Self-esteem refers to the overall view you have of yourself – how you feel about yourself, your qualities and your weaknesses.
If you have healthy self-esteem, you feel secure, worthwhile and generally have good relationships with others.
On the other hand, with low self-esteem, you tend to put little value on your opinions and ideas, and believe you are not deserving of the respect of others. You frequently doubt and underestimate yourself and your abilities and worry that you aren’t « good enough », as you are constantly comparing yourself to others.
Although many factors in your life can contribute to your low self-esteem, such as your relationships or your status in society, your thoughts probably have the most important impact on your self-esteem — and remember that these thoughts are within your control! If you have a tendency to focus on your weaknesses, you can learn to reconsider negative thoughts and focus on your positive feelings and qualities.
With the support and guidance of a Montreal psychologist or therapist, you can improve your low self-esteem and learn to cultivate a healthy, realistic view of yourself. An enhanced self-esteem could allow you to be:
• Assertive in communicating your needs and opinions
• Confident in your ability to make decisions and to stick to them
• Able to engage in secure and honest relationships
• Less likely to maintain unhealthy and destructive relationships
• Realistic in your expectations
• Less likely to be overly critical of yourself and others
• More resilient and better able to endure stress and obstacles
• Less likely to experience feelings such as hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt and shame
• Less likely to develop mental health conditions, such as eating disorders, addictions, depression and anxiety
Maintaining a healthy self-esteem of yourself is about learning to appreciate and respect yourself and to accept your weaknesses – we all have some!