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Issues » Self Esteem

self esteem

Experiences in a persons life have a major source of the development of their self-esteem. The positive or negative life experiences you have, creates attitudes you have about yourself, which can be favourable and develop positive feelings of self-worth, or can be unfavourable and develop negative feelings of self-worth. In the early years of your childhood, parents have the most significant influence on self-esteem and the main source of positive and negative experiences you will have in later life. The importance of developing a stable sense of being cared for and respected while young.

During the school years, academic achievement can significantly contribute a postive or negative development of self-esteem. As a student consistently achieving success or consistently failing, affects your self-esteem. Social experiences are another important contributor. As children we go through school beginning to understand and recognise differences between yourself and other children. Using social comparisons, we assess whether we do better or worse than those in our class in different activities. These comparisons play an important role in shaping the self-esteem and influences the positive or negative feelings we have about ourselves. As we go through adolescence peer influence becomes much more important, as adolescents assess ourselves based on our relationships with their friends. Successful relationships among friends is very important to the development of high self-esteem for us. Social acceptance bring a sense of confidence and produces high self-esteem, compared to rejection from a peer group alone side loneliness brings about self-doubts and contributes to low self-esteem.

Parenting style can also play a crucial role in self-esteem development. Students in early schooling who have high self-esteem tend to have parents who are caring, supportive adults who set clear standards for their child and allow them to voice their opinion in decision making.

Childhood experiences that contribute to healthy self-esteem include being listened to, being spoken to respectfully, receiving appropriate attention and affection and having accomplishments recognised and mistakes or failures acknowledged and accepted. Experiences that contribute to low self-esteem include being harshly criticized, being physically, sexually or emotionally abused, being ignored, ridiculed or teased or being expected to be "perfect" all the time.


Through therapy for self esteem, therapists work with people to identify the cause of the emotional turmoil and set goals that will enable them to feel empowered and help them regain control. If the source of the problem is job related, then a therapist may focus on setting career related goals. If the lack of self-esteem comes from a divorce, a therapist may recommend that the client begin setting goals to discover who they are as an individual, apart from their spouse.


If you are struggling with feelings related to low self esteem and feel you would like to talk to someone. you can contact us. 


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