Firstly, let’s be sure on what self esteem is, as it can often be confused with self confidence. Self esteem is how you feel about yourself as a person, the way you look, the way you behave, what you believe you deserve in life, including how you allow yourself to be treated in relationships. Basically, self esteem is to do with how you value yourself.
Self confidence is about how capable you feel you are to undertake a task which may be a work related task such as noting minutes of a meeting or a personal task such as running a marathon or playing the guitar.
Where Your Value of ‘Self’ Comes From
We were not born with a lack of self esteem. When you look at very young children such as aged 2 there is no obvious sign of lack of self esteem which means this is something we learn. We learn to devalue ourselves and form beliefs about ourselves which are negative. These beliefs cause us to behave in ways which confirm that we are of little worth.
Low self esteem may come from being told we are useless or worthless or ugly. This means the way we are treated by others has a huge impact on our self esteem. This could be family members, friends, teachers and those in authority. One single comment could start the domino effect of low self esteem.
Any type of abuse – verbal, physical (including sexual) could impact self esteem negatively, creating a feeling of worthlessness thereby creating a false impression of self. Being ignored, bullied or left out can impact self esteem. Never feeling that you are able to live up to other people’s expectations of you can also be a factor in creating low self-esteem. Living with someone who picks holes in themselves can cause you to behave in the same way, ie you follow that pattern of behaviour.
Don’t Be Fooled
Sometimes those that appear happy and successful can have low self-esteem so don’t be fooled by others. A good starting point is to act in a way that we would like to be treated. Underneath some outwardly confident people are those with inner doubt. It’s always easy to assume that others have more self-esteem or confidence than we do but you would be surprised at times to learn of others suffering low self-esteem.
Creating High Self Worth
If you are wanting to help your children or friends/family members have positive self esteem the following behaviour would be beneficial:
- Always point out something positive even if they haven’t done very well at something.
- Give them attention especially when they are seeking it. Really listen.
- Ensure they know that they don’t need to be perfect but it’s trying that counts.
- If someone is negative towards them, help them realise it’s not their issue but the other person’s issue.
- Show them respect in the way you behave towards other.
Consequences of Low Self Esteem
The consequences of low self esteem can be vast; here are a few examples:
- Not standing your ground in a relationship because you don’t feel your thoughts are relevant/important.
- Putting everyone else before you as you see their needs as higher priority than your own.
- Can feel isolated and result in anxiety and depression.
- Attract people who are likely to put you down and thereby boost your beliefs of low self-worth.
- May stop you socialising or taking part in events.
Combatting Low Self-Esteem
Some steps to help you raise your self-esteem are:
- Write down three good things about yourself to include, physical, personality and one other. Do this daily for at least 2 weeks. For example, I like my hair, I have a good sense of humour and I am a good friend.
- Recognise that ‘inner voice’, the internal ramblings of negativity. Every time your inner voice is negative about you, combat it with something positive about yourself.
- Question the ‘truth’ of that negative inner voice. As ‘is that thought the absolute truth?’, would it stand up in a court of law – it’s unlikely. Ask ‘what if the opposite of that negative thought were the truth?’ This starts to direct your mind to think in a different way.
- Think back to a negative comment someone else made about you and recognise that it was just their belief based on their life events and their mind-set. Who is to say they were right? What right did they have to be negative to you?
- Start to stand up for yourself and don’t accept people being negative towards you.
- Surround yourself with people that are positive and encouraging towards you.
Go a Step Further
Seek the help of a therapist to change your deeper inner beliefs about yourself. Using tools such as Hypnotherapy and Emotional Freedom Technique you can be set free and live the life you were always meant to.
“Ann of Hypnotherapy & Holistic Health (“HHH”) has helped me deal with a range of deep seated issues using a whole range of unique and innovative techniques in a compassionate and non-judgemental way. Ann really cares about her clients and her willingness to go the extra mile and pro-actively follow up progress really makes her stand apart from normal therapy services. I would thoroughly recommend HHH to anyone struggling to deal with difficult matters – it will be money very well spent!” Anon
If you would like to know more please contact me.
Make a Positive Change Today
Ann Bowditch GQHP, GHR Reg., META-P
Dip (Hyp) Hypnotherapy
EFT (AAMET Certified) & Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner
Meta-Health & Colour Mirrors Practitioner
PSTEC Level 1-A (Advanced PSTEC)
Tel: 07781 111186
Ann Bowditch is a Member & Trainer registered on the General Hypnotherapy Register