"Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends" - Aberjhani
Self-esteem is an aspect of the way we view ourselves. It describes the confidence that a person has in their worth and capability. People with healthy self-esteem usually trust themselves and their ability to manage successfully in life. They develop mostly loving and supportive relationships that confirm their positive outlook on themselves.
If you have low self-esteem, on the other hand, you will hold an overall negative view of yourself. You might feel unworthy, incompetent, inadequate and/or unlovable in most situations. You might doubt yourself, procrastinate before making decisions and find it hard to take action in your life. A lot of people with low self-esteem experience crippling negative self-talk: an inner "voice" that constantly berates them and reminds them of everything they did "wrong", generating a perpetual sense of failure. You may be very critical of yourself and compare yourself to other negatively. At the core of your day-to-day experience of yourself may be a deep shame, powerlessness, anger, and arresting self-doubt - whether this is obvious to others or not.
Low self-esteem may lead you to be prone to depression and anxiety. You have dreams and aspirations but you never manage to bring them to life, either stopping short or never event daring to start acting on them. You may find yourself trapped in codependent relationships and find it hard to assert your boundaries. Your perfectionism (intended to placate the inner critical voice) may drive you and others to distraction. Low self-esteem may lead you to avoid social interactions and refrain from engaging in activities. You might also find you never allow yourself to relax and rest enough. This, as well as the constant strain of watching yourself may trigger fatigue and muscle tension.
I understand first-hand what it is like to live with a critical, berating inner voice. In my life journey, I have come to understand that developing compassion and kindness towards self as well as others is one of the best ways to lower the impact of the inner lashings. Counselling is a space where such compassion and empathy is offered, and it is of utmost importance to me to develop with each client a relationship based on respect, positive regard and faith in individual potential.
For most people, low self-esteem is developed in the early years of their life in experiences of abuse or neglect. Psychosynthesis, my primary modality, has a "height and depth" approach to counselling. This means that I can help you investigate the origins of low self-esteem (depth) while exploring hope with you and the possibilities that the future holds, as well as what has sustained you in your life so far (height). MBCBT, my secondary training, focuses on the interactions between thoughts, emotions and actions while promoting tools to become anchored in the present. This means that I can help you become more aware of the presence of critical thinking and negatively biased thoughts, challenge them, and manage the impact of negative self-talk in your life both at present and in the long term. MBCBT also advocates setting manageable short-term goals, a strategy that promotes a sense of competency and confidence and facilitates developing a difference view of yourself.
Contact me to make an appointment and start moving towards a kinder relationship with yourself and a more fulfilling future.