Self-esteem is the degree to which one feels confident, valuable, and worthy of respect.
People with high self-esteem often feel good about themselves and their progress through life. People with low self-esteem often feel shame and self-doubt. They are often critical of themselves, and they may compare themselves to others, then judge themselves inferior.
Internally, poor self-regard often manifests as self-criticism. Common examples of negative self-talk include:
- There’s nothing I truly like about myself.
- I’ll never do well enough at school or work to succeed.
- I’m not worthy of seeking things that interest me.
- Other people are more deserving of happiness.
- No one wants to hear about my life or the issues I’m facing.
- It’s all my fault I can’t seem to find people who are good to me. Good people wouldn’t want to be with me, anyway.
Over time, negative thoughts can become so frequent you believe they are fact.
Many of us are our own worst critics and could benefit from being more compassionate to ourselves. Would you talk to a friend the way you talk to yourself?
What is self-compassion?
Self-compassion involves being unconditionally kind and understanding toward ourselves, rather than harshly judging ourselves for what we perceive to be shortcomings. Self-compassion builds resilience and an inner strength we can draw upon when life becomes challenging.
Self-criticism, perfectionism, and never feeling good enough are toxic influences that can shape how we feel about ourselves, negatively affect our relationships, and distort our worldview. Self-esteem counseling can help you overcome the patterns of negative thought that keep you in a cycle of shame.