How is it self esteem built, boosted or eroded?
As we start in life we all have the same self esteem potential …but our journeys are different. Our self esteem starts to develop as soon as we become aware of ourselves as individuals –early on in our childhood.
If our needs are not met we start to believe we are not worth much and not important or valued by those around us. If we are not listened to and considered we may begin to believe we are insignificant.
We may be made to participate in activities in which we feel stupidor may be criticised, ridiculed or humiliated, labelled unfairly or compared unfavourably to others or we may be threatened with violence, sexually, physically or verbally abused or made to feel responsible for things for which we are not. As a consequence, we may believe we are inferior to others, not worthy of having our needs met or having our voice heard.
In contrast, we may be listened to, encouraged, supported emotionally and physically, cared for, considered and feel loved and valued ….enabling the belief that we are valuable, important and significant and worthy of having our needs met.
There are many ways a healthy self esteem can be eroded ….a controlling relationship, bullying at school or in the work place, betrayal by a partner or friend, being made redundant, being subjected to a personal attack, physical or sexual abuse and many more events that may happen in our journey through life. Diminishing self esteem can happen at any age.
Our ability to preserve our self esteem and self worth depends on an amount of variable factors such as: the level of our self esteem at the time, the amount and severity of knocks we face, the support we have around us and many more.
If you need to build up your level of self esteem the first step is to try to understand how is was eroded or why it didn’t develop and grow. Some factors are external communications -the things other people told or tell us and others are what we tell ourselves. The second step is to start to value you. You can do this by considering how you need to be to feel happy with yourself. It is important to check that the perimeters you are setting are realistic and achievable. We are all individual and primarily, we need only to answer to ourselves to feel contentment. It is common that people are their own harshest critic. Are you being fair with your expectation of yourself? Once you have identified how you want to be to feel accepting and good about yourself, then you can go about measuring and achieving this and can start appreciating yourself.