Self Esteem & Self Understanding:

“What one learns about oneself depends a great deal upon how one approaches oneself and for what purpose… knowing oneself is much less a goal to be achieved than a process to be immersed in.” – Stephen Mitchell

It’s All In Your Head:
Self-esteem can come, go, and come back again throughout ones lifetime. This is because the external world is partially an imaginative re-creation of your inner world, which means perceptions of the external world are influenced by the way things really are, by your imaginative elaborations of the way you think things are, and by your fantasies of how you would like things to be. Imagination and fantasy can obscure your direct perception of how things really are. For example, if you believe yourself to be poor, and have a negative perception of what it means to be poor, then you will have a negative perception of yourself while believing that a your worth as a human being will increase once you are no longer poor. Money does not increase your self worth, it increases your perception of self worth. In short, self-esteem is all in the mind.

Self-esteem greatly affects your mental and physical health. With positive self-esteem you feel healthy, full of life, worthy of love, confident, and secure. You respect yourself and tend to be successful in life because your energy is not wasted on negative emotions, which gives you more energy to pursue something positive. The creation of your self-esteem self depends on nurturing, parental attitudes, life experiences, etc. Because of this, a low self-esteem is often created by failures or disappointments in your life, or by the way others negatively treated you. With a low self-esteem you often feel depressed, anxious, stressed, and experience psychosomatic illness like headaches, insomnia, and digestive issues. You may also self medicate with food, alcohol, and drug use. You may become overly promiscuous, extremely dependent, and sensitive to criticism. All of this occurs because of a shift in your perception. This is why low self-esteem is called the “invisible handicap” as it affects your ability to experience life to the fullest.   

Self-Esteem and Cognitive Therapy

If you created a perception of yourself and the world that produced a low self-esteem, then a positive self-esteem can be created by re examining the foundation of your perception from a different perspective. Your sense of self is a construct created by your beliefs and how you use those beliefs to interpret your life experiences. Using cognitive therapy (LINK) to discover the cause of your low self-esteem allows you to begin the process of reprogramming your mind so that your personal perception becomes more positive. It is quite an amazing process. Sometimes it happens quickly, sometimes it takes several sessions, but if you are living in a negative state of mind, there is hope that you can make it a nicer place in which to live. 

If you think you have an issue with self-esteem then complete this form to see if counseling might be something you wish to pursue. (the form is from a self-esteme workbook).

General Self Esteem Evaluation
Answer the following to evaluate your self-esteem:
5 = Always  /  4 = Most of the time  /  3 = Sometimes /  2 = Rarely /  1 = Never
____ 1. I exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet.
____ 2. I take criticism well and learn from it.
____ 3. I genuinely like myself for who I am.
____ 4. I use eye contact when talking to others.
____ 5. I consciously look for the good in others.
____ 6. I can do most everything I put my mind to.
____ 7. I am comfortable in new social situations.
____ 8. I am leading a balanced life.
____ 9. I feel comfortable speaking in front of others.
____10. I enjoy telling others of my success.
____11. I am direct when I voice my feelings.
____12. I am goal-oriented.
____13. I am comfortable making decisions.
____14. I am in good physical condition.
____15. I am respected by others for who I am.
____16. I project a positive self-image.
____17. I am responsible for my thoughts and actions.
____18. I like being responsible for projects.
____19. I enjoy controversial discussions.
____20. I find obstacles challenging.
____21. I am able to ask for help without feeling guilty.
____22. I can laugh at my own mistakes.
____23. I am an active listener.
____24. I am an optimistic person.
____25. I appreciate compliments from others.
____26. I am an enthusiastic person.
____27. I feel that continuing my education is important.
____28. I consider myself to be a risk taker.
____29. I feel satisfied with my present work/school path.
____30. I feel successful in my present work/school activities.

Add up your points and put the total here: _________________
You score indicates:
120 - 150 = Very high self esteem
90 - 119 = Moderately high self esteem
60 - 89 = Average self esteem
31 - 59 = Moderately low self esteem
0 - 30 = Low self esteem

For more information on self-esteem, please contact me by phone or email.




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