Wondering why your self-esteem is low?
If you have low self-esteem it is because you do not treat yourself with enough respect or value.
Self-esteem is the value you give yourself.
Status is the value other people give you.
Raising your self-esteem is only partly about what you do for yourself. That is why spa days, shopping, dieting etc. are only partially effective at making you feel better about yourself.
To really raise your self-esteem and experience long lasting benefits you need to treat yourself with respect.
It is definitely not about trying to make other people treat you with respect, although as soon as you start to respect yourself other people will follow your example!
Where does low self-esteem come from?
As a child you learned your value from your family. How important you felt, how much you seemed to matter and how much care and respect you were treated all give you your initial sense of your own worthiness.
Because you are not developed as a child and have no other experience, you are reliant on other people to show you your worth.
As an adult, you take those patterns from your childhood and still rely on what you think other people think of you to prove your value and worth.
This very risky because it is not truth!
A lot of the messages we get from other people are just opinion, they are not necessarily accurate, are not really about you, or are deliberately aimed at making you feel ‘bad’. (Adverts are a good example of being made to feel bad and then being given the solution that will make you feel better.)
Can you imagine how liberating it would be if you didn’t care about what other people thought of you?
One gift we give other people is to be interested and actually listen to what they say. Why not gift yourself some quiet time alone to simply listen to your own voice.
Think what it is like when you are speaking to someone and they don’t listen to you? Contrast that with how you feel when someone does listen and understand you.
How often do you listen to your own inner voice? How often do you let it be shouted down or ignored, by what other people want or think?
Fill in this pledge to yourself:
Today I am going to give myself some time and space (it doesn’t matter how short this is) to tune in and listen to myself by............................................................................................................
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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