Healthy Self-Esteem is Created
People who have worked with me know that self-esteem is one of the main areas I work with and something I have been really passionate about for decades. Helping people to see who they really are and embrace that person gives me personal fulfillment.
One of the things that is so sad to me is that people know they have low self-esteem, but they don’t think it can be fixed so they adapt to living with a negative view of themselves. This tends to trap them in a life that isn’t a good fit for them which makes it hard to be genuinely happy. The other part of this is that people believe it is somehow their fault that they feel this way.
It is not your fault!
Our self esteem is formed throughout our childhood and teen years. We aren’t responsible for this, we are guided by our caretakers, those around us with influence and the experiences we are exposed to. Our brains are literally not completely wired at this point, and we don’t navigate this time in our lives for ourselves with an adult brain. Realistically, during this time, we are reacting to the situations around us and learning who we are through this.
Home life, parenting, mentors, school and activities we participate in all shape our self-view. Sometimes it is supported, at other times it is challenged.
Our personalities combined with the external factors, create our view of ourselves – our self-worth or self-esteem. We don’t choose who we are or what we see when we look within ourselves.
You are not responsible for your self-esteem when you are a child or teenager.
As an adult, you are not responsible for your self-esteem and how it was formed, but you are responsible for changing it. Nobody else can fix it but you. People around you can support you, but they can’t fix it. You can choose to stay within the confines of low self-esteem and the limitations on your life. Or you can choose to make the changes needed both in your thinking and in your life to create good self-esteem for yourself.
Is it fair? Nope. But then very little in life is designed to be fair. Our childhoods and experiences are simply what we have been given to work with. How we choose to work with it as adults is up to us. You have 3 choices. Accept you will live life as you are, making allowances for your self-esteem and the limiting choices that come with that. Do life feeling like a victim with no power which is an unhappy way to live. Or, find a professional to help you work out who you really are and learn to be good with that. Learn how to be your authentic self and life a life that makes you content.
Sometimes we are just not ready to take the step to work out who we are. We find a comfortable, safe way of living and it is enough. That’s completely alright. Just understanding sometimes that the change is possible when you are ready to take that step can be enough.
A lot of people think that they can fix their self-esteem themselves. By reading self help books, listening to podcasts etc. While these are really wonderful starting points and can provide some good insights, I have found over the years, that typically it is not enough to help the thinking of oneself shift. When we have our core beliefs around ourselves fixed in a negative space, then it is helpful and often necessary to have someone else dispute them. It takes time to shift the thinking that is incorrect but first you need to see it and accept that it needs change. This is where having someone external help you see it is useful.
Usually, people don’t address self-esteem as a standalone, important issue. Instead, when I get to work with people on this really important area, it has come presented as something else. Symptoms of self-esteem are more readily identifiable and blamed both for individuals and in relationships.
Things like anger, being stuck in routines, being reactive, addictions, promiscuity, acting out (in teens), anxiety, depression and fighting in relationships are all some of the things that bring people in to see me for help. Then while working on those things, we see that the core issue is in fact low self-esteem. We work to improve this area as well as focusing on the symptoms.
It isn’t a quick fix. Changing the symptoms can certainly be achieved reasonably quickly in some areas. Others take time to get change. For self-esteem that is deep and has a good hold, it can take consistent work over a period of time to shift it. Most people get worried about this but what I have come to see over the years, is that when you start to work on it, the relief at gaining some control, knowing change is happening is so great that the counselling sessions become something most people, even the most reluctant, start to look forward to.
It isn’t your fault it started. It is your responsibility to change it.
Here if you need. X