Self-Esteem: A Work in Progress
You are the sum of your interactions including how you relate to others in the work place, at school, in the family environment, and your personal interactions with friends and strangers. These relationships and interactive moments provide the feedback, criticisms and data that we use to help us develop self-esteem.
How you value yourself as an individual lets you know how healthy your self-esteem is, and whether or not there are issues that you should be addressing. A balanced view of your intrinsic value is emotionally healthy but many people suffer from either too much self-esteem, or too little.
Your self-esteem and self-confidence are connected and if either of these is being negatively impacted the results will be noticeable in both areas. The development of self-esteem begins early in life, even while you are still an infant. Parents and other relatives are an important support system and they provide comments and critiques that can either boost your sense of self-worth or chip away at your sense of confidence and positive self-esteem a little at a time.
It is normal to compare yourself to other people and then figure out where you rank in the human equation. This is a significant step toward self-concept and awareness. Individuals frequently compare their appearance, height, talents, or performance on a written test as factors that determine how they are faring in relation to others.
Interestingly people will always base their comparison of how well they have done on their own knowledge of the world they live in. If your world is very limited then naturally you will have fewer comparisons to consider.
Those who believe that appearance is the most important fact of life will naturally base the majority of their concepts, values and sense of self-worth on how their appearance ranks in comparison to others. If they find that they have an appearance that is considered to be attractive then this adds to their personal feeling of self-esteem.
People who feel that organization is a valuable and desirable trait will focus on whether or not their organizational skills are as good (or better) than others around them. Those who truly value these particular skills and practice them regularly will develop self-esteem about their organizational ability.
Healthy values and a healthy personal belief system are essential to the development of normal self-esteem. This means that you need to appreciate yourself for being the person that you are and base your appreciation on core values instead of superficial elements such as appearance, height or weight.
Constant criticism and a negative environment can have profound effects on an individual’s self-esteem and self-confidence. This can create many additional problems later in life and can keep an individual from fully becoming the person that they want to be.
If you feel that you lack value as a person it is indicative of issues with your self-esteem. You have allowed others to dictate how you view yourself. In order to combat the problem you will have to change the path that you are now walking.
Self-doubt, a lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem can be improved but it will take effort and work. You did not develop these issues overnight and it will take some time for you to begin building your self-esteem, but it can be done.
Counseling will help you erase negative thoughts and show you ways to add positive thinking to your daily life. You also need to concentrate on making the right changes by discovering who you really are and focusing on the values and ideals that you hold dear.
Gundula Roedel is an experienced counselling psychologist who is specialized in Drug & Alcohol Issues, Trauma and PTSD, Anxiety, Depression and Self-Esteem. She is passionate about helping clients develop a better understanding of themselves, their emotions, thoughts and behaviours.
To get an appointment or to make enquiries, please call (03) 9820-5577.