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Building Self Esteem With Writing Therapy

One of the most common techniques used for building self esteem is the use of affirmations. Affirmations are things you tell yourself on a regular basis to “affirm” your personal strength, beauty and value. Affirmations are great, but unless there is a real belief in what the words represent, they will do nothing for your true self esteem. To get at your true self esteem, you must dig a bit deeper; and for this purpose I recommend writing about your life.

The Brain Dump and Building Self Esteem

Ever since I started “brain dumping”, I became a big believer in its power. A brain dump is simply a process used to get all of your thoughts out of your head. The goal is to bring out all of your conscious and subconscious worries, fears, and doubts so that they do not eat away at you over the course of your day.

Each little morsel of your brain is valuable real estate. Part of your brain holds the knowledge you will use to solve problems. Part of your brain holds thoughts and feelings of happiness and excitement. Part of your brain holds your potential for creativity.

The more space in your brain that is taken up by worry, doubt, frustration, sadness, etc.; the less space you will have available for positive thoughts. This is where the brain dump becomes important.

To achieve a successful brain dump all you have to do is get out a pen and notebook and start writing. Just keep writing until you are finished. I like to write for at least 20 minutes, but sometimes it takes longer to get out all the mind-sapping troubles.

If you have a problem in the forefront of you mind, start writing about it. Keep the pen moving until you have gotten all of your thoughts out on paper. Write whatever is on your mind, no matter how ridiculous or pointless it may seem. You are not going to be graded on this. No one will ever read it. You won’t even read it. It’s simply a matter of getting your thoughts out of your head.

Once they are out of your head, you will have freed up some valuable real estate to begin building positive thoughts.

Building Self Esteem Post-Brain Dump

Now that your brain is dumped, you are primed to begin building self esteem. This is where your affirmations will be more useful. But I’m going to take the idea of an affirmation a step further. I want you to take a few affirmations and write about them as a part of your life. Do this immediately after your brain dump.

Here is an example of such an exercise:

Affirmation: I have the power to be happy.

I have the power to be happy. I have the ability to allow myself to be happy. I understand that my negative thoughts, worries, and fears have no power over me. I realize that at any time I can flip these negative thoughts and emotions into positive ones. I see the world in a unique way, a way in which no one else can see it. This tells me that I have the power to control the way in which I view things. This power includes the power to allow myself to be happy even when things aren’t going perfectly around me. Today, the weather isn’t so nice. It’s raining outside, but that doesn’t have to stop me from being happy. I have a lot of work to do today. This gives me an opportunity to create great things, so I will put my full self into my work. I may be all alone right now, but that will not last forever. There are a lot of people in this world that care about me, some of whom I may not even know right now. I will go out and find these people. And when I do, I have the power to be happy with them.

Do you see how I expanded upon a simple affirmation and made it personal? I then took some examples of things that may normally challenge this affirmation and displayed for myself the power of the affirmation when it is utilized. This fosters belief. This builds power.

This builds a true, free-willed self esteem.

Belief in Self Esteem

Once you’ve accessed your true self esteem, it becomes time to utilize it. The utilization of true self esteem is a belief in your power. Once you believe in your power, you will walk through life glowing with a real aura of self esteem and self confidence.

Remember, self esteem is not dependent on outward things or other people. Self esteem is dependent upon the way you view your life. You have the power to view your life in a positive way. This power is a gift. Give this gift a try and you will begin to want to use it more and more.

Self esteem and self confidence go hand-in-hand. They are both a matter of belief and trust in your power and ability, and they are a realization of your beauty as a unique and special person. Make good use of these powers and you will experience a great life.


Matt Maresca is a writer, entertainer, and motivator. His goal is to help others experience life for all its great potential. On his website and blog at, you will find self improvement advice, including topics such as building self esteem and self confidence.

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22 Responses to Building Self Esteem With Writing Therapy

  1. Chetan says:

    Hi Matt ! Brain Dump – interesting process. I remember my ex-boss telling me that it is good to discuss or tell unpleasent thought so that one feel better. E.g if i do not like something at work – I used to tell /argue with me boss & he never used to feel bad about it.

    But writting down the though is better and safe process :)


  2. Robin says:

    Brain dumping is awesome. It also increases your productivity because you aren’t worrying about other stuff anymore. When I do it it always astounds me how much I worry about things that I can’t control. It’s always a wake up call to focus on the things that matter.

    Nice article!


  3. Blulrich says:

    I do that. Well, sometimes. Whenever my head gets too crowded, I grab a pen and a notebook and write so much nonsense that when I tried reading it once, I didn’t understand anything.
    Is a nice way to relief your mind a little. But for people like me, is kind of scary to see what really goes on inside your brain.

  4. Clint Cora says:

    I’ve used this writing technique with much success as it’s incredible how much more clarity and commitment I can get when I see things on paper in front of me. In fact, writing on paper is still more impactful than simply putting the words on a text file in my computer. There’s something just magical when we use the old fashioned method of just pen and paper for some reason that makes it more effective than a computer. Now if I can only make out what I wrote …

  5. The brain dump has another use – if you keep writing to answer a question (once you have got all the old stuff out) you begin to Image Stream which enables you to get answers that the ‘junk’ was preventing. Great article.

  6. Matt Maresca says:

    Much safer is right, Champ! I must say, though, that discussing problems has its own set of benefits. Brain dumping is always a great way to clear your head and gain clarity in your situation. Sometimes you don’t even know why you are really upset, so brain dumping may help you make the ultimate discovery! Hope you give it a try!

  7. Matt Maresca says:

    Excellent point about the productivity boost, Robin! It really is such a powerful tool!

  8. Matt Maresca says:

    That’s why I very rarely, if ever, read my brain dumps. It can be scary! But it’s all about getting your negative, debilitating thoughts out of your head so you can move forward in a positive direction.

  9. Matt Maresca says:

    Definitely, Clint! Pen and paper has a wondrous magic to it. When I brain dump for the purpose in the article, I always do it with pen and paper. When I brain dump for ideas, I will occasionally use the computer, but generally still find pen and paper more effective.

  10. Matt Maresca says:

    Great point, Doug! I also use brain dumping to come up with ideas and solve problems. It’s a great way to get to the inner workings of your brain–a real powerhouse! Very true about the Image Stream, that’s when things get really good!

  11. Interesting idea.

    It reminds me of a writers seminar I followed some years ago in Barcelona. The teacher did let us write a ‘brain dump’ as the first thing to do each morning before session started. After this morning brain dump, we had a more clear mind and more creative to perform writing exercises.

    And as you say, we never did reread our mind dump. It was only to clear our mind and bring us in a state of creativity.

    Maybe a good idea to do before writing a post :-)

    Thanks for sharing!

  12. Matt Maresca says:

    Yes Marc, it’s actually a great idea before writing a post. I’ve done it a number of times myself. You’d be surprised at all the great ideas that are hidden in that brain of yours!

  13. hitanjan says:

    hi matt this is a great technique.can you give me a more technique when i feel depressed.

  14. Thanks Matt for your wonderful insight….

    It all began for me with one journal when I locked myself away in a motel room for three days determined to find my destiny and wrote like a possessed man – and now with over more than 40 journals full of my ‘dumping’ I feel so much better about myself and am in a privileged position to now help others.

  15. Matt Maresca says:

    Well that’s a lot of dumping, Peter! I see that it has paid off quite a bit for you as you offer some great advice in your blog!

  16. Nnaemeka OnYekachi says:

    Hi Matt Maresca,

    I just print your write-up so i can go home and read it and get a better clear of what you are saying,but as i can read from your friends that have read it,i can see you have a better write up,i would get back to you on what i learn from your writeup.


  17. Trish says:

    Hey Matt. Thanks for this post. Your Belief section resonated with me and I’m now going to look at self-esteem as “the way I view life” and that’s a superpower (I put super in front of everything!) of mine.

    I do use the writing and affirmation technique, however I found my affirmations became much more powerful when I wrote the word NOW after them:

    “I have the power to be happy NOW.”


  18. Kyle says:

    As humans living in an indrustialized society, we are exposed to hundreds of pieces of media everyday, most of which are negative. With newspaper frontlines showing the effects of senseless violence, young adults playing first-person shooter games, and extravagant reality shows taking over every TV station, we must remain villigant for what will affect our mood. Affirmations are a great way to create positivity in our day.

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  20. Mike says:

    The thought that “I have the power to be happy” seems like a very enlightening thing to do. It frames the control we all need to have of ourselves.

  21. Paris Jakson says:

    Everyone holds opinions, about the type of person that they are. These opinions are at the heart of self-esteem and they affect as how you feel about and value, yourself. Self-esteem is not static and fixed; your beliefs about yourself can change, throughout your life as a result of circumstance and experience.
    Self Esteem Counseling

  22. Pingback: The Easy Way To Build Self Esteem | Self Help Now

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