Building Mastery is a DBT skills that helps improve self-esteem and confidence. When you feel competent and better about yourself, it is easier and less stressful to go through life. Many times, when someone lacks self-esteem and confidence, it keeps them from actually trying. The mindset is things like “I don’t deserve that,” “I’m not capable of achieving that,” and “I can’t do that.” This reinforces a lack of self-esteem and confidence, making it feel impossible to have a more positive view of yourself.
The idea with building mastery is that you can build self-esteem and confidence by doing things that make you feel competent, in control, and capable. When you are regularly engaging in such activities, your mindset shifts to a more positive one. You start thinking things like “I can do this” and “I am worthy.” This allows you to be open to trying new opportunities that come your way. It is also helpful to build resiliency for when things don’t go the way you wanted or planned. When you are consistently doing things that build self-esteem and confidence, it doesn’t have such an impact when you encounter something negative.
BUILDING SELF-ESTEEM AND CONFIDENCE IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE A NEGATIVE MINDSET:
- can be exhausting, constantly being self-deprecating and self-loathing
- keeps you from accomplishing your goals and achieving your dreams.
- can lead to depression and anxiety
- can cause self-sabotaging tendencies
- keeps you from loving life
BUILDING MASTERY STEP BY STEP
- Do at least one thing a day to build master Make time each day, even for just 10 minutes, to partake in something that makes you feel good about yourself.
- Plan for success, not failure. Make sure to do something difficult, but possible. For example, let’s say you want to train for a 5-mile race but have never really run before. It is not effective to try and run 5 miles off the bat. Going for your end goal from the start is setting yourself up for more hardship and questioning your capabilities. Therefore, it is better to start off smaller, maybe with a half a mile or a mile.
- Gradually increase the difficulty over time. Once you have mastered and become skillful with a task, up the ante. Back to the race example, you can start with half a mile to a mile and gradually increase in increments of half a mile to a mile over time until you hit the 5 mile goal. Additionally, when first working on building mastery, start with goals and tasks that are smaller and work your way up to bigger and more difficult things. For example, you may not want to start with learning how to create a phone app when you have no computer and technological background. A more effective starting point might be working on cleaning your room. As you build mastery with more doable tasks, you can work your way up to those that are more difficult; again, remember to start small.
- Look for a challenge. Just doing things that are easy and take no effort doesn’t build self-esteem and confidence. Think about things that make you feel accomplished. This will be different for everyone.
Some examples of ways to build mastery:
- Study for a test
- Write a poem
- Practice a musical instrument
- Talk to someone new at work or school
- Work on expressing your needs to someone
- Find a new hobby
- Start learning a new language
- Attend to daily chores
There are no set things to do to build mastery. It is dependent on where each person is at and what kind of things make them feel good about themselves. Someone in a deep depressive state, where it is hard to just get out of bed in the morning, can build mastery by engaging in self-care, something they normally slack on. Another person might build mastery by improving a skill that they have already. For example, someone who is artistic can build mastery by working on a new art project. The idea is to find the things make you feel accomplished and capable, moving to new activities as things develop.