How to Improve Self-Esteem
By Christina Radziejewski
When we have poor self-esteem, we evaluate ourselves poorly, and we have a negative view of ourselves. We feel undeserving and a sense of worthlessness. We criticise ourselves frequently. We are sensitive to the things that others say or do, often taking it personally and applying it to ourselves, when in reality, the words or events have little to do with us.
Sometimes these words or events are evaluated so terribly that it affects us emotionally and physically, and leads to a further loss of self-esteem.
As children, we may have been teased or bullied in school. Perhaps we had parents who were emotionally abusive. Perhaps they just weren’t around to help us cope. In those early developmental years, we were not taught to self-soothe. At a critical time in our lives, we failed to learn that we are good enough as we are, and that we are deserving of love and respect.
As adults with poor self-esteem, we focus obsessively on hurtful words or events, to the detriment of other aspects of our lives, neglecting to take care of ourselves or those whom we love. We may become self-destructive and incapable of making decisions. It is like a vicious cycle that refuses to go away. If we do not seek help to improve our self-esteem, it could lead to anxiety and depression.
It is easy to say “think positively” or “look on the bright side of life”, or even “forget it and move on”. Unfortunately, these are hard to do if you live with poor self-esteem. It is not like a pair of old socks that we can simply throw away. It is hard because our negative thoughts come from deep within, and they have been our constant companion for a long time.