Self Esteem and Confidence
Confidence and self-esteem refer to the beliefs you have about yourself, how you believe other people perceive you, your abilities, the positive and negative things about you, how you interpret the past, and what you anticipate for your future.
If you have healthy self-esteem, your concept of yourself will be mostly positive. Despite the likelihood of some difficult times, you will have resilience to cope without them having too much of a long-term negative impact on your sense of self-worth.
For those with low self-esteem, your self-beliefs will often be negative. You will tend to focus on your weaknesses, rather than your strengths. You may also blame yourself for failures. Some factors that can contribute to low self-esteem include difficult experiences in childhood, life events such as a long-term illness, feeling different from others, bullying, or negative relationships with others.
Individuals react to the outside world with our own form of reality, which is ever-changing. Over time, individuals develop self-esteem and a concept of themselves, which is based on the feedback from this subjective reality. In other words, we both create our own self-concept and we have the power to change it.
ULTIMATELY, MAN SHOULD NOT ASK WHAT THE MEANING OF HIS LIFE IS, BUT RATHER HE MUST RECOGNIZE THAT IT IS HE WHO IS ASKED.
Through empathy and unconditional positive regard, psychotherapists can help those with low self-esteem to realise their potential and develop a healthy self-esteem and sense of confidence, which can positively influence all aspects of their lives.
Developing a healthy self-esteem through psychotherapy may involve both examining one’s past experiences and identifying one’s personal goals.
Dr. Viktor Frankl, a holocaust concentration camp survivor, has written about the way that human beings—despite the most harrowing conditions— are able to form choices and have freedom, whether psychological or physical. Therefore, even when faced with terrible obstacles and limitations, people are able to find meaning and with meaning comes confidence and freedom.
The following video of JK Rowling’s Harvard commencement speech has been inspiring to many people who have faced doubts about their sense of worth. Rowling talks about the benefits of failure in one’s life. She discussed how her exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, she was jobless, a lone parent, and “as poor as it is possible to be in modern British, without being homeless.” All of those struggles had directed her to realise her biggest fear, and they also led her to find out what mattered most to her. She says, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all-in which case, you fail by default.