What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is how you think and feel about yourself. This usually dictates how you live your life and the decisions you make. It can also determine how you view others and affect the way you relate to them. Our esteem develops from our experiences and relationships from birth, and generally, positive experiences raise our self-esteem, and negative experiences lower it. This is a continual process that develops over time, taking in all the events in our lives. No single event or person determines your level of self-esteem. The foundations of self-esteem are laid in childhood. A child that feels loved and cared for, valued and understood, promotes feelings of positive self-worth, trusting that the world is a safe place. The experience of being cared for teaches us to care for ourselves and enables us to develop resilience to deal with life’s knocks and blows. Those with a healthy self-esteem are realistic and can draw from an internal strength to cope with life; learning from mistakes and being able to accept criticism. For those that have developed a low self-esteem, life can feel more difficult as the natural ability to protect oneself is lower. People with low self-esteem may feel fearful and unrealistic about goals and risks, are more likely to compare themselves unfavourably with others and be less resilient to criticism and setbacks. As they are less likely to have an internal strength to help them cope, they seek external strength, for example, reassurance from others.
How can Clear Counselling help?
In modern society, people continually compare themselves with those around them. This serves to highlight the insecurities we may have, often resulting in feeling negative, inadequate or dissatisfied with ourselves. Counselling can help you to develop acceptance, encouragement, respect, time and regard for yourself; increasing positive self-esteem. As you become more positive and realistic about yourself, it is likely that you will improve relationships with others too. Working to improve your self-esteem takes time, effort, courage and honesty. Counselling may help you to understand more about low self-esteem by taking a new, objective view of your personal history in order to more clearly see your present situation and any patterns there may be.