What is Self Esteem?

Self-esteem by dictionary definition reflects a person’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth’. ‘It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude towards the self.’ Self-esteem in essence is about how much you like who you are and how worthy you feel. However, it is more than an innate sense of self worth, it means having confidence in your opinions and ability to think and navigate lives challenges.

Needless to say the impact of how you view yourself, whether in high regard or negatively are far reaching. In general people with high self esteem tend to see the positive in every situation, be more able to cope with adversity and to fully appreciate the good times. Believe in themselves and know that they are worthy of achieving success, in whatever form that may be; This is the essence of high self esteem. On the other hand low self esteem or lack of confidence, because these two have a reciprocal relationship, you may find that you hide yourself away from social situations, stop trying new things and avoid things you find challenging. In the long term, low self esteem can lead to anxiety and depression. When we avoid situations it tends to reinforce our underlying doubts and fears. We learn to cope by using avoidance tactics.

How counselling can help self-esteem

Self-esteem can be viewed as a continuum, and it can be built upon and improved, each new day is an opportunity to challenge and improve your self-esteem.  In therapy I frequently address issues like low self-esteem and can help you by gaining a stronger sense of self.  Working on becoming more assertive, confident, and self-aware can boost competence and confidence levels tremendously. Becoming more aware of your thought patterns can start to build self-esteem. When you are able to identify the negative beliefs that you hold about yourself, you become more capable of challenging them.

I also believe that it is important to focus on developing more self-compassion, by learning to soften and challenge our inner critic. Setting, achievable and realistic goals can build confidence and self belief.  When you strive to treat yourself with the same kindness and encouragement that you would others, it can work wonders in enhancing your self esteem.