Self-esteem is the starting point of defining yourself and how you meet the demands of life.
In simpler words, it is the look that man casts on himself every time he wants him as his ally. The term self-esteem includes a number of cognitive, emotional and behavioral factors that all together complement the kind of self-esteem.
The importance of self-esteem
Authentic self-esteem is vital to well-being and mental health. But it is not always easy to know what we really want and who we are. Even when we realize this, it can be difficult to express our true selves when it comes to family or social expectations or when we are overwhelmed by feelings of failure.
The feeling of self-esteem is the result of an internal process in each person with all the above factors being in complete balance. The consolidation of self-esteem in man comes from the image he has formed of himself, without realizing the external factors, such as success, failure, acceptance and rejection.
Unfortunately, much of self-esteem, as we have come to realize it, comes from our self-image in direct relation to the perceptions and reactions of others. Once we begin to build our self-esteem based on the expectations of external factors, we lose the ability to strengthen the roots of our internal self-esteem.
Self-esteem can be affected by physical health problems, adverse life events such as job loss, divorce, relationship breakdown and a general lack of control. Sometimes self-esteem can be deeply ingrained and come from traumatic childhood experiences, such as prolonged separation from family, neglect, or even emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.
People with low self-esteem treat the world as a hostile country and themselves as victims. As a result, they feel reluctant to express themselves as they wish, they lose experiences and opportunities, and feel helpless to change things. All of this lowers their self-esteem even more and they end up trapped in a vicious circle.
A close relationship has been documented proportionally between self-esteem and personal problems such as violence, alcoholism, drugs, eating disorders, dropping out of school, teenage pregnancy, suicide, low academic performance, etc. However, it is difficult to isolate low self-esteem as a primary cause, because it is usually one of the multiple factors contributing to these conditions. What should be emphasized is that self-esteem is a critical component of any intervention aimed at self-improvement and rehabilitation, which gives a strong hope for the solution of the individual’s psychosocial problems.
When man tries to discover his ideal self, he enters into a comparison with reality. Self-esteem could be represented as a fraction, where the numerator is the real self and the denominator is the ideal self. Each time a difficulty occurs, the denominator increases, reducing the numerator and the total quotient of self-esteem. But conscious processing and support of the numerator is the way to improve our self-esteem. The challenge is to deal with the realistic self here and now and not with imaginary images that lead to self-devaluation. With psychotherapy, the work is done on the numerator, empowering the self with simultaneous glances at the denominator, so that the unconscious desires become conscious.
Various guidelines can be given for raising self-esteem. Advice such as recognizing and embracing the positive characteristics of the person through a realistic recording, the inner acceptance that always starts with a smile and a wink every time you look in the mirror, the realization that we can respond to the challenges we face, the belief in our value with the right to refuse when we want it, are some that barely touch the issue of low self-esteem. In fact, most of the time the problem is located deeper where more help is needed from a specialist, otherwise the adoption of these tactics will act as a boomerang for lower self-esteem.
The first step to change begins with realizing the love for ourselves. This, after all, is the hope for raising self-esteem. Psychotherapy is the vehicle for significant reinforcement, if low self-esteem is a particular problem. Through this approach, psychotherapy enables us to talk about these experiences and to understand their cause and how they work.