Self-esteem plays a fundamental role in our lives and influences how we perceive ourselves, others and our surroundings. However, this is not a fixed trait that we have from birth; it is a construct that develops over the course of life and may change. There are many factors that affect self-esteem, as well as harmful actions that weaken it. In this article, we will discuss both the key aspects that shape self-esteem and the actions that can threaten it. This may result in the need for a psychological consultation and psychodynamic psychotherapy in one of the centers in Krakow.
Self-esteem shapes people’s beliefs, emotions, behaviors and overall well-being. Self-esteem is an extremely important aspect of our psyche. It affects our beliefs about ourselves, our emotions, our behaviors and the overall quality of life. It is a kind of mirror in which we see ourselves.
Self-esteem is influenced by many factors, including early experiences, self-perceptions, and social comparisons. Our self-esteem is shaped by various factors. Early experiences, such as parenting, have a huge impact on self-esteem. Self-perception, or how we see ourselves, also plays a key role. Additionally, social comparisons with other people can significantly impact our self-esteem.
Elements that contribute to healthy self-esteem include self-acceptance, integrity, and self-actualization. To develop healthy self-esteem, it is important that we accept ourselves, including our strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, integrity, i.e. compliance with our values and principles, and striving for self-actualization, i.e. developing our potential, are key elements of building a positive self-image.
“Self-esteem is the reputation we earn for ourselves.” — Nathaniel Branden. This quote from Nathaniel Branden perfectly captures the essence of self-esteem. It’s not something that other people give us; it is something we create ourselves through our beliefs and actions.
The psychological complexity of self-esteem.
Self-esteem is a complex aspect of our psychology that can decline for a variety of reasons. Here are some factors and activities that may lower your self-esteem:
Excessive complaining: Constantly focusing on your difficulties and complaining about your life can lead to lower self-esteem. While expressing your feelings is important, an excess of negative thoughts and complaints can turn pain into suffering.
Excessive help seeking: While it is important to appreciate support from others, an excessive need for constant help may suggest that we cannot cope on our own. This can lead to a feeling of helplessness and lower self-esteem.
Avoidance: Avoiding situations that seem difficult or scary may feel comfortable at first, but in the long run it hurts your self-esteem. This attitude suggests that we are unable to cope with challenges.
Self-fulfilling prophecies: Our beliefs about ourselves and our actions influence the way others perceive us. If we have low self-esteem and we behave in accordance with this belief, others may react negatively, which confirms our beliefs and lowers our self-esteem.
Procrastination: Constantly putting off activities that could help you achieve your goals can lead to lower self-esteem. Failure to take decisive steps may suggest a lack of confidence in yourself and your abilities.
Saying yes when we should say no: Constantly giving in to others to avoid conflict can lead to
lower self-esteem. This may suggest a lack of assertiveness and excessive concern about what others think of us.
Self-neglect: Lack of self-care, both physically and emotionally, can lower your self-esteem. Neglectful appearance or lack of concern for health may influence negative opinions about oneself.
Giving up: Giving up on your goals and believing you can’t achieve success can result in lower self-esteem. It is worth remembering that constant action and self-confidence are crucial for personal development.
Lower self-esteem can result from many factors, but being aware of these actions and factors can help you identify problems and strive to improve your self-esteem. It is important to work on self-acceptance, self-fulfillment and develop healthy emotional habits to strengthen your self-esteem.
The psychological importance of self-esteem:
Self-esteem is very important in many aspects of our lives:
Emotional well-being: Healthy self-esteem promotes positive emotions such as self-confidence and optimism. It helps us cope with life’s challenges and setbacks because we believe in ourselves and our abilities.
Relationships: Our self-esteem affects our relationships with others. When we have healthy self-esteem, we are more likely to create and maintain healthy, satisfying relationships. This allows us to set boundaries, communicate effectively and build mutual respect.
Achievement and Success: Self-esteem motivates us to pursue our goals and overcome obstacles. It gives us confidence in ourselves and our abilities, which helps us achieve success.
Factors influencing self-esteem:
There are many factors that influence our self-esteem:
Early Experiences: Childhood experiences, including family, upbringing, and social influences, significantly shape our self-esteem. A positive and supportive environment can strengthen our self-esteem, while negative experiences can weaken it.
Self-esteem: Our self-esteem, or the way we evaluate ourselves and our abilities, influences our self-esteem. Unrealistic expectations, self-criticism and focusing on our flaws can lower our self-esteem.
Social comparison: Comparing ourselves to others, especially in the context of social ideals or social media, can negatively impact our self-esteem. It’s important to remember that each person is unique, and comparing yourself to others often leads to unrealistic standards.
Cultivating healthy self-esteem:
Developing healthy self-esteem is an ongoing process. Here are some strategies that can help build a positive self-image:
Self-Acceptance: Accepting all aspects of yourself, including your strengths and weaknesses, is key. It is important to show yourself compassion and not judge yourself.
Self-discipline: Taking responsibility for your actions, emotions and choices helps build your self-esteem. Self-discipline allows you to control your life and pursue your goals.
Assertiveness: Expressing your needs and opinions in an honest and respectful way helps build healthy relationships and allows you to set boundaries.
Awareness: Being present in the moment and making conscious choices that align with our values helps build self-esteem.
Personal Integrity: Aligning your actions with your own values and principles promotes honesty and a sense of consistency.
Self-actualization: Striving to develop your potential and skills contributes to your sense of self-worth. Engaging in exciting activities and developing skills strengthens your self-esteem.
Self-esteem is a key element of our psychology, influencing many aspects of life. It is shaped by various factors, such as early experiences, self-esteem and social comparisons. Cultivating healthy self-esteem requires self-acceptance, self-care, assertiveness and living in accordance with your values. By developing healthy self-esteem, we can lead more fulfilling lives. Each of us deserves love, respect and happiness, and our intrinsic value is inalienable.