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Self-Value. Confidence Wheel

How Low Self-Value Impacts On Us

Have you ever been dissatisfied or unhappy with yourself on the whole? Do you ever think that you are weak, stupid, not good enough, flawed in some way, inferior to other people, useless, worthless, unattractive, ugly, unlovable, a loser or a failure?
Everyone uses these words at times, usually when they experience a challenging or stressful situation. However, if you often think about yourself in these terms, then you might have a problem with low self-value.

It is important to know that low self-value is a common problem for many people and you are not alone. Low self-value can occur as part of a current problem (such as depression) or as a result of other problems (such as chronic illness, relationship problems) or it can be a problem in itself. Either way the good news is that you can take steps towards developing more healthy self-value.

Self-Value. Self Esteem Board

So What is Self-Value ?

Self-value is how we value ourselves; it is how we perceive our value to the world and how valuable we think we are to others. Self-value affects our trust in others, our relationships, our work – nearly every part of our lives.

Healthy Self-Value

Healthy self-value is based on our ability to assess ourselves accurately and still be accepting of who we are. This means being able to acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses (we all have them!) and at the same time recognize that we are worthy and worthwhile. Healthy self-value gives us the strength and flexibility to take charge of our lives and grow from our mistakes without the fear of rejection.

Low Self Value

People with low self-value usually have deep-seated, basic, negative beliefs about themselves and the kind of person they are. These beliefs are often taken as facts or truths about their identity, rather than being recognised as opinions they hold about themselves.

How Low Self-Value Impacts On Us

Negative Emotions. A person with low self-value might often feel sad, depressed, anxious, guilty, ashamed, frustrated or angry.

Frequent Self-Criticism. A person with low self- value probably says a lot of negative things about themselves. They might criticise themselves, their actions, and abilities or joke about themselves in a very negative way. They might put themselves down, doubt themselves, or blame themselves when things go wrong.

Ignoring Positive Qualities. When compliments are given to them, they might brush such comments aside or say that “it was all luck” or “it wasn’t that big a deal.” Instead, they might focus on what they didn’t do or the mistakes they made.

Impact on Work/Study. A person with low self -value might consistently achieve less than they are able to because they believe they are less capable than they are. They might work extremely hard and push themselves to do more because they believe they need to make up for, or cover up, their lack of skill. They might find it hard to believe any good results they get are due to their own abilities or positive qualities.

Relationship Problems. In personal relationships, people with low self-value might become upset or distressed by any criticism or disapproval, or bend over backwards to please other. They may also be extremely shy or self-consciousness or even avoid or withdraw from intimacy or social contact.

Recreation and Leisure. People with low self-value might not engage in many leisure or recreational activities, avoiding situations where they could be judged or evaluated in some way, such as sports, dancing, art and craft classes.

Personal Self-Care. People who do not value themselves may not bother with personal care. On the other hand, they might try to hide any inadequacies by not allowing themselves to be seen by others unless they look absolutely perfect.

Common Faces of Low Self-Value

1. The Imposter:Acts happy and successful but is really terrified of failure. Lives with the constant fear that she or he will be found out. Needs continuous successes to maintain the mask of positive self-esteem, which may lead to problems with perfectionism, procrastination, competition, and burn-out.

2. The Rebel: Acts like the opinions or good will of others, especially people who are important, or powerful, don't matter. Lives with constant anger about not feeling good enough. Continuously needs to prove that others' judgments and criticisms don't hurt which may lead to problems like blaming others excessively, breaking rules or laws, or opposing authority.

3. The Victim: Acts helpless and unable to cope with the world and waits for someone to come to the rescue. Uses self-pity or indifference as a shield against fear of taking responsibility for changing his or her life. Looks repeatedly to others for guidance, which can lead to such problems as unassertiveness, underachievement, and excessive reliance on others in relationships.

Where does Self- Esteem Develop ?

Experiences during childhood play a particularly large role in the shaping of self-value and acceptance. When we are growing up, our successes, failures, and how we were treated by our family, teachers, coaches, religious authorities, and peers, all contribute to the creation of our self-value.

Childhood experiences that may lead to low self-value include:

• Being harshly criticized

• Being physically, sexually, or emotionally abused

• Being ignored, ridiculed, or teased

• Being expected to be perfect all the time.

People with low self-value often received messages from parents, teachers, peers, or others that failed experiences (losing a game, getting a poor result) meant they were failures as individuals.

Steps to Improved Self-Acceptence

Challenge the Inner Critic
The first important step in improving self-value is to begin to challenge the negative messages of the critical inner voice.

Practice Self-Compassion.
Rebutting your critical inner voice is an important first step but it is not enough. Practicing self-compassion means treating yourself with the same empathy you would show others. If a friend were having a hard time you'd be likely to be extra caring and supportive. You deserve the same treatment.

Recognize your humanness.
As humans we all make mistakes and we are all impacted by external factors that we can't control. Recognizing that mistakes are an inevitable part of being human helps us to be more compassionate with ourselves and others.

Be mindful of your emotions.
If you do feel upset about a situation try to allow yourself to experience that emotion in a balanced way without suppressing it, or getting completely swept up in the feeling.

If you can remember that emotions come and go, and eventually pass, it will help you to not become overwhelmed by your feelings.

Get Help from Others

Getting help from others is often the most important step a person can take to improve his or her self-esteem, but it can also be the most difficult. People with low self-esteem often don't ask for help because they feel they don't deserve it, but other people can help to challenge the critical messages that come from negative past experiences.

Talk to a Counsellor. Counselling sessions frequently address issues like low self-value and help people to gain a stronger sense of self. Working with a counsellor can help you become more assertive, confident, and self-aware.

At Clarity Counselling we focus on helping people develop self compassion so that they can develop more realistic, achievable goals for themselves and treat themselves with the same kindness and encouragement they would offer others.

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