P1110314 - Copy (2)

BACP Accredited Counsellor
Holmes Chapel, Cheshire
Email:  joyhazlehurst@hotmail.co.uk

Pile of books

To understand self-esteem we need to break it down into two words. Esteem is to value someone or something, to think them or it important.
And 'self' means: well, yourself! So when you put the two words together to make the term self-esteem, it's easy to see what self-esteem is. It's how much you value yourself and how important you think you are.

Self-esteem is not owning a fantastic house or amazing car, though awsome to have they are material things external to our 'self'. Good self-esteem is an internal positive sense of self which enables you to hold your head high and feel proud of who you are, your abilities and accomplishments. It gives you the courage to try new challenges and the power to believe in yourself. It allows you to respect yourself, even when you make mistakes. And when you respect yourself, others will generally respect you too.
Having good self-esteem enables you to make good choices about your mind, body and life. If you think you are important, you'll be less likely to follow the crowd if you don't agree with what they are doing, or become a 'people pleaser' at a cost to your-self. If you have good self-esteem, you are perfectly capable of making your own decisions based on your gut instinct and the situation.

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centred ..... Love them anyway!

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives ..... Do good anyway!
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies ..... Succeed anyway!
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable ..... Be honest anyway!
The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest people with the smallest ideas ..... Think big anyway!
What you spend years building up may be destroyed overnight ..... Build anyway!
People really need help but may attack you if you help them ..... Help people anyway!
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth ..... Give the best you've got anyway!
  by Bishop Abel Muzarewa

Bishop Abel Muzarewa


Crises of self-esteem is a part of the human experience. When you feel troubled by low self-esteem, check the suggestions below and choose those that are relevant to your situation and work on them. Be patient with yourself, change takes time and steadfastness.

~ Free yourself from 'shoulds', 'gots', 'oughts', must' etc. Live your life on the basis of what is right for you, instead of what you or others think you 'should' do. 'Shoulds' put pressure on us and distract us from identifying and fulfilling our own needs, abilities, interests and personal goals.
~ Learn to recognize and take care of your own needs. Identify what really fulfills you; not just immediate gratifications as the instant buzz dies off quickly. Respecting your deeper needs will increase your sense of worth and well-being. Look after your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual self.
~ Establish goals on the basis of what you can realistically achieve, and then work step-by-step to develop your potential. Requiring perfection is setting yourself up to fail as this is not always possible and invites stress and disappointment. There is usually another chance to try again.
~ Talk to yourself positively. Stop listening to your 'cruel inner critic'. When you notice that you doubt or judge yourself, replace such thoughts with self-accepting thoughts; balance self-assessment and self-support. Let go of can't as this puts you in victim mode; either choose to or choose not to.
~ Separate your emotional reactions, your fears and feelings from the reality of your current situation. For example, you might feel stupid, anxious and hopeless about a project, yet realistically, you may still have the ablity and opportunity to accomplish something in it. Try, try and try again!
~ Put yourself in situations in which the probability of success is high. Look for projects that gently stretch, but don't overwhelm your abilities. 'Imagine' yourself succeeding. Acknowledge whatever you accomplish and praise your success and enjoy the good feelings about it.
~ Don't avoid problems, nor slave over them. Face them, and identify ways to solve or cope with them. If you run away from problems you threaten your self-confidence and the problem tends to come back again and tap you on the shoulder at some point.
~ Practice making and implementing positive decisions flexibly but firmly, and trust yourself to deal with the consequences. When you assert yourself, you enhance your sense of yourself to deal with the consequences. You learn more, and increase your self-confidence.
~ Emphasize your strengths. Focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot. Accept current limitations and learn to live comfortably within them, as you consider what your strengths are choose what you want or need to develop next.
~ Trust your 'gut feeling' as this is usually right for you; the internal negative chatter just gets in the way. All the answers to your questions are already inside you ... learn to listen to your-self.