Enough as You Are
“Believe in yourself!”
We like to think we can accomplish anything if we believe in ourselves.
What matters is the proactive mindset. BUT! Somehow deep inside, your gut tells you, Nah. I am not up for the challenges and I am just not good enough.
So, what is happening here?
Those gut feelings are originated from "low self-esteem."
In psychology, self-esteem refers to a person's self-worth. how much a person “values, approves of, appreciates, prizes, or likes him or herself” (Bourne,2020).
According to self-esteem expert Morris Rosenberg, self-esteem is quite simply one's attitude toward oneself. He described it as a "favorable or unfavorable attitude toward the self. (Rosenberg, 1965,1995)
Self-esteem is a way of thinking, feeling, and acting that implies accepting, respecting, trusting, and believing in yourself. Self-esteem is integral to personal well-being, fulfilling relationships, and achievement.
Factors affecting self-esteem
Various factors believed to influence our self-esteem include*:
- Character & temperament
- Life experiences
- Thoughts & beliefs
- Social and culture surrounding
- Interpersonal relationship
- Comparing self to others
An important note is that self-esteem is not fixed. It is malleable and measurable, meaning we can improve and nurture it.
If you have low self-esteem, harness the power of your thoughts and beliefs to change how you feel about yourself. The solution lies within (innate).
It all starts from a journey from what people think to I am good enough.
Techniques for building self-esteem
- Disarming self-sabotaging thoughts
For an extended time, CBT predominately is the technique used for low self-esteems. In this approach, the goal is to identify self-sabotaging thoughts/beliefs; once it is realized, the next step is to examine and see if they are realistic or just inner fear.
It would help if you distinguished between inner ideas and external reality continually. For example, when the concept of "I can't do it, I'm bad" appears again, we should also look to the outside world: " Do we look like this in the eyes of others? " By testing reality, we can internalize new relationship experiences for ourselves repeatedly.
And then proceed to dispute/confront these thoughts and see if it is rational or just irrational belief. (Burns, 1993).
- Turning the spotlight on yourself
As time progressed, psychologists found out just being aware of one's self sabotaging thoughts at times is sufficient to cope. These thoughts are like clouds in the sky. They always come and go; yet, our awareness of them being there is like the sun hiding behind the cloud. Once we know their existence, the beam of light will cast away the shadows and clarity surfaces.
The clarity comes from a mindfulness mindset. Mindfulness gives you the time and space to appreciate the present moment you are in and turn inwardly examining yourself and your environment for what it is.
Being self-aware goes hand in hand with mindfulness because mindfulness can enhance your self-awareness.
Self-Awareness is knowing and continuing to see who you are as an individual and how you act and respond to others. Slowly thru routine mindfulness exercise, we will regain a sense of self-awareness.
Self-Awareness is the willingness, to be honest with yourself.
In recent years, psychologists have harness treatment approaches through "self-compassion." When we are self-compassionate, we're kind to ourselves rather than harshly self-critical, or to put it more simply, we treat ourselves in the same way we would treat our friend. "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." That's all well and good, but hopefully, we won't treat others even half as badly as we treat ourselves. Listen to our self-talk: "You're such an idiot! You're disgusting!" Would you talk this way to a friend?
To love and accept just the way you are. Only when we can wholeheartedly accept and self-care our self, we obtain serenity and grounding. (Neff, 2014)
“We’re all our own worst critics.”
Bourne, J.E.(2020).The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook. New Harbinger
Rosenberg, M. (1965). Self-esteem and the adolescent. (Economics and the social sciences: society and the adolescent self-image). New England Quarterly, 148(2), 177-196.
Rosenberg, M., Schooler, C., Schoenbach, C., & Rosenberg, F. (1995). Global self-esteem and specific self-esteem: Different concepts, different outcomes. American Sociological Review, 60(1), 141-156.
Burns, D. D.. (1993). Ten days to self-esteem: the leader's manual.
Neff, K.. (2014). Self-compassion: the proven power of being kind to yourself.
What is Self-Esteem? A Psychologist Explains [2020 Update]. https://positivepsychology.com/self-esteem/