How much are you worth?
The verb "to estimate" comes from the Latin oestimare, "to evaluate", with a twofold meaning
: "to determine the value of" and "to have an opinion on". You could say that self-esteem is how you see yourself, and whether what you see you like or not.
The foundation of self-esteem
Self-esteem is based on three "ingredients": self-confidence, self-image, love of self:
1. Self-love is the most important thing. Having self-esteem implies "unconditional" love for yourself: you love yourself despite your flaws and limitations, and despite setbacks. It does not prevent one from suffering and from doubt, but it helps to resist when facing adversity and to rebuild after failure.
2. Self-image is the way you look at yourself. What is important is the conviction that one has qualities and faults, potential and limitations. Positive, self-image is an inner strength that allows one to bide our time despite adversity.
3. Self-confidence mostly applies to our actions. Being confident is thinking that you are able to act appropriately in important situations. Self-esteem needs action to maintain and develop.
These three components of self-esteem are interrelated.
A foundation that is built during childhood
What builds up self-esteem is first of all, as a child, to receive unconditional love: did I grow up bathed in unconditional love, with this feeling that my parents, my family, would love me whatever I did, that I could take risks, that I would not be punished for failing. Educational aspects also matter: did my parents value my successes? Did they always criticize me when I failed or, on the contrary, were they understanding? And lastly, what role model did my parents give me: were they always in doubt, worried about social judgement, in fear of acting?
The consequences of low self-esteem
People who suffer from low self-esteem have negative beliefs about themselves that are fueled by recurring thoughts. It's like living with an internal saboteur, an "internal radio" which constantly broadcasts toxic messages such as: it is not worth it, you will fail again, you will not succeed, you're no good, … These individuals don't accept the fact that they are imperfect, they put pressure on themselves and seeking perfection often makes them give up acting.
This low self-esteem (or in some cases, unstable high self-esteem) can be the grounds for a series of difficulties: anxiety, procrastination, depression, eating disorders, social anxiety, learning disabilities, self-destructive behaviors or dependencies (eg emotional dependence or addictions).
Self-esteem is repaired and maintained
If you suffer from low self-esteem, find support to move out of this negative spiral. With Sophrology or Hypnosis learn, for example, how to listen to yourself, to repair your wounds, to get (re)acquainted with yourself, to identify and modify your negative and limiting beliefs, to develop empathy for your inner child, to remove whatever is holding you back...
Then, as for a garden that has been cleared and in which you have sown the seeds of self-esteem, nurture it daily, through your thoughts, your actions and what you decide to focus on and give importance to.
“Good self-esteem is not narcissism,
to think of yourself as magnificent, superior to others, is not navel-gazing.
On the contrary, what we notice is that when people improve their self-esteem,it rather leads to defocusing from self "(Christophe André, French Psychiatrist)
Sources: "Imparfaits, libres et heureux - Pratiques de l’estime de soi", Christophe André (Odile Jacob) ; "L'Estime de soi", Christophe André, François Lelord (Odile Jacob); Passport santé; Interview of Christophe André (in French)
More about self-esteem
- The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale: An Indicator of Your Self-Esteem Level in 10 Questions
- A poem : "When I began to love mysel", Kim McMillen, a text read by Charlie Chaplin on his 70th birthday [ it comes from a book called "When I Began to Love Myself Enough: Inspiring words to help you find happiness and joy" by Kim McMillen with Alison McMillen, 1996]
- "Imparfaits, libres et heureux - Pratiques de l’estime de soi", Christophe André (Odile Jacob)
- "L'Estime de soi", Christophe André, François Lelord (Odile Jacob)