What is Self-Esteem?........................Back to HOME Good Sites
Most people's feelings and thoughts about themselves fluctuate somewhat based on their daily experiences. The grade you get on an exam, how your friends treat you, ups and downs in a
Your self-esteem, however, is something more fundamental than the normal "ups and downs" associated with situational changes. For people with good basic self-esteem, normal "ups and downs" may lead to temporary fluctuations in how they feel about themselves, but only to a limited extent. In contrast, for people with poor basic self-esteem, these "ups and downs" may make all the difference in the world.
Take a look at the following information to get you on the road to better self-esteem.
People with poor self-esteem often rely on how they are doing in the present to determine how they feel about themselves. They need positive external experiences to counteract the negative feelings and thoughts that constantly plague them. Even then, the good feeling (from a good grade, etc.) can be temporary.
Healthy self-esteem is based on our ability to assess ourselves accurately (know ourselves) and still be able to accept and to value ourselves unconditionally. This means being able to realistically acknowledge our strengths and limitations (which is part of being human) and at the same time accepting ourselves as worthy and worthwhile without conditions or reservations.World Travel Guide Boston Guide Bird Flu AIDS/HIV Brain?
Our self-esteem develops and evolves throughout our lives as we build an image of ourselves through our experiences with different people and activities. Experiences during our childhood play a particularly large role in the shaping of our basic self-esteem. When we were growing up, our successes (and failures) and how we were treated by the members of our immediate family, by our teachers, coaches, religious authorities, and by our peers, all contributed to the creation of our basic self-esteem.
Childhood experiences that lead to healthy self-esteem include-
Childhood experiences that lead to low self-esteem include-
People with low self-esteem were often given messages that failed experiences (losing a game, getting a poor grade, etc.) were failures of their whole self.
Our past experiences, even the things we don't usually think about, are all alive and active in our daily life in the form of an Inner Voice. Although most people do not "hear" this voice in the same way they would a spoken one, in many ways it acts in a similar way, constantly repeating those original messages to us.
For people with healthy self-esteem the messages of the inner voice are positive and reassuring. For people with low self-esteem, the inner voice becomes a harsh inner critic, constantly criticizing, punishing, and belittling their accomplishments.Super Memory Brain Food Neurotech Makeup.Fashion
Most of us have an image of what low self-esteem looks like, but it is not always so easy to recognize. Here are three common faces that low self-esteem may wear:
Low self-esteem can have devastating consequences.
Worst of all, these negative consequences themselves reinforce the negative self-image and can take a person into a downward spiral of lower and lower self-esteem and increasingly non-productive or even actively self-destructive behavior.
Before you can begin to improve your self-esteem you must first believe that you can change it. Change doesn't necessarily happen quickly or easily, but it can happen. You are not powerless! Once you have accepted, or are at least willing to entertain the possibility that you are not powerless, there are three steps you can take to begin to change your self-esteem:
Step 1: Rebut the Inner Critic
The first important step in improving self-esteem is to begin to challenge the negative messages of the critical inner voice. Here are some typical examples of the inner critic's voice and how you can "rebut" that voice.
Step 2: Practice Self-Nurturing
Rebutting your critical inner voice is an important first step, but it is not enough. Since our self-esteem is in part due to how others have treated us in the past, the second step to more healthy self-esteem is to begin to treat yourself as a worthwhile person.
Start to challenge past negative experiences or messages by nurturing and caring for yourself in ways that show that you are valuable, competent, deserving and lovable. There are several components to self-nurturing:
Practice Basic Self-Care
Get enough sleep, eat in a healthy fashion, get regular exercise, practice good hygiene, and so forth.
Plan Fun & Relaxing Things For Yourself
You could go to a movie, take a nap, get a massage, plant a garden, buy a pet, learn to meditate-whatever you enjoy.
Reward Yourself For Your Accomplishments
You could take the night off to celebrate good grades, spend time with a friend, or compliment yourself for making that hard phone call.
Remind Yourself of Your Strengths & Achievements
One way is to make a list of things you like about yourself. Or keep a 'success' file of awards, certificates and positive letters or citations. Keep momentos of accomplishments you are proud of where you can see them.
Forgive Yourself When You Don't Do All You'd Hoped
Self-nurturing can be surprisingly hard if you are not used to doing it. Don't be critical of yourself-remember that inner voice!-when you don't do it just right.
Self-Nurture Even When You Don't Feel You Deserve It
"Fake it" until you can "make it." When you treat yourself like you deserve to feel good and be nurtured, slowly you'll come to believe it.
Step 3: Get Help from Others
Getting help from others is often the most important step a person can take to improve his or her self-esteem, but it can also be the most difficult. People with low self-esteem often don't ask for help because they feel they don't deserve it. But since low self-esteem is often caused by how other people treated you in the past, you may need the help of other people in the present to challenge the critical messages that come from negative past experiences. Here are some ways to get help from others:
Ask for Support from Friends
Get Help from Teachers & Other Helpers
Talk to a Therapist or Counselor
Sometimes low self-esteem can feel so painful or difficult to overcome that the professional help of a therapist or counselor is needed.
Talking to a counselor is a good way to learn more about your self-esteem issues and begin to improve your self-esteem.