Self-esteem concerns the values, beliefs, feelings, thoughts and attitudes we hold in relation to ourselves. It is closely linked to our sense of contentment and fulfillment and reflects in the way we treat ourselves and how we allow others to treat us. When you are depressed you may believe that you are worthless and treat yourself as though this were true. The more severe the Depression, the more powerful this message may become. A survey by Dr Aaron beck revealed that over 80% of depressed patients expressed thoughts of self-dislike.
Many people define their self-worth by things they have achieved, for example, in the career or hobbies. But being a good squash player or earning a lot of money just means that you are good at square or you earn a lot of money It doesn’t make you a better person. Making your self-worth depend on what you achieve can make you feel very pressured, as you constantly focus on needing to have bigger and bigger achievement in order to feel worthwhile.
For other people, self-worth depends on the approval of other people. This can make you reliant on praise and comments from others for your judgement of yourself. You may feel there is something wrong with you if other people are critical or don’t appreciate you. You also become vulnerable to being controlled by other people’s moods.
- It is useful to remember that other people’s opinions of you are only opinions. They may or may not be valid and you have a choice about whether you agree with them.
- You can’t guarantee that everyone will love and approve of you at all times so you may as well make decisions that are right for you.
- Remember that someone may be unhappy with some parts of your behaviour but may still like you.
Self Esteem can
- Help with a feeling of confidence, of being able to cope, of trusting your judgement and take responsibility for your actions.
- Help with confidence in your ability to take action to produce desirable results and outcomes.
- Be about approving of yourself, acknowledging and feeling comfortable with yourself and holding yourself in high regard.
- Be able the knowledge that you deserve to have FUN and being willing and able to create it frequently (to have more FUN per hour).
- Fuel the courage to allow your REAL self to be seen and experienced – to be able to risk being open and honest.
- Help you to accept responsibility for what happens I your own life.
- Be willing to love an accept others.
- Involve trusting your intuition and freely expressing your creativity
- Be about feeling good in relation to yourself – not measuring your worth against others’ abilities.
Developing self-esteem involves being compassionate towards yourself. We are often able to be compassionate towards others but find it difficult to be compassionate towards ourselves.
Think about this, if a friend came to you in distress, how would you act towards them? What would you do?
Would you listen to them, comfort them, reassure and encourage them? If so, how would this impact that?
Or, would you judge them harshly, call them names and belittle them? If so, how would this be likely to make them feel? Of this is how we treat ourselves! Is it any less damaging to our self-esteem to call ourselves names and judge ourselves? No! To develop healthy self-esteem we need to make a point o being our own friend this means giving yourself:
Praise: Take pride in your achievements both great and small. Remember your experiences are yours alone. Enjoy them.
Encouragement: Take a “Can-do” attitude. Set a reasonable timetable for personal goals and offer yourself encouragement along the way.
Acceptance: Identify and accept your strengths and weaknesses, everyone has then!
Help: Set realistic goals. Meet them by learning new skills and developing abilities.
Time: Take tie out regularly to be alone with your thoughts and feelings. Get involved in activities you can enjoy by yourself, like crafts, reading or an individual sport. Learn to enjoy your own company.
Trust: Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings. Act on what you think is right. Do what makes you feel happy and fulfilled.
Respect:. Respect: Don’t try to be someone else. Be proud of who you are. Explore and appreciate your own special talents
Love: Learn to love the unique per you are. Accept and learn from your mistakes. Don’t over to errors. Accept your successes and failures, those who love you do.