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Self-Esteem What is self-esteem? Self-esteem is how we value ourselves; it is how we perceive our value to the world and how valuable we think we are to others. Self-esteem affects our trust inothers, our relationships, our work – nearly every part of our lives. Positive self-esteem gives us the strength and flexibility to take charge of our lives and grow from our mistakes without the fear ofrejection. Following are some outward signs of positive self-esteem: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Confidence Self-direction Non-blaming behavior An awareness of personal strengths An ability to makemistakes and learn from them An ability to accept mistakes from others Optimism An ability to solve problems An independent and cooperative attitude Feeling comfortable with a wide range of emotions Anability to trust others A good sense of personal limitations Good self-care The ability to say no

What is low self-esteem? Low self-esteem is a debilitating condition that keeps individuals fromrealizing their full potential. A person with low self-esteem feels unworthy, incapable, and incompetent. In fact, because the person with low self-esteem feels so poorly about him or herself, thesefeelings may actually cause the person’s continued low self-esteem. Here are some signs of low self-esteem: • • • • • • • • Negative view of life Perfectionist attitude Mistrusting others – even those whoshow signs of affection Blaming behavior Fear of taking risks Feelings of being unloved and unlovable Dependence – letting others make decisions Fear of being ridiculed

How can you raise lowself-esteem? Feelings of low self-esteem often build up over a lifetime, and letting go of ingrained feelings and behaviors is not an easy task. It may take time, hard work, and it may requireprofessional counseling. But there are some simple, positive thinking techniques that can be used to help improve self-esteem. These are called affirmations. Using affirmations to stop negative self-talk is a...
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