Your negative beliefs about yourself are an understandable experiences.Low self-esteem is not something you were born with, it is something you have learned . And what has been learned can be unlearned , and new things learned to take their place ‘
For low self-esteem to develop three things learned to take their place.
1- You have life experiences that communicate negative messages to you about yourself.
2- You believe these messages -otherwise they would not affect you . This is how you get your Bottom Line.
3- You compensate for feeling bad about yourself by setting yourself extra-high standards (for example , perfectionism or believing you always have to be in control) . These ‘ Rules for Living ‘ lead you to expect more of yourself than is possible for any normal , imperfect human beings.
Let’s look at each of these in turn. As you read through , think back over your own life and see if anythings rings bells for you. It might be helpful to keep a record of your thoughts , so write them down in a notebook . It may also be helpfall to talk to your supporter about this, espicially if looking at the past is difficult or upsetting for you.
1- Life experiences :
Painful experiences that lead to low self-esteem often happen during childhood , but not always , as you will see . Here are some possibilities . As you go through the list , consider which apply to you? Even if these particular experiences are not personally relevant , does scanning them bring events to mind that were important in forming your Bottom Line?
The early years
** Loss of someone important to you (for example, through bereavement , separation, divorce)
**Being ignored mistreated , neglected or abused.
**Failing to meet your parents ‘ standards , or being unfavourably compared to others.
**Lacking what you needed in order to develop a secure sense of self-worth (praise ; interest, reasurance ; and comfort’encouragement to express yourself ; being taught that making mistakes is a normal part of learning ; feeling able to ask for help and support intimacy , warmth, love and affection)
**Being a part of a family struggling with adversity(such as financial hardship illness , being a target for prejudice or hostility)
** Being teased or bullied or excluded
**Being the odd one out
**Struggling to manage lessons, tests and homework
Transition to adulthood
**Difficulties leaving home and learning how to manage independently set goals, manage your time and motivate yourself.
**Difficulties making new relationship and transforming old ones.
**Difficulties establishing a secure sexual identity.
*Experiencing traumatic events.
*Experincing less dramatic , more gradual life changes which impact on things that have been central to feeling good about yourself, such as ; loss of work ( even through planned retirement) ; loss of financial security ;loss of health , fitness or good looks.
*Becoming trapped in an abusive relationship.
*Being subject to enduring hardship or stress.
Such experiences are painful and distressing in themselves. However, as far as low sel-esteem is concerned, the key thing is that you concluded they must in some way be your fault, a sign of something fundmentally wrong with you. This is the origin of your Bottom Line.
I will complete in article 5 soon.
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