Our esteem develops from our experiences and relationships from birth. Negative experiences and troubled relationships lower it, and good experiences and strong bonds raise it. No single event or person determines your level of self-esteem, it develops over time and can change with time and events.
Symptoms of low self-esteem:
feeling incompetent and unrealistic about our abilities
being overwhelmed with fear and negative thoughts
being unrealistic about goals
being drawn into destructive relationships
fear of change
distorted views of self and others.
Counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy can help to boost self-esteem. The route to higher self-esteem, and thinking more positively about yourself includes:
Acceptance – of your true strengths and weaknesses
Help – with realistic goals to allow you to develop your abilities
Encouragement and setting yourself challenges–with realistic planning and timetabling to boost confidence
Being kind and praise – reduce self-criticism and recognise your achievements so you can enjoy them
Respect – to be proud of who you are
Assertiveness and saying ‘no’ – to help you recognise that your opinions and needs are as important as everyone else’s.
Trust – feel more confident in your own thoughts and feelings
Time – learn to know yourself and enjoy your own thoughts.
Self-esteem is not the same as being selfish or egotistical, but it does allow you to appreciate the qualities you do have and respond to others in a positive and productive way. It can help you feel better about yourself and better abut others around you.
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