In my clinical experience, people are commonly aware if their lives are negatively affected by what they often see as a lack of confidence. They express frustration at not taking opportunities but are afraid that any change could mean their inadequacies are exposed for all to see. Low self esteem can also leave us vulnerable to anxiety, depression and stress. If your inner critic is holding you back then get in touch to discuss how CBT can move your life forward.
Self-image. Self-confidence. Self-worth. We have many ways of referring to the way we view ourselves and the value we place on ourselves as people. At the heart of self-esteem lie your central beliefs about yourself, and your core ideas about the kind of person you are. You may view your central beliefs as fact, but they are more likely to be opinions based on your life experiences and the signs you have received from others about the kind of person you are.
If your life experiences have generally been positive then your beliefs about yourself are likely to be just as positive. If your experiences have been mixed, like most people’s are, then you may have a range of different views and ideas about yourself, which you may apply flexibly depending on the situation.
If your experiences have been generally negative, then your beliefs about yourself are likely to match. Bad experiences may lead us to develop low self-esteem if we see them as signs of personal inadequacy, rather than unfortunate events that could happen to anyone.
When you’re suffering from low self-esteem, it can feel like your inner critic is so deeply entrenched that you are unable to get a clear perspective on your reality. Although our opinions of ourselves can be realistic, they can also be inaccurate, outdated, or completely false. This is not surprising when we remember that these beliefs start to form during early childhood, before we have much understanding of relationships and the world around us.