Maxwell Maltz is quoted as saying, “Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-brake on,” and I totally agree. In sociology and psychology, self-esteem reflects a person’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs about oneself, (for example, “I am competent”, “I am worthy”), as well as emotional states, such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame. Smith and Mackie (2007) defined it by saying “The self-concept is what we think about the self; self-esteem, is the positive or negative evaluations of the self, as in how we feel about it.”
Abraham Maslow says. “psychological health is not possible unless the essential core of the person is fundamentally accepted, loved and respected by others and by her or his self.” Self-esteem allows people to face life with more confidence, benevolence and optimism, and thus easily reach their goals and self-actualize.
Self-esteem is attractive as a social psychological construct because researchers have conceptualized it as an influential predictor of certain outcomes, such as academic achievement, happiness, satisfaction in marriage and relationships, and criminal behaviour. Studies have linked low self-esteem and poor self-image with a variety of problems that can affect anything from the way you look to your career and your relationships.
Nathaniel Branden was quoted as saying, “I cannot think of a single psychological problem – from anxiety and depression, to fear of intimacy or of success, to spouse battery or child molestation – that is not traced back to the problem of low self-esteem”.
Low self-esteem is a one of the most common emotional challenges in today’s society. “Low self-esteem often changes people’s behaviour in ways that act to confirm the person isn’t able to do things or isn’t very good,” says Chris Williams, Professor of Psychosocial Psychiatry at the University of Glasgow. If you have low self-esteem or confidence, you may hide yourself away from social situations, stop trying new things and avoid things you find challenging. “In the short term, avoiding challenging and difficult situations makes you feel a lot safer, and in the longer term, this avoidance can actually backfire because it reinforces your underlying doubts and fears. It teaches you the unhelpful rule that the only way to cope is by avoiding things,” says Professor Williams.
Low self-esteem often forms in early childhood, or as a child goes through adolescence, meaning; the experiences in a person’s life are a major source of how self-esteem develops. It is a debilitating condition that keeps individuals from realizing their full potential because they feel unworthy, incapable, and incompetent. In fact, the person with low self-esteem feels so poorly about him or herself, these feelings may actually cause the person’s continued low self-esteem. Furthermore, living with low self-esteem can harm your mental health, leading to problems such as depression and anxiety. Fritz Perls further enforces this theory stating, “our dependency makes slaves out of us, especially if this dependency is a dependency of our self-esteem. If you need encouragement, praise, pats on the back from everybody, then you make everybody your judge.”
I believe that it’s not what you are that is causing your self-esteem issues, rather it is what you think you are not that is. As the great Confucius said, “life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
The next question is, how would your life change if your self-esteem improved? My answer is…Fall In Love With Yourself!
Why? Because as Dodinsky to aptly stated, “you have to love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you.”
In order to be truly fulfilled in life it is essential that you fall deeply in love with yourself. After all, you can’t reach out to other people with love until you become enamored with your essence. Low self-esteem is rooted in beliefs you have about yourself and negative impulses that cloud your mind. When we feel badly about ourselves, we are more likely to engage in destructive behaviors that damage our bodies, our spirits and our relationships with others.
Maximize Your Potential by joining Louise Hay, best-selling author, founder of Hay House and pioneer in self-help movement, has helped millions create more of what they want in their lives, including mind, body and spirit wellness. She used mirror work and affirmations in her own life to experience great success and joy, and now you can do the same, In the Loving Yourself: 21 Days to Improved Self-Esteem Course, you will fall in love with the most important person in the world…YOU.
Each day for 21 days, you’ll learn how to:
- Live the life that reflects the truth of who you really are.
- Achieve self-knowledge and self-acceptance.
- Recognize your heart’s desire.
- Gain confidence to listen to and follow your inner guidance.
- Cultivate your soul gifts – all of those talents you’ve come to share with the world.
- Realize that self-love makes it so much easier for others to love you.
- Have less drama and fewer conflicts.
- Heal our personal suffering and the suffering of others through self-love.
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