Am I worth as a human being? Am I competent?
Self-esteem is your overall mental estimation of your worth; a judgment about your own worthiness.
Self esteem is based on your past experiences (such as your parent’s attitudes towards you, academic achievement in school, social experience, relationship with friends and at work). You don’t inherit it.
Low self-esteem is a negative evaluation of yourself. It can feel very painful and may impair your academic or work performance, and can create anxiety, depression, and relationship difficulties.
Three common faces of low self esteem (cmhc.utexas.edu):
- The Imposter: acts happy and successful, but is really terrified of failure. Needs continuous successes to maintain the mask of positive self-esteem, which may lead to problems with perfectionism, procrastination, competition, and burning-out.
- The Rebel: acts like the opinions or good will of others especially people who are important or powerful don’t matter. Lives with constant anger about not feeling good enough.
- The Victim: acts helpless and unable to cope with the world and waits for someone to come to the rescue. Uses self-pity or indifference as a shield against fear of taking responsibility for changing his or her life. Looks repeatedly to others for guidance.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) will help you challenge your irrational and negative thoughts about yourself to non-judgmental rational thoughts: “Even though I am making mistakes, I am a worthy person.”
- Identify and acknowledge your feelings
- Recognize that mistakes can happen
- Be more compassionate with yourself
With a healthy self-esteem, you can acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses and still feel you are a worthy human being.
If you find yourself in any of those situations and would like to improve it, call me today to set up an appointment!