Every person has self-esteem, sometimes referred to as self-worth or self-respect. Self-esteem is made up of the thoughts we have about ourselves and plays a role in almost everything we do.
Having healthy self-esteem is really important as it helps you make positive choices in your everyday life, gives you the courage to be your own person, have good relationships and helps you deal with difficult situations.
Here are some signs of healthy self-esteem:
- Believe that you are lovable
- Okay with spending time alone
- Ability to say no
- Positive outlook
- Ability to see your overall strengths & weaknesses and accept them
- Negative experiences do not reveal that you are a bad person
- Ability to express your needs
- Take responsibility for your feeling & actions without blaming others
- Have healthy boundaries
- Do not overly worry about what others think
Confidence in one's value as a human being is correlated with achievement, good relationships, and satisfaction. Possessing low self-esteem can leave people feeling defeated or depressed. It can also lead people to make bad choices, fall into destructive relationships, or fail to live up to their full potential.
It is completely normal to feel negative about yourself from time to time but if this feeling is long-lasting, then you may have low self-esteem. Low self-esteem does not come out of the blue. At some point, you learned that you weren’t quite good enough just as you are.
Often, this is a message is internalized during childhood and may be the result of parental abuse, emotional neglect, or critical parenting. Anyone who has suffered bullying while they were growing up may question their right to belong in the world. Therapy can help you identify where your low self-esteem originated and Sue Shepard, MFT can be supportive while helping you to see that there is nothing inherently "wrong" with you – you simply were taught, through the lens of other people, that you weren’t acceptable as a person in your own right.