Job Related Issues

Self Esteem

What is Self-Esteem?

Most people's feelings and thoughts about themselves fluctuate based on daily experiences. How your friends treat you, ups and downs in a romance - they can all have a temporary impact on your well being. However, your self-esteem, is more fundamental than the normal "ups and downs" associated with situational changes. In contrast, for people with poor basic self-esteem, these "ups and downs" may make all the difference in the world.

People with poor self-esteem, rely on how they are faring at present to determine how they feel. They need positive external experiences to counter negative thoughts that plague them. Even the good feeling, when it happens, can be temporary. Healthy self-esteem is based on our ability to assess ourselves and still be able to accept and value ourselves unconditionally. This involves a realistic acknowledgement of strengths and weaknesses and unconditional acceptance of self worth. Self-esteem evolves over our life time, as we build an image of ourselves through our experiences. Experiences during our childhood play a particularly large role in the shaping of our basic self-esteem. As we were growing up, our successes/ failures and experiences with our immediate family, teachers, coaches, religious authorities, and peers, all contribute to the creation of our basic self-esteem.

Self-esteem is largely developed during childhood.

Praise and attention during childhood, hugs, good friends, positive experiences and success in sports does contribute to development of healthy self-esteem. On the contrary, people with low self-esteem were often given messages that failed experiences (losing a game, getting a poor grade, etc.) were failures of their whole self.

Consequences of Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem can create anxiety, stress, loneliness and increased likelihood for depression. It affects friendships and relationships, impairs academic and job performance, and can lead to underachievement and increased vulnerability to drug and alcohol abuse. T hese negative consequences reinforce the negative self-image and can take a person into a downward spiral of lower and lower self-esteem and cause self-destructive behavior.

Talk to a Therapist or Counselor

Sometimes low self-esteem can feel so painful that the professional help of a therapist or counselor is required.

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