What Are Some Group Activities for Building Self-Esteem?

March 8, 2023
Posted in Questions
March 8, 2023 Terkel

What Are Some Group Activities for Building Self-Esteem?

From animal therapy to a compliment circle, here are 17 answers to the question, “Can you share your most helpful group activities for building self-esteem?”

  • Animal Therapy
  • Cooperative Board Games
  • Group Brainstorming Sessions
  • Letter to Oneself
  • Community Service
  • Art Therapy
  • Vision Boards
  • Mirror Exercise
  • Positive Affirmation Wall
  • Self-esteem Bingo
  • Team Sports
  • The Game “Yes, And…”
  • The Paper Gift
  • Team Races, Relays, and Obstacle Courses
  • Hiking to a Peak
  • Positive Notes
  • A Compliment Circle

Animal Therapy

A great group activity for building self-esteem can be to engage in animal therapy. This relatively uncommon practice entails visiting a farm or sanctuary and assisting with the care of their animals, such as grooming and feeding them, before engaging in activities like walking them with a leash.

Such an exercise promotes responsibility while also providing participants with the chance to bond and connect with a loving creature who will never judge or criticize them. Interacting with animals builds trust, develops feelings of compassion and respect, and helps people feel more secure in themselves—all of which are essential for higher self-esteem.

Tasia DuskeTasia Duske
CEO, Museum Hack

Cooperative Board Games

Cooperative board games are an excellent group activity for building self-esteem. Unlike competitive games, where players vie against one another to win, cooperative board games encourage players to work together towards a common goal.

This approach fosters community and collaboration, allowing everyone to contribute unique skills and perspectives. Players will thus feel valued and appreciated, which will boost their self-esteem.

For example, players work together in the game “Pandemic” to stop the spread of deadly diseases worldwide. Each player has a unique role, such as a scientist or a medic, and must work with the others to develop a strategy and find a cure. This collaborative effort creates a positive and supportive environment where players can feel empowered and confident in their abilities.

Saneem AhearnSaneem Ahearn
VP of Marketing, Colorescience

Group Brainstorming Sessions

In a work environment where even decisions that are made quickly need to adhere to several laws and regulations and consider an equally long list of circumstances and precedents, brainstorming is not just recommended but crucial.

And at our firm, where freshers learning the tricks of the trade in preliminary roles and legal professionals with years of experience work in tandem with one another, there’s no better group activity to boost everyone’s self-esteem than group brainstorming sessions. The best part about brainstorming is that every participant can take part and even offer out-of-the-box inputs without worrying about being judged.

To beginners, the boost in self-esteem comes from sitting at the same table as professional stalwarts and learning firsthand from them. To these seasoned legal gurus, the opportunity to guide new talent and offer valuable insights provides a similar boost.

Riley BeamRiley Beam
Managing Attorney, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.

Letter to Oneself

Writing letters to ourselves is a habit that is underappreciated. Each participant should write a letter to their future self in which they can include whatever they choose, anything that is most endearing, such as a poem, a description of their current situation, a goal they have for the future, an accomplishment they have made recently, their finest moment, and so on.

The participant will compare, contemplate, and contrast themselves after a period of change when they receive the letter back again. The group leader may urge everyone to write them by hand and seal them in envelopes, which will be returned at any time that is discussed (end of the month, end of the group trimester, or in a few weeks).

Georgi TodorovGeorgi Todorov
Founder, ThriveMyWay

Community Service

Group activities are a great way to increase self-esteem and strengthen social relationships. Volunteering can be an incredibly rewarding and validating experience. Participants may get the feeling of being part of something bigger, which can boost self-confidence. Plus, they may learn valuable skills to use in both their professional and personal lives.

Lilian ChenLilian Chen
Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Bar None Games

Art Therapy

Group activities used to build self-esteem can be a great way to help people connect with one another while boosting their outlook on life.

One example of such an activity is art therapy; this involves creating an artwork that reflects the individual’s feelings, allowing them to express themselves in a safe and creative manner. Engaging in this type of endeavor allows participants to “step outside” their regular lives and explore potentially hidden emotions by having fun making something that is only for themselves.

Exploring these emotions and expressing oneself without concern for others’ judgment can lead to greater self-confidence and building on social skills which‌ can affect how somebody sees their life.

Michael AlexisMichael Alexis
CEO, tiny campfire

Vision Boards

Provide the group with paper, glue, magazines, markers, and other materials needed to make a vision board. Encourage the group to add pictures that remind them of their goals, and highlight certain behaviors that reinforce their motivation to achieve their goals. Take some time to review as a group and encourage all involved to put their vision boards where they can see them every day in their homes.

Andrew ChenAndrew Chen
Chief Product Officer, Videeo

Mirror Exercise

In this activity, the group members sit in pairs facing each other and take turns looking into each other’s eyes while saying positive affirmations to each other. The positive affirmations can be general statements such as “You are a kind and caring person” or specific compliments such as “You have a great smile.”

This exercise can be challenging at first, as many people feel uncomfortable looking into someone else’s eyes for an extended period. However, it can be a powerful way to build self-esteem and trust, as well as to practice giving and receiving compliments.

Jay SoniJay Soni
Marketing Director, Yorkshire Fabric Shop

Positive Affirmation Wall

In this activity, the group creates a wall or bulletin board where they post positive affirmations about themselves and each other. Because it encourages people to focus on the dominant traits that they possess, as well as appreciate the strengths and achievements of others, I believe that this can be an enjoyable and interactive way to boost one’s self-esteem.

Participants can write positive affirmations on sticky notes or index cards and then post them on the wall. Over time, the wall can become a visual representation of the group’s collective positive self-talk and self-esteem.

Hamza UsmaniHamza Usmani
Head of Content, SEO Audits

Self-Esteem Bingo

Self-esteem bingo is a significant activity to help individuals improve their self-esteem and confidence. It involves creating a bingo card with various self-esteem-enhancing activities or affirmations. They can vary depending on participants’ interests and needs.

Here are some examples:

  • Write three things you’re grateful for
  • Share a story about the situation when your efforts paid off
  • Compliment another group member
  • Compliment yourself
  • Say what nice things we can do for ourselves

Self-esteem bingo aims to promote a sense of achievement and pride in who we are. The activity is excellent for both group and individual work. I love it!

Agata SzczepanekAgata Szczepanek
Community Manager, LiveCareer

Team Sports

Team sports are wonderfully useful for helping people to build up their self-esteem. The cooperative nature of team sports allows everyone involved to play an active role in their performance.

While not everyone may have the same initial level of skill in a sport, practicing together will see your group develop mentally and physically. Your teamwork and cooperation will improve, as well as each individual’s sense of purpose within the structure of a team.

Along with individual self-esteem, your group will build bonds of trust and teamwork that they may bring into other aspects of their life, such as their relationships and careers. Being part of a team can empower people to look at themselves and their capacities in a new light. Boosted self-esteem is just one of many benefits of group sports, but it is certainly a lasting one.

Max AdeMax Ade
CEO, Pickleheads

The Game “Yes, And…”

Humans are often inclined to say no even when they don’t mean no simply because we all think differently. This can lead to meetings and discussions where no one feels affirmed and everyone disagrees.

Start your next meeting by going around the table with comments. After each comment, the next person must say, “Yes, and…” and then add information to what was said before. The game ensures that everyone feels heard, leaves the meeting in a positive place, and has fun!

If you open every meeting with this game, your team will be more likely to say yes than no in the future!

Kenneth LinKenneth Lin
CEO, BOOP Bakery

The Paper Gift

This is a fun exercise that everyone can take part in, but it will go more smoothly if everyone knows each other.

First, partners are formed, and then a chart paper is given to each participant. It is now assumed that both partners are familiar with each other, at the very least, in terms of their likes and dislikes. Thus, they will need to consider a gift they would like to give their partner and then design it on the sheet.

Once everyone is finished, each person must reveal the gift to the entire group and sincerely explain why they chose that specific item. It is a pleasant game that will also promote bonding. In general, everyone will experience appreciation, which raises their self-esteem.

Dayna CarlinDayna Carlin
Director of Marketing and Sales, NovoPath

Team Races, Relays, and Obstacle Courses

Team-building games, such as relay races, obstacle courses, and team sports, can be an effective way to boost self-esteem because they encourage individuals to work together and communicate effectively. These games can help people gain confidence in themselves and their abilities while also improving their interpersonal skills.

When individuals work together to achieve a common goal, they can feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in their contributions to the team. This can increase their self-esteem and confidence in their abilities both on and off the field.

Furthermore, team-building games often include a combination of physical and mental challenges, which can support people in pushing themselves outside of their comfort zones and building resilience. This can lead to increased self-confidence and belief in one’s ability to overcome obstacles and succeed.

Richard StaffordRichard Stafford
CEO, Fettle

Hiking to a Peak

I love getting a group of friends together to hike to a peak, especially if it’s a challenging one. We cheer each other on and encourage each other, especially during the steep parts.

Then, when you finally reach the peak, you feel so good, like you’re on top of the world and can do anything. After the hike, when you’re off the mountain and doubting your ability to do a certain task or reach a certain goal, you’ll reflect on how you didn’t think you’d make it up the mountain, but you did.

That gives you the self-esteem and strength to move forward and overcome that self-doubt, and take steps toward whatever it is you’re trying to achieve.

Laurel RobbinsLaurel Robbins
Founder, Monkeys and Mountains

Positive Notes

Humans want to belong and be loved. Leave an empty page on each desk, and by the end of the day, coworkers will write positive notes on each other’s pages.

Having a page filled with positive feedback about you can do wonders for improving your self-esteem and confidence. This can also provide individuals with a sense of belonging because it shows them that people actually notice the “little things” they do.

Marco Genaro PalmaMarco Genaro Palma
Co-Founder, TechNews180

A Compliment Circle

Self-esteem can be built through a group activity called a “Compliment Circle.” It works like this:

  1. Gather a group of people together in a circle.
  2. Have everyone take turns sitting in the center of the circle and close their eyes or look down.
  3. Each person in the circle takes a turn complimenting, praising, or describing the person in the center.
  4. After each person has given a compliment, we invite the person in the center to share how the compliments made them feel.

This activity can help boost self-esteem by giving individuals an opportunity to hear positive feedback from others and to recognize their own strengths and positive qualities. It can also help to create a supportive and encouraging group dynamic, which can further enhance self-esteem.

Mara Rosana GalettaMara Rosana Galetta
CEO, Registros Akashicos

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