Therapy in Arizona & Florida
Webster’s dictionary defines self-esteem as “satisfaction with oneself” and “one’s good opinion of one’s dignity or worth.” Those higher in self-esteem have an inherently strong sense of worth, while those low in self-esteem can sometimes feel worthless and even dislike themselves.
Self-esteem appears to operate at two distinct levels:
1. Our global self-esteem represents an overall view of our self-worth across multiple dimensions of our lives.
2. Domain-specific self-esteem is particular to a single area or individual activity, such as how we look, our performance at school, and whether we succeed at work.
Your self-esteem is the opinion you have of yourself. When you have healthy self-esteem, you tend to think positively about yourself, and optimistically about life in general. When you encounter challenges, you feel confident that you will be up to the task. People with healthy self-esteem know that they are valuable and will be able to name at least some of their positive characteristics such as “I am a good friend,” “I am kind,” “I am honest,” or “I am a good father.”
When you have low self-esteem, you tend to see yourself, the world, and your future more negatively and critically. When you encounter challenges, you doubt whether you will be able to rise to them, and you might avoid them. You might talk to yourself harshly in your mind, such as telling yourself “You’re stupid,” “You’ll never manage this,” or “I don’t amount to anything.” You might feel anxious, sad, low, or unmotivated.
Nobody is born with low self-esteem – it develops as a result of the experiences we have throughout our lives. At the centre of low self-esteem are the beliefs and opinions we hold about ourselves. We tell ourselves stories about who we are and form conclusions about ourselves. These opinions can get ‘fixed’, as though they are ‘truths’ for all time. In reality though, they are just stories or labels, and they don’t capture the full truth of who we are.
While there are lots of ways to improve your self-esteem on your own, working with a qualified therapist can help you uncover and heal the causes of these challenges, and turbo-boost re-building your self-esteem!