The way we view and feel about ourselves has a profound effect on how we live our lives. Many of the clients that come to see me have issues with self-esteem and it’s something that we have learnt throughout our lives from our family, the friendships that we make, our experiences at school, the workplace and from wider society. They are just two simple words but they profoundly affect the way we think, live our lives and impact on our happiness.
As our personal circumstances change and we experience more of what life offers, our levels of self-esteem can fluctuate.
How do you feel about yourself right now?
Low self -esteem means of course, that you view yourself in a negative way. Your weaknesses and the mistakes you have made in your life will be your focus.
If on the other hand, you have high self -esteem you will view yourself in a good light. Having high self -esteem enables you to ‘bounce back’ from difficult times in your life and significant life events such as loss.
It is your beliefs about yourself that determine whether you have high or low self-esteem.
Self -esteem is an opinion, not a fact.
It is important to recognise that these are only opinions that you hold about yourself; they are not facts. They can be inaccurate and there are always things that you can do to change them. Change is not easy but you can help yourself by being realistic and seeing each small success as a step in the right direction.
The link between self- esteem and mental health
When you have negative beliefs about yourself it lowers your ability to cope with stresses. Your levels of resilience are less than someone who has high self -esteem. You are therefore at possible greater risk of developing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and stress.
It’s all about the challenge
If you want to increase your self- esteem you need to challenge and change the beliefs that you have about your value as a person.
Does this seem like an impossible task?
What can you think of that would be a small change? Have you been thinking of going for a walk regularly or exercising more? What about eating a healthier diet? Sorting out your wardrobe perhaps? Learn something new? Spend time concentrating on experiences that are rewarding and make you feel good and spend time with people who are good for you and you enjoy being with.