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Reports have recently been released that Katie Holmes has been benefiting from the help of a dating coach. After five year of what she reports to be a "controlling marriage", Holmes is looking to pick-up her self-esteem as she moves through her post divorce life. Some of the areas that her coach has helped with include: flirting, approaching people and dating.

Her sessions have been a combination of telephone sessions and face-to face sessions with her coach. She has decided to take on the New Year and tackle her fears with a professional, even though her friends have been supportive and have offered to set up her on dates.

Towards the end of last year reports started to leak that Holmes had hired a "life coach" in order to find her true inner spirit. She is apparently looking to define herself apart from Tom Cruise. Although Holmes lives a lavish lifestyle she, as many American single moms, is finding challenges of getting back in to the dating game.

Holmes is not alone as many individuals find themselves defining or redefining themselves after marriage. This is especially true if a spouse was abusive. If a person already suffered low self-esteem during a marriage the task of gaining a higher level of self-esteem can be even more daunting.

Apart from trying to force yourself into feeling good to build up your self-esteem, another model is available for individuals who want to attack the issue from the root of the problem. Making a commitment of awareness is key in this model.

Once a person has made a commitment, the next step is to start acknowledging areas that may have been ignored. It's vital to be aware of one's thoughts, behaviors and feelings – the good and the bad. This new awareness is crucial to tackling low self-esteem issues.

This course of action does take courage. Often there are things in our lives we just flat out ignore because we don't want to deal with it. At times it can feel scary or overwhelming. But, there are benefits to reap by gaining awareness and taking action.

At the end of the day the key is to be honest with you. Don't punish yourself or feel guilty about the way you feel. For example, it's ok to feel a sense of relief if you don't have full custody over your child.

Hiding your emotions from yourself means that you are feeding your low-self esteem. Bring them into light, accept them and move forward with positive actions. Emotions aren't good or bad, they just "are".

This can be not only a challenging but also painful process. A therapist or counselor is suggested to help you navigate through this process. Once your self-esteem takes off you will realize how much strength and courage you had in you all along.

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