Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
According to Wikipedia, self-esteem is an individual's subjective evaluation of their own self worth. It encompasses beliefs about oneself such as 'I am unloved' and 'I am worthy', as well as emotional states like triumph, despair, pride and shame.
David Hume wrote about how it is important to value and think well of yourself as it serves as a motivational function enabling people to explore their full potential. Many early theories suggest that self-esteem is a basic need or motivation and Maslow included it in his hierarchy of human needs. He described two different forms of 'esteem': the need for respect from others in the form of recognition, success, and admiration, and the need for self-respect in the form of self-love, self-confidence, skill or aptitude. Carl Rogers felt many people's problems arose from despising themselves and considering themselves worthless and incapable of being loved.
I see self-esteem as being able to give yourself positive reinforcement by way of positive strokes. We all need these to feel nurtured and thus thrive and do well, but we also need others to be able to give us positive strokes such as compliments and for us to be able to accept them.
Self-esteem develops through our experiences in life and your parents have a significant influence and can be seen as the main source of positive and negative experiences that you will have. In working with increasing your self-esteem we will explore your past and your childhood to help you understand the meaning self-esteem that was given to you.
Low self-esteem is often seen as whether it is important to you how others value or judge you, whether it is important that others like you, whether you are seen as a 'good egg'. If you feel confident and your self worth is high it is of less importance that others value you or not.
I want you to be able to firmly believe in certain values and principles, trust your own judgement, not to worry excessively about what happened in the past or what may happen but to live in the present and to trust your capacity to solve problems. Also important to consider yourself in dignity to others, believe you are an interesting and valuable person for others, able to enjoy many activities, sensitive to the needs of others and can find solutions and air discontent without belittling yourself or others when challenges arise.
Many of us experience low Self-Esteem at some point in our lives. It often accompanies depression and anxiety but sometimes it is situational in terms of difficult or painful times in our lives. A lot of my work is helping you to 'be the best you can' and giving you the tools to value yourself and increase your self worth. Clients come with chronic indecision, perfectionism leading to frustration when perfection is not achieved, guilt and dwelling on past mistakes, a negative outlook, resentment and see temporary setbacks as permanent. I will look at using Positive Psychology and CBT to challenge those feelings and help you to feel fundamentally loved and respected by others and by yourself and to be able, in Maslow's terms, face life with confidence, benevolence and optimism and so reach your goals.
Maslow talks about Self-Actualisation which is the realisation of ones potential and appreciation for life. It is at the top of Maslows Hierarchy of Needs but to get there you need to have your basic needs met. People who are Self-Actualised can accept who they are despite their faults and limitations and have a drive to be creative in all aspects of their lives.
Below are the ways to raise your Self-Esteem and maybe reach a place of Self-Actualisation. It is, however, ok to be happy with a new version of yourself.
- Pay attention to your own needs and wants.
- Take good care of yourself.
- Eat healthy foods.
- Take time to do things you enjoy.
- Get something done that you have been putting off.
- Do things that use your special talents and abilities.
- Reward yourself.
- Start doing things you know will make you feel better about yourself.
- Change Negative thoughts about yourself to Positive ones.
- Use Affirmation Cards.
- Find new ways to happiness with Strengths and find Strengths Spotting Clues.
- Improve your Self-Efficacy -this is the strong sense of trust in your abilities and competencies and determines how you feel and think about yourself. It influences your thoughts, emotions, actions and motivation, and enhances self-control. It is how you understand what you are really capable of and helps you achieve goals, feel accomplished and enhances overall well-being.