindset that will help them get the life they want.

Also, if you would like one on one coaching for your teenager to help them find more out of life, check out my coaching services at http://www.herewegocompany.com.

I specialize in helping teenagers grow awareness, perception, mindfulness, and personal accountability. I help many teenagers to create that personal awareness that helps them see life differently. I help them find a mindset that helps them grow their self-esteem to approach life with courage and confidence, so they have more motivation in life.

Let’s help your teen find their motivation!

Also, for more tips, be sure to follow me




3 Ways to Practice Building Emotional Intelligence

I wanted to talk about something that I posted last week, it was emotional Intelligence, somebody reached out to me and was like, Steph, what in the heck is emotional intelligence? And I was like, you know, it’s the ability to control your mindset, when you’re mad, sad, frustrated, anxious, stressed out to the max, and it’s your ability to not treat people like crud when you are filled with all these negative emotions.

If you can control your emotions, in those types of times, then you can build this positive, powerful mindset. Right now, everybody needs a positive power mindset to deal with what’s going on in our crazy society. I have three things that you can practice to help you build a positive, powerful mindset and lead you to better emotional intelligence. It’s really important because when you can learn to control your mindset, you can communicate on all different levels and a lot better.

Number one, you have to be aware, you have to be aware of what your minds doing, you have to be aware of what your mind is thinking about, like right before this video, what was your mind doing? Where was your mind? What was it thinking about? Where was it taking you? What kind of space was your mind in before this? Being aware of where your mind’s going all the time and your emotions, helps you identify and bring awareness to your mindset. If you can be aware, then you can do something about it. If you’re feeling awful all the time and you just want to stay in your room with the lights off, what’s your mind doing? Think about what your mind is doing. Figure out what your mind is thinking about all the time, especially if it’s holding you back, right?

The second thing is you want to rechannel all of those negative thoughts. The emotion, the negativity, whatever it is, you want to learn to re-channel it. So being aware is number one. But number two is you have the ability to change your mindset at any given point. Just because you’re under the covers doesn’t mean you have to stay under the covers. Staying under the covers isn’t working on yourself and it isn’t making yourself to be better. It isn’t becoming your best self. So be aware of what your mind is doing and then re-channel it. What does that mean? Rechannel? Well, you have to take action. Let’s say you’re thinking about something about yourself that’s negative, and that it’s a limiting belief that says you can’t do something, well, then what you want to do is change the thought, grab a book, change your demeanor, change your physical status. If you’re sitting down, stand up, fill your mind with positivity and stop that negative behavior. You got to say, Stop, stop being negative. You literally have to talk to yourself and you have to practice. By catching yourself think this way, finding yourself being negative, more so than positive, you can change it. So be aware, rechannel, do something about that thought, get rid of that thought.

Number three is get rid of the fun suckers. My friend and I made up that term a long time ago, the fun suckers. Get rid of the fun suckers. You must have people that are willing to support you in your journey to build a positive, powerful mindset. And if you don’t have people supporting you, you’re probably not going to get where you want to go. You have to look at the people around you. Are they negative? Are they holding you back? Do they want to keep you in that dark space? Or are they really happy for you when you lose 10 pounds? Or go after a job that you just don’t know if you’re quite qualified for or they give you positive affirmations every day? Or are they the exact opposite? Do they want to see you succeed? Because what happens when you succeed? That means they have to succeed, improve their life. And a lot of people want to stay the exact same way they are. I’m not saying get rid of every negative relationship, but at least influence them to see what they’re doing. Talk to them, tell them how you feel when they’re making those types of remarks, do something about it. But if they’re not willing to change, that’s when you have to start thinking, hey, do they bring value to my life? If they don’t bring value to your life, then what’s their purpose in your life if they’re just dragging you through the mud all the time?