Self-esteem is built over a lifetime, and is a result of all of your experiences and relationships over time. Self-esteem is based on how you see yourself and your worth as a person. The ability to believe that you can achieve your goals and that you deserve happiness is the basis of self-esteem. If you do not have a positive sense of self or do not believe that you deserve to be happy and have good things happen, you may be less productive and creative than you might be with an increased level of self-esteem.
Low self-esteem results from a poor self-image, where you do not value your abilities and accomplishments. When a person has low self-esteem, this increases negative thinking and contributes to negative beliefs about the self. When you lose confidence in yourself, you may become shy, focus on flaws, reject positive comments from others, experience anxiety, expect bad things to happen to you, or feel lonely or depressed. When this occurs, you are also susceptible to other negative behaviours that will keep you feeling down.
Increasing self-esteem helps to build a positive attitude towards life. Feeling good about yourself helps improve how you think, feel, and behave, as well as how you relate to others. High self-esteem also allows you to live your life to your full potential, and meet challenges with confidence. Those with high levels of self-esteem tend to have confidence in their abilities, and are secure with their sense of self. Taking care of yourself when you feel good is much easier than when you feel bad, so eating healthy and staying active are more likely to occur as well. People with high levels of self-esteem are able to make healthier choices in life and in relationships.
My counselling with clients who would like to increase their levels of self-esteem includes targeting negative core beliefs (negative beliefs about oneself), cognitive distortions (distorted ways of thinking), working on assertiveness and boundaries, focusing on strengths, healthy relationships, body image, and goal planning.
Working hard is important. But there is something that matters even more, believing in yourself.Harry Potter
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