How to Improve Low Self-Esteem
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Andrea Harber-Kelly MUKCP
31st July, 20120 Comments
Improve Low Self-esteem
Self-esteem is a psychological term describing the evaluation someone has of their own worth. Our level of self-esteem follows on from our self-concept, what we believe about ourselves, both positive and negative, and how we feel about these beliefs.
Low self-esteem occurs when we identify more readily with negative beliefs and feelings about ourselves. The level of esteem we feel for ourselves, low or high, can fluctuate through life depending on the experiences we have and the meaning we derive from these.
The opinions and beliefs we hold about ourselves are not necessarily accurate. They are opinions rather than facts. It is possible to change the opinions that we hold about ourselves, if these are negative, into a more positive, supportive and self-sustaining way of relating to ourselves.
Causes of low self-esteem can vary as we all have different lives. In general, though, the experiences we have and the relationships with others play a significant part in our self-esteem. Our early relationships within our family play a formative role in our view of ourselves and relationship with the world. If we do not feel valued or supported during these important years this can have impact on our sense of self and can damage us. The same dynamic can apply in adult life, where difficult experiences can impact on our beliefs about ourselves.
When our self-esteem is sound then difficult experiences can be managed more easily. Over time however, difficult experiences can have a cumulative effect, or it may be that an experience in adult life acts as a trigger for childhood difficulties and this can make life feel like a struggle. Personal relationships, work and social life can all be impacted by this.
Counselling is helpful for self esteem in many ways. Simply by making the decision to look into counselling you have shown that you value yourself enough to want to make improvements for yourself. Counselling will help you identify limiting and negative thoughts, supporting you as you identify, address and change your view of yourself. Counselling may involve looking at early experiences and how this has formed your way of relating to yourself and to others so that you can reframe these relationships.
Counselling sessions can help you to move on with life with an enhanced appreciation and enjoyment of being yourself. Confidence, health and resilience in life can all be improved.
Related articles from our experts
- How we think of ourselves - a cause of low mood and depression
Emma Dunn, Insightfulness Counselling and Psychotherapy24th October, 2016
- Identifying low self-esteem thoughts and behaviours
Claire Black - MSc, BSc, Dip. MBACP17th October, 2016
- The pursuit of high self-esteem: Part 2
Dr Sarah Jane Khalid12th October, 2016
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