Many of my Facebook and Instagram posts often look at boosting self esteem.. Self esteem is about the opinion we hold of ourselves. When we have healthy self esteem we often tend to to feel more positively about ourselves and consequently life in general. If our self esteem is low, it can mean we view life in a negative light. This can make it feel more difficult to face the challenges that life can often throw at us (Life can feel a little like a roller coaster, with bumps along the way).
The messages we hear from when we are growing up, from parents, teachers and those around us as well as social media more recently can influence this. I often think about children being a little like sponges in that they are super absorbent in holding onto these.
Sadly our brains have a way of holding on these.
Some of the common ones are:
The more we recognise when we are allowing these messages to take the forefront of our minds, the quicker we can begin to work through these ( stopping them in their tracks)
4 ways to tell if you have low self esteem
If we were working together on building your self esteem I would ask you to ask yourself the following 4 questions:
Do you see life in a negative light?
Words are powerful, not only those we speak out loud but the ones in our head too. The words and language we use that becomes tangled in our thoughts feelings and attitude so much so that these can mould the way we think about everything around us.
When the words that fill our mind are negative, the more they are listened too the greater the opportunity they have to reinforce themselves over time setting themselves deeply within our brains.
There are various ways we can spot if we are experiencing destructive thinking
If you answer yes to these then you quite possibly practice negative self talk. ( We are all guilty of this from time to time). These negative thinking patterns can cloud our vision, affect the way you view the world and yourself.
Do you hide away from social situations?
Poor self esteem can result in us believing we are not likeable or feeling unable to cope in social situations,holding negative expectations of what is going to happen
This means we are likely to worry we are going to embarrass themselves. There is often fear that if behaving in particular ways that this means others will think badly of us. When we take part in social situations they engage in safety behaviours doing certain things in an attempt to avoid humiliation whilst others choose to not engage at all to allow them to feel safe this is a way of coping that will only be successful in the short term, if we are not able to take ourselves out of our comfort zone it can prevent us from being able to see that we can do well in these situations allowing the vicious cycle to continue. These avoidance behaviours come from a fear of failure, its better to not have tried at all than to fail. They may choose to do this as a way of preventing negative thoughts and feelings about themselves through being confined to a situation or event
Do you value yourself
When we are assertive it means we are able to express our thoughts, feelings and opinions, have the ability to set boundaries and say no. This can be extremely difficult to do if self esteem is low. We might feel we do not deserve to have an opinion, believe any opinions we have are not valid. If we do not see themselves as worthy it could mean we place the needs of those around us as a priority, sometimes at the expense of their own. Hiding the ' real you' in an attempt to:
Are you hard on yourself
Many of us can be hard on ourselves, blaming themselves for everything, being self critical, judging and punishing themselves negatively through magnifying their flaws or highlighting their mistakes. This often means that we overlook or discount the positives, often our own worst critics, but when it comes to other people are lenient and forgiving. Do you put pressure on yourself to be perfect through trying to please others, you might be excessively competitive, lash out if you make mistakes. These perfectionism behaviours lead people to believe if they are perfect this will mean they feel better about themselves and life will improve, such goals are unrealistic, achievable and can leave you feeling worthless.
Integrative Counselling can help with low self esteem issue and help you build your own coping toolkit.
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