We use the phrase self-esteem to talk about the beliefs you have about yourself – what you think about the type of person you are and your abilities.
If you have healthy self-esteem, your beliefs about yourself will generally be positive. You may experience difficult times in your life, but you will generally be able to deal with these without them having too much of a long-term negative impact on you.
If you have low self-esteem, your beliefs about yourself will often be negative and lack in confidence. You will tend to focus on your weaknesses or mistakes that you have made and you may find it hard to recognise the positive parts of your personality. You may also blame yourself for any difficulties or failures that you have occurred.
Most people experience moments of lacking in confidence, at some point in life. This can be a perfectly normal response to external events, from time to time. However, when low self-esteem becomes a long-term habit, it can harm your relationships with others, kill your confidence, stunt your ability to assert yourself and feed a cycle of increasing frustration and unhappiness. In fact, research has shown a correlation between low self-esteem and depression.
How can counselling help?
Counselling can help you discover the root causes for your low sense of self-worth and establish how certain behaviours, feelings, and thoughts that are contributing towards your low opinion of yourself. It can help you learn how to create more balanced, mutually respectful and satisfying relationships and gain a deeper understanding of yourself and what makes you happiest.
The biggest benefit of counselling for low self-esteem, is it can enable you to gain the ability to live your life with a stronger feeling of freedom to be who you truly are. Counselling can help you improve your self-image and reduce self-doubt and enable you to become more assertive, confident, and self-aware.
We will look at helping you recognise the relationship between your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, based on the theory that it is not what we experience but how we interpret events that determine how we feel.
Further reading and self-help on low self-esteem and confidence building
‘Overcoming Low Self-Esteem’ – A Self-Help Guide (1999) by Melanie Fennell
‘How to Be Confident and Destroy Low Self-Esteem’ – The Ultimate Guide for Turning Your Life around (Positive Thinking, Mind-Body Connection, Goal Setting, Visualization, Facing Fears) – by Beau Norton (2015)