Self-Esteem Counseling

Having issues with self-esteem? A Safe Place To Heal in McKinney TX can help with our self-esteem therapy & counseling services impove your self-image.

“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” ~Malcolm S. Forbes

girl-690327_1280What is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem, self-confidence, self-image…these are the trio that intertwine and perhaps have the most significant impact on a person’s well-being and enjoyment of life. Therefore, we find that self-esteem is often at the core of a variety of emotional difficulties. Low self-esteem shows up in depression, anxiety (especially social anxiety), eating disorders, addictions, relationship problems, communication problems, and more. One may have rather high self-esteem under certain conditions, but in others, it may waver.

When what other people think of oneself is considered more important than one’s own self-regard, then it could be said that the person’s self-esteem is in effect located outside their body. That is, the self-esteem depends on others’ views, which renders it to be unstable, causing one to be overly vulnerable to public opinion (whether it be real or imagined). Negative emotional reactions and suffering can be the result. Eventually, these real or perceived negative judgments become integrated as part of one’s own view of oneself, solidifying impairment in self-esteem. Identifying impairments in self esteem and working to build up or heal the self-esteem in those areas is central to the work of cognitive therapy. In therapy, one learns how to take one’s power back, and be the keeper of one’s self-esteem.

Self esteem refers to how you think and feel about yourself. The thoughts and feelings you have about yourself may be positive, negative, or mixed. The more positive these thoughts and feelings are, the higher your self-esteem will be and conversely the more negative these thoughts and feelings are, the lower your self-esteem will be. Feeling good about yourself is important as it gives you a sense of control over your life, helps you feel satisfied in your relationships, allows you to set realistic expectations for yourself, and enables you to pursue your own goals. Feeling badly about yourself, on the other hand, contributes to a distorted view of yourself and others, a lack of self-confidence, poor performance, and unhappiness.

How do I Know if I Have Low Self-Esteem?

  • I am easily hurt by criticism.
  • I am very shy.
  • I may be overly aggressive.
  • I try to hide my feelings from others.
  • I fear close relationships because I fear rejection.
  • I tend to blame myself.
  • I don’t feel I am as good as others; for example, I am not as attractive, smart, funny, etcetera.
  • I do not recognize my own good qualities.
  • I do not feel I have much to offer.
  • I avoid new experience.
  • When I do succeed, I tend to attribute it to luck.
  • I may secretly feel glad when others fail.
  • I keep going over and over what I said in a social interaction and worry that I may have said the wrong thing.
  • I believe that things just happen to me and that I have no personal control.
  • I sometimes feel like an outsider.
  • I am scared of failure.
  • I feel I am underachieving.
  • I am always trying to please others and have trouble saying no.
  • I sometimes feel lonely when others are around.
  • I feel depressed.
  • I sometimes think of harming myself.
  • I engage in self-destructive behavior, such as drinking, in order to cope with my pain.

Your level of self-esteem is based upon the unique experiences and personal relationships that have made up your life. Whereas positive and fulfilling relationships help raise your self-esteem, negative experiences and troubled relationships tend to lower self esteem. Experiences within your family, at school, or within your society all influence your self-esteem. For example, if your family always compared you to others and was never satisfied with your performance, then your self esteem may be adversely affected. Or, for example, if your parents were not attuned to your needs, you may not have felt understood and attended to and this can also compromise self-esteem. Poor performance in school, especially if criticized by classmates and teachers, can also negatively affect self esteem as it may leave you feeling incompetent in comparison to others.

With respect to North American society, there is considerable pressure to adopt the standards reflected in the media. You may, therefore, find yourself comparing unfavorably to society’s ideas of what constitutes beauty and success and hence feel less worthy about yourself.

Since low self-esteem is a result of negative thoughts and feelings, it is important to try to alter how you think and feel about yourself. This might include:

  • Identifying and accepting your strengths and weaknesses; everyone has them.
  • Setting realistic goals and achieving them by learning new skills.
  • Learning to enjoy your own company by pursuing an activity you like.
  • Learning to say no.
  • Taking a “can-do” attitude. For example, setting a reasonable time table for personal goals and offering yourself encouragement along the way.
  • Exploring and appreciating your own personal differences and talents and, hence, being proud of who you are.
  • Accepting and learning from your mistakes; that is, not overreacting to errors, but seeing them as opportunities to learn and grow from.
  • Taking pride in your achievements, both great and small.
  • Replacing negative self-talk with positive statements. Rather than telling yourself, for example, that you are not pretty enough, think of an attractive feature you do have.
  • In the event of a rejection, examining the basis of the rejection without being judgmental toward yourself.
  • Surrounding yourself with positive, healthy people.
  • Getting involved in projects that are meaningful to you.
  • Remembering that you do have control over some aspects of your life.
  • Trying not to be misled by other’s standards, but rather creating standards of your own to live by.
  • Exercising, eating right, and getting plenty of sleep; being exhausted and out of shape can leave you more vulnerable to feeling insecure and anxious.

Take the Self-Esteem Test

Do you believe in yourself? Do you give yourself the credit you deserve? Self esteem is an integral part of personal happiness, fulfilling relationships and achievement. This test is designed to evaluate your general level of self-esteem. This screening will determine whether you need to work on your self-image. Find out with the Self-esteem Test. Take a self-esteem assessment here.