self-esteem

Do you feel that you can’t meet your potential? Are you critical or judgemental of yourself? You might suffer from a low self-esteem.

Self-esteem and confidence are very important in our lives. Self-esteem represents your opinion about yourself; the value that you attribute to yourself and your attitude towards yourself. The way that you see yourself affects your interactions with yourself, others and the world. That view can be positive or negative, but a positive, healthy and realistic perception of who you are is vital if you want to feel happy and content with yourself and to maintain healthy interactions and relationships with others.

Self-confidence represents your assurance, certainty and faith in your abilities to act in a certain way and to support your actions. If you have low or negative self-esteem, you are very likely to procrastinate or to fail to make the right decisions.

Many factors can affect self-esteem and confidence, such as losing your job, breaking up with a partner or experiencing something traumatic. Childhood and family interactions also play a role in the development of a positive or negative image of yourself.

Both low confidence and self-esteem are underlying factors for many psychological, social, emotional, interpersonal and work-related problems, since they are related to our perception of who we are, what we can do and what our abilities and strengths are. People with low confidence and self-esteem issues can get caught up in a vicious circle of negativity, that they feel they are unable to get out of.

Low self-esteem and confidence can prevent you from achieving your dreams and goals and it can affect your everyday life, in situations such as applying for a job, giving a presentation and meeting new people. People from all backgrounds can be affected from a low self-esteem and confidence.

Low self-esteem and confidence can prevent you from achieving your dreams and goals and it can affect your everyday life, in situations such as applying for a job, giving a presentation and meeting new people. People from all backgrounds can be affected from a low self-esteem and confidence.

Common Problems that may occur:

  • Poor relationships
  • Difficulties making decisions
  • Inability to fulfil your dreams
  • Lack of assertiveness
  • Being bullied/abused

Common Symptoms:

  • pleasing others
  • Anxiety
  • Shyness
  • Feelings of unhappiness
  • Demanding, critical or judgemental towards yourself
  • Feelings of inadequacy

 

How therapy can help

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is based on strengthening your ‘ego’ and restoring your self-worth by exploring childhood and current issues, patterns and interactions. Identifying your current beliefs, such as how you view yourself, others and the world around you, as well as finding out how you think others perceive you, is very important. The next step is to modify these beliefs so that they become more balanced and healthy ones.

Consequently, altering the way you think affects the way you feel and behave. You will soon feel better and be able to make different decisions in your life. Developing coping skills, learning new tools, and identifying your strengths are very important parts of therapy.

Reading on Self-Esteem

Overcoming Low Self-Esteem – A Self-Help Guide (1999) by Melanie Fennell.

Your Perfect Right: Assertiveness and Equality in Your Life and Relationships (2008) by Robert Alberti.

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See also Assertiveness Training


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