Self-esteem refers to the values, appreciation and evaluation that you have of yourself.
It is linked to the perception we have of our own values, our abilities, our qualities and our ability to succeed in different areas of our lives.
Healthy and positive self-esteem
Having healthy and positive self-esteem is important for our psychological and emotional well-being. When we have high self-esteem, we generally feel confident, capable, and worthy of love and respect, both from ourselves and from others.
Having good self-esteem allows us to face challenges, make informed decisions, develop healthy relationships, and pursue our goals with determination.
On the other hand, low self-esteem can lead to feelings of insecurity, self-doubt, and self-deprecation.
It can limit us in our ability to take initiative, build healthy relationships, and realize our full potential. Negative self-esteem can also contribute to issues such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.
The influence on our lives
Self-esteem develops throughout our lives and can be influenced by many factors such as upbringing, family environment, life experiences, successes and failures, and interactions with others.
Some people may have a naturally higher self-esteem, while others may need to actively work on their self-esteem to boost it, and use a little self-help tool like the 4 Toltec Agreements to do so.
There are different strategies to improve your self-esteem, including:
- Self-acceptance: Learning to accept and love yourself as you are, with your strengths and weaknesses.
- Recognition of your successes: Celebrating accomplishments, even small ones, and remembering your strengths and abilities.
- Self-care: Taking care of yourself physically, emotionally and mentally, by adopting healthy lifestyle habits and allowing yourself moments of relaxation and pleasure.
- Dealing with negative thoughts: Learn to identify and challenge negative and self-destructive thoughts, replacing them with positive and constructive thoughts.
- Skill building: Set realistic goals and work to develop skills in different areas, which can boost self-confidence.
- Positive relationships: Surrounding ourselves with people who support us, encourage us and accept us as we are, and avoiding toxic or abusive relationships.
It is important to note that self-esteem is not based on comparisons with others or the constant approval of others. Instead, it comes from within, from our own evaluation and appreciation of ourselves.
Cultivating a healthy and positive self-esteem takes time, practice, and self-kindness. It may be helpful to work with a mental health professional, such as a psychotherapist based on a Jungian approach, to further explore self-esteem issues and obtain appropriate support.