LOW SELF ESTEEM – How does it develop?

 

WHAT IS LOW SELF ESTEEM

Self Esteem is about how we think, evaluate and feel about ourselves.  When we have a generally negative view about ourselves this can be termed as Low Self Esteem.   It means we can ignore or be unaware of our positive traits, have negative and self-limiting beliefs, lack self care, and experience an inner negative voice (inner self critic).  These unhelpful thoughts and experiences can also lead to difficult feelings eg sadness, guilt, anger and shame, which can contribute to depression.

 

HOW CAN IT DEVELOP

Low Self Esteem can develop from childhood,  when we repetitively experience:

– criticism, judgement, lack of acceptance

– negative and abusive relationships

– absence of positive support and feedback

– not fitting in at school or bullying

– an inability to express our emotions

– an inability to have our needs met on a ‘good enough basis’

 

HOW TO GAIN SELF ESTEEM

Low Self Esteem is maintained from negative thinking, relationships and environments.  Working with self esteem in Counselling includes:

– becoming aware of unhelpful thoughts and how they developed

– challenging negative thoughts and reframing with more balanced views

– being able to value positives qualities

– learning to be true to self rather than to external expectations

– developing a supportive inner voice

– addressing unrealistic expectations

– supporting emotions to be expressed and needs to be met

– addressing self care, negative relationships and negative environments

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