Loving Yourself: How to Raise Your Self-esteem

IMAGE Do you berate yourself for things you do or say? Are you afraid to make a mistake? Relax. Chances are you are not a bad person, and most likely, you do at least one thing well. Perhaps it is time for a self-esteem tune-up.Yale University researchers found that a "bad hair day" can be hazardous to your mental health. If something as insignificant as an out-of-control coif can "diminish your self-esteem and inspire feelings of incompetence, self-doubt, and even self-hatred," what might happen if you were late for work? Or had a fight with your boss?"How we feel about ourselves crucially affects virtually every aspect of our experience...from the way we function at work, in love, in sex, to the way we operate as parents, to how high in life we are likely to rise. The dramas of our lives are the reflections of our most private visions of ourselves," says Nathaniel Branden, a renowned psychotherapist and author, viewed by many as "the father of modern-day self-esteem psychology."

The Foundation of Self-esteem

According to Branden, self-esteem has two components: a feeling of personal competence and a feeling of personal worth, reflecting both your implicit judgment of your ability to cope with life's challenges and your belief that your interests, rights, and needs are important. Healthy self-esteem comes from realistically appraising your capabilities, striving to enhance these capabilities, and compassionately accepting your limitations and flaws. Living consciously thinking independently, being self-aware, being honest with yourself, having an active orientation, taking risks, and respecting reality, says Branden, is the foundation of good self-esteem.

When Self-esteem Abounds

Branden says that people with high levels of self-esteem do the following things:
  • Face life with greater confidence, benevolence, and optimism
  • Are more likely to reach their emotional, creative, and spiritual goals and experience fulfillment, satisfaction, and joy
  • Are more resilient and better equipped to cope with life's adversities
  • Are more likely to form nourishing, rather than destructive, relationships

When Self-esteem Is Lacking

Psychologist Carl Rogers noted that the more accepting people are of themselves, the more likely they are to accept others. Low self-esteem, on the other hand, can profoundly affect your psychological sense of well-being, causing you to feel disconnected from your own feelings and needs and limiting your ability to make healthy choices in love, work, and play. People with poor self-esteem may suffer from a chronic fear of abandonment. Others become driven overachievers, perfectionists, or control freaks, believing that they deserve to be loved only for what they accomplish, rather than simply for who they are. Many have difficulty making decisions, feeling that a wrong decision will lead to the loss of love. Some get caught in the grip of addictions such as overeating, smoking, alcohol or drug abuse, or compulsive shopping as a way to avoid unpleasant feelings of alienation, insecurity, or self-loathing.

leave comments
0
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics: Health And Healing
Meet Our Health Experts
Simply Fabulous

Simply Fabulous

Jennifer Baxter
New! God the Ultimate Search Engine

Mindfulness Matters

Arnie Kozak
New! Everything Essential Buddhism Book
beginners heart

Beginner's Heart

Britton Gildersleeve
New! cultural burdens with homage to Carol Emarthle Douglas


Advertisement

Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »

 

Advertisement

DiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnoratiFacebook