How to improve self esteem and self worth

Poor self image and self-esteem describes a person's overall sense of self-worth or personal value. Discover why this is so important and the role it plays in motivation


The color and vibrancy of life can evaporate very quickly if your self esteem is low. Life then offers you many opportunities to introvert, and go on an endless internal hunt for that lost self esteem. "If only I could get a strong confident image of myself and make that a reality in my daily life." Those who suffer from a poor self image and low self esteem know only too well how much of life they feel excluded from.

It is not a matter of "you never miss what you never had," the fact of the matter is that life is going on all around you and a poor self image is a very real barrier to that. If low self esteem is not addresses and effectively overcome, it will inevitably get worse and worse as time goes on. It is a dwindling spiral, as one searches more for the answer, one is apt to introvert more and more and thus find more things about themselves which they are not happy with.

The point is that one is looking inward from a negative standpoint; he is looking for things that are wrong. He will inevitably find them. The result of this is a further lowering of already low self esteem. Eventually, finding no answer that resolves the situation one can give up on any thought of a resolution and come to believe that it is just the way things are.

This is actually an apathetic frame of mind which has come about after trying to improve the situation and not really getting a satisfactory resolution to it.

We could say that self esteem is at an all time low at that point. Seeing no resolution, the person becomes "adjusted" to it, and that seals his fate. Self esteem will not suddenly improve all by itself, and if the person has become resigned to a life of low self esteem that is how it will now be. It is the same with anything that one sees no end to. One starts to believe that one has to learn to live with it. But this is not really an acceptable answer. With it, one is still cut off from the actual living of life, one is still not content with oneself, and one is accepting less instead of striving for more.

One has stopped playing the game and there are few things which are sadder than that. We can see that this is no small problem; it can be at the root of a ruined life.

When we look at self esteem we are actually looking at how one sees oneself, one’s self image. If that self image is poor, if one is unhappy with how he feels, looks, thinks, talks, etc. we could go on an endless search for the "reasons" behind such a feeling. We could embark upon a makeover, which would present "a new face to the world." We could learn how to think differently and learn tricks which condition us into not thinking negative thoughts about ourselves.

There are many approaches we could take to the resolution of low self esteem, but those who suffer from it will soon tell you how many tricks and makeovers, and how much soul searching they have already done. We need to take a wholly different approach to those mentioned above to get an actual resolution to the problems of low self esteem and poor self image. One has to actually re-evaluate themselves. Now, by "re-evaluate" I do not mean simply start looking at yourself in a more positive light.

Buddha said: All that we are is the result of what we have thought.

This is very true and also very complex when you actually look at it. At the end of the day, it tells us that we are a frame of mind. We all know that we can change our mind, and we all know that this action alone will not bring about lasting change in ourselves. So, if the above statement is true, how come? If we are the result of our thoughts, how come we cannot simply think of ourselves in a different light and then be that way? Low self esteem, lack of confidence, poor self image, lack of motivation etc. are not simply thoughts. They are "frames of mind." A frame of mind is actually held in place by many thoughts. As Gulliver was held down by many thin strands of rope, so a frame of mind is held in place by many thoughts. That is why "changing one’s mind" is not as simple as it may first seem.

When I say we must "re-evaluate," I am talking on a wholesale basis. I am talking about changing our frame of mind. To do that, we must free ourselves from all of the thoughts which go to keep that frame of mind in place. This may seem like a daunting task, but procedures I have outlined in the program called "The Complete Self-esteem Workbook," give us a fast and effective method of doing just that. A frame of mind is held in place, and seems unchangeable because of all of the unseen strands of thought which go to into its makeup.

For instance, in your life, negative things have happened to you, you have done negative things to others, you have seen others do negative things to others and you have done negative things to yourself. We see here four distinct levels of action and thought. We find that a frame of mind is held in place by not one of the above, but by a number of each of them. With this four way look, we actually start to see things a little more clearly and can isolate some of the strands which are keeping the frame of mind in place. If we look at only one of the above lines of thought, we do not make an effective change in our frame of mind. If we consider them all we start to get a little more flexible.

There are other considerations also, but here we have started to answer an important question. Low self esteem and poor self image are essentially frames of mind. We now know what makes a frame of mind stubborn and unchanging. With that, we can start to make some genuine and lasting progress.

Dr. R. Anfield
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