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All about Self-Esteem

Healthy self-esteem can affect motivation, mental well-being, and overall quality of life. However, having too high or too low self-esteem can be problematic. Understanding your unique self-esteem can help you find the balance that suits you exactly.

What Is Self-Esteem?

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In psychology, the term self-esteem is used to describe a general subjective sense of self-worth or value. In other words, self-esteem can be defined as how much you value and like yourself, regardless of the circumstances. Your self-esteem is determined by many factors, including:

  • Self Confidence
  • Sense of security
  • Identity
  • A sense of belonging
  • A sense of competence

Other terms that are often used interchangeably with self-esteem include self-worth, self-regard, and self-respect.

In short: self-esteem is the measure of how we evaluate and respect ourselves. There is dignity, self-love as well as self-esteem, self-confidence, self-assessment, and self-esteem. Not only does it matter whether and how much we respect ourselves, but also how stable (or unstable) our self-respect is. For example, when others criticize us or we do not succeed.

Self-esteem, self-acceptance, and self-worth have nothing to do with egoism or arrogance. On the contrary: only those who fundamentally accept and respect themselves can confidently deal with their weaknesses and deficiencies – and also become milder towards others.

Self-esteem is ultimately an expression of how we perceive ourselves and how we treat and value our person. Or at least should. It is an essential key to a positive self-image and stable self-esteem. The main reason for this is the trust in one’s abilities and the confidence to be able to cope with life. This can (but does not have to) also resonate with the admiration and recognition of one’s previous successes.

It becomes problematic, however, when self-esteem drops or even turns out to be unstable. This can lead to those affected constantly questioning their behaviour, appreciating the opinion of others much more highly and ignoring their needs, or being put up with more of their surroundings than is good for them.

How does low self-esteem show itself?

If there is a lack of self-esteem, this first shows in one’s own thoughts. These people develop an increasingly negative image of themselves. They consider themselves worthless, incapable, or deficient. Neither adorable nor special. The fatal thing about it is the downward spiral that arises from it. A lack of self-respect is always reflected in one’s behavior, language and words. Those affected recognize this, for example, by these symptoms:

  • You make yourself small to others in terms and posture.
  • You say something different than you mean so as not to offend.
  • You stay in the background because you consider yourself unimportant.
  • You dare not say that you have no chance anyway.
  • You no longer pay attention to yourself and how others perceive you.
  • You are ignoring your body’s warning signals.
  • You feel like a victim – but also persist in this role.

The opposite of self-esteem are feelings of inferiority, insecurity, fear, embarrassment, inhibition, or even uptightness. Nobody can feel good if they do not accept themselves.

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What are the causes of a lack of self-esteem?

What experiences did I have?

A lack of self-esteem can have different causes. Usually, this is a gradual process. In the extreme, it leads to self-devaluation or even self-contempt. So the complete disdain for yourself. However, “respect” (and thus also self-respect) is a learned behaviour. Means: We can unlearn it as well. Often this begins in early childhood. At home or school. There we sometimes meet people who persuade us that we are no good, worthless – a complete disappointment. Bad, that. Because children believe that at some point. They internalize it and then walk like crutches for a lifetime, although they could run, hop, jump.

An essential step in regaining one’s self-respect is, therefore to become aware of these causes, triggers, and imprints. We have to expose them as lies and at the same time reconcile with ourselves. After all, that’s why we haven’t dared to cross the path for many years. Developing self-esteem and accepting yourself, therefore often depends on two critical questions that can clarify the origin of a lack of self-esteem:

Especially at a young age, self-esteem is strongly influenced by the environment. Anyone who is confronted with excessive, destructive criticism or unfounded rejection in the formative years of childhood and youth adapts their behaviour for their later life and shows just as little respect for themselves.

How do I judge my worth?

The right way of dealing with successes, but even more with failures, mistakes, and setbacks, also contributes significantly to self-respect. Do we emerge stronger from it (see: Resilience )? Or do we tear ourselves apart in self-pity and self-hatred? Ultimately, it is our decision how we assess our situation and ourselves. Self-worth is something very personal. It has NOTHING to do with others!

Tips to Increase Your Self-Esteem

Those who have lost their self-esteem need time to rebuild it. It doesn’t work from now on. After all, behind this are negative thought patterns that have been imprinted over a long period. In the affirmations mentioned, the constant repetition over a longer period helps them to settle in the subconscious and strengthen self-esteem. Also, you can still implement the following tips to regain recognition for your strengths and to treat yourself better:

Reduce the scale

Make yourself independent

Set limits

Do you notice your own mistakes more than those of others? Then it could be because you expect more from yourself than from others. There is often an excess of perfectionism behind this. But you cannot do it justice. Solution: Be more gracious to yourself. Try to be realistic and benevolent about your strengths and weaknesses. Nobody is perfect! You can continue to be ambitious and set yourself high goals. But the yardstick has to be right. Everyone has setbacks. None of this is the end of the world.

Quite a few people make their self-esteem dependent on the environment. Family, friends, and colleagues – only when positive feedback comes from this side do they feel something like self-respect. It’s called “self-respect”, not “foreign respect”! Gain mental strength and independence by freeing yourself from the judgment of others.

This equality has several positive effects: You will radiate more confidence and competence in conversations; You will be assessed more positively and better by others (not everyone), and your self-perception will also improve.

Without self-respect, many allow themselves to be pushed around by others. Also, because they think they don’t deserve better. Nonsense! Nobody “deserved” something like this. Don’t let anyone put you up with everything. Keep your dignity – and set limits. “No. “Is a complete sentence that needs neither justification nor justification. Demarcation also has a second effect: Those who recognize their worth find it increasingly difficult to surround themselves with people who don’t. Setting boundaries, therefore also means parting with (toxic) people who are not good for you.

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Touch Radiance is a 100% vegan and organic skincare company that formulates products for sensitive skin tailored to women of color.

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