Self esteem might be described as a person’s evaluation of their own worth. It is the inherent value we place upon ourselves. Research has demonstrated that those individuals who possess a robust and healthy self esteem, seem to cope with the ups and downs in life so much more effectively than those who suffer from low self esteem. Furthermore those people who have a healthy self esteem cope better with life’s stresses, suffer less from anxiety and depression and are happier.
The development of self esteem is undoubtedly a complex process, with many factors coming into play. The influence of parents, family, friends teachers and other significant persons play a major role, throughout childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. The play off between positive and negative life experiences either adds or detracts from our feelings of positive self regard and in many ways I suppose our self esteem moves up and down in response to these life events.
But as a hypnotherapist I have come to the conclusion that people who have a healthy self esteem seem to have a greater ability to bring about change in their lives. Whether its making a lifestyle change such as losing weight or quitting smoking or dealing with an emotional problem they seem to have more resilience. Perhaps they have a greater feeling of control over themselves and their circumstances. When they make that change they gain a sense of mastery and self control that further adds to their feelings of self worth. Conversely, those with low self esteem seem to find it more challenging to take action and follow through to a positive conclusion. It is as if they are convinced that they are not worth the effort. At the root of every neurosis is that little voice from deep inside that cries “I am not good enough.”
The tragedy is that we are good enough. Every child that was ever born was entitled to grow up with a fair chance at developing a healthy self esteem. Irrespective of family circumstances, social status or wealth. Every baby comes into this life as an equal, a bundle of pure potential, as good as every other infant. Here is where we need to focus our efforts and resources. It is in childhood that the foundations are laid for high self esteem, confidence and self belief.
The promotion of good mental and emotional health is a national priority. Increasing levels of anxiety and depression; a tragically high rate of suicide, especially amongst young men and the sad fact that in spite of increased living standards over recent decades there is considerable opinion that people are less content with their lives. We need to be creative and courageous in developing young people who really do love themselves; not in a childish, narcissistic way often portrayed in popular culture. But people who see themselves, honestly, compassionately and with a fundamental belief in their own goodness and potential. Robust self esteem is an national….nay a global priority.
If this post interests you keep an eye out as I explore the issue further in my next post.
If you would like to know how hypnotherapy can help to build powerful confidence and self esteem check this.
Sean Mc Gee