Self Esteem and
personal opinion, an inner belief in one's own abilities. It is a
powerful feeling of self worth that enables a person to overcome many
challenges throughout their lifetime. Normally, self confidence is
established during childhood, and continues to change throughout a
(Investigator 115, 2007
people who suffer from low levels of self confidence display certain
typical patterns of behaviour, they tend to be reserved, unwilling to
express their ideas, and are especially afraid of creating conflict.
behaviour is the
result of three powerful internal motivations:
confidence in themselves;
are afraid of
appearing inferior to other people;
are afraid of
three areas tend to
form a habitual and destructive pattern of thought, one that constantly
reinforces their own negative opinions of themselves.
themselves they refrain from expressing opinions, or being in any way
“different” fearing that other people will react unfavourably. They are
always afraid that other people will think they are ‘stupid’.
they fear rejection
they are reluctant to initiate relationships, and when formed, because
of their sensitivity to criticism, such relationships tend to be rather
fragile. In conflict situations, they tend to back off, preferring not
to take the initiative or to defend themselves, even allowing others to
belittle them; as a result they miss out on many opportunities in life.
will often create a
pattern of life where they avoid normal levels of social interaction,
creating a safety zone around themselves, one into which they can
retreat into for reassurance and comfort. The problem is that these
safety-zones can become a self destructive trap:
As they become increasingly unwilling to leave the security of these
zones, their lives become increasingly restricted;
tend to avoid people; afraid of rejection or criticism from others,
they tend to become rather secretive and obscure, remaining very much
in the background, so that even as part of a workforce, few know much
Because they are reluctant to communicate with people, they miss
opportunities. Even though they may the cleverer, or more skilled, they
rarely push their abilities either in their curriculum vitae,
interviews, or in day to day living.
single person or event
can be held responsible for the levels of self esteem and self
confidence that develop in individuals. Young children may inherit
certain general patterns of thought and behaviour from their parents
and these in turn are influenced by the environment in which they live.
external factors have
a great deal of influence on whether or not their natural abilities and
potentials are realized or remain undeveloped.
low levels of
self esteem come from situations where the individual grows up in a
family situation where they:
Rarely receive any positive praise from their parents;
there is little personal trust;
they are overshadowed by dominant siblings;
over-protected by parents;
constantly on the move so there is little opportunity to form stable,
long lasting friendships;
taught to fear the world around them.
and low levels of
self confidence can be destructive to those who suffer from this form
of disorder; for it is a fact that these individuals represent an
enormous untapped reserve of ability and potential.
they may appear to
lack any purposeful direction in their life, they are in fact often
extremely intelligent and thoughtful individuals with many constructive
ideas, which unfortunately, are rarely expressed.
because they are held back by their internal fears. Sometimes it is
their fear of failure, while at other times it is their fear of
success, since advancement can bring with it new responsibilities that
might place them in situations where they are required to interact with
others, and especially might introduce areas of conflict into their
Overcoming Low Self
Esteem and Gaining Greater Self Confidence:
assist individuals to
obtain their goals a number of different treatments are available. All
are tailored to meet the needs of the individual.
Assessments: Psychological testing and questionnaires can identify
specific problem areas, as well as identifying personal strengths and
resources which can be used to reinforce positive changes.
Therapy: A practical step by step means of changing negative
patterns and replacing them with a more positive approach to life.
Modification: A conscious approach to changing habits or behaviours,
usually by changing thought patterns.
Most negative behaviours create internal stress. Even the thoughts of
negative experiences can cause stress. While it is normal to want to
reduce all aspects stress, it is often necessary to be shown how to
Thoughts are a form of internalized communication; too often when we
worry about some personal problem that thought becomes a negative
obsession, we cannot stop thinking about it, and the more we think
about it, the worse we feet. By learning simple techniques to stop
these thoughts we can gain control of our mind.
Hypnosis: This is a simple, effective method of treatment that can
used to find many of the causes of low esteem, especially those which
might be hidden from our own memory. It can then be used to change
negative thought patterns to more positive ones, to reduce stress, and
eliminate old unwanted habits. Self Hypnosis can be used by the client
to maintain control even when they are on their own.
body reacts to the thoughts created in the mind. Some cause stress.
These can be identified and the effect reduced. This method is useful
for stress reduction and habit change.
Entrainment: A modern method to enhance natural mental processes. A
balanced ratio of light and sound, to which is added guided
instructions, enables the individual to look at problems in a
completely different aspect, enabling them to create changes in the
ways that they think and react to specific problems.