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Why self-esteem matters: strategies for a more confident and fulfilling life

Self-esteem is not something which we are born with but is in fact a learned behaviour, which we develop as a result of our experiences and interaction with the world around us.

Self-esteem encompasses the opinions and beliefs that we have about our own qualities, including appearance and personality and the value which we place on our abilities and self-worth. It’s not just about liking ourselves but also valuing ourselves as the unique individual that we are through self-acceptance and self-respect.

Our relationships with other people and the way in which we approach life generally are both greatly impacted by our self-esteem, which most importantly is the fundamental component of our mental and emotional wellbeing.

People with high self-esteem tend to be more confident and positive about themselves and have greater resilience towards everyday stresses and life’s challenges. They are also more assertive, happier, and more successful in their careers and relationships.

Low self esteem can lead to feelings of inadequacy, negative self-talk and self-doubt. Whilst it is normal for us all to experience a lack of confidence and take a critical self-view at times, when low self-esteem becomes a long term problem it can lead to anxiety and depression and even substance abuse.

· Some of the signs of low self-esteem can be: -

· Sensitivity to criticism

· Social withdrawal

· Hostility

· Excessive preoccupation with personal problems

· Physical symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia and headaches

So how can we improve self-esteem?

Practice regular self-care including, ensuring that we get enough quality sleep, eating healthy foods, taking regular exercise, and engaging in activities which bring enjoyment.

1. Challenge negative thinking. If you catch yourself thinking negatively about yourself consider how true those thoughts really are and reframe them in a more positive light. Negative self-talk reinforces the negative beliefs which we hold about ourselves, undermines confidence and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Remind yourself that you are worthy!

2. Recognise achievements and celebrate successes, no matter how small they may be and remind yourself of your abilities and strengths.

3. Set yourself realistic goals and work towards achieving them. Positive progress will prove capability and help to boost confidence.

4. Surround yourself with positive people, seek out those who encourage, support, and make you feel good about yourself.

5. Repeat positive affirmations, telling yourself things such as, “I’m proud of myself and value myself as a person” or “I deserve to be happy”.

Self-esteem is not something which can be achieved overnight, it requires patience, persistence and self-compassion.

Working with a trained therapist can help you to recognise and reduce negative self-talk, build stronger personal relationships, reduce anxiety and maintain focus on goals as well as the positives!

Contact me at if you would like support to build your self-esteem.

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