What is Self-esteem?
Self-esteem is a term used to describe a person’s overall subjective sense of personal worth or value. In other words, self-esteem is connected to how much you appreciate and like yourself regardless of the circumstances.
People with healthy self-esteem like themselves and are able to recognise and value their personal achievements. Someone with low self-esteem may feel unhappy or unsatisfied with themselves.
People with low self-esteem often suffer from depression if not addressed through self-esteem-building practices and/or treatment such as kinesiology or even counselling.
Self-esteem is important as it impacts your decision-making process, your relationships, emotional health and overall wellbeing. It also is a direct influence on motivation, people with healthy self-esteem understand their potential and may feel inspired to take on new challenges.
The concept of self-esteem plays an important role in psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which depicts esteem as one of the basic human motivations. Maslow suggested that individuals need both appreciation from other people and inner self-respect to build esteem. Both of these needs must be fulfilled in order for an individual to grow as a person and reach self-actualization.
It is important to note that self-esteem is a concept distinct from self-efficacy, which involves how well you believe you’ll handle future actions, performance, or abilities.
Signs and Symptoms of a low self-esteem
Low self esteem may manifest in a variety of ways. If you have low self esteem you may:
- Tend to judge or be critical of yourself or others.
- Feel that others are better than you.
- Ignore or not see your positive qualities and focus on the negatives.
- Experience fear, self-doubt and worry.
- Have a negative outlook and feel a lack of control.
- Use negative words or hold on to negative beliefs about yourself – including describing yourself as stupid, fat, ugly or unlovable?
- Put others needs before your own.
- Have trouble setting boundaries.
- Find it difficult to pursue your goals and maintain healthy relationships.
Having low self-esteem can seriously impact the quality of your life and increases your risk of dis-ease. The good news is, intervention such as kinesiology can help to improve your self-image and your life.
Causes of low self-esteem
There are many factors that can influence self-esteem. Causes of low self-esteem are varied and always depend on the individual’s response to a situation.
One’s self esteem may be impacted by:
- Poor academic performance, or inability to integrate a particular learning style. Resulting in low marks and/or criticism from teachers, parents, and peers.
- Relationship problems including abusive relationships (physical and/or emotional)
- Financial issues
- Ongoing medical problems such as chronic pain, serious illness or physical disability
- Mental illness such as an anxiety disorder or depression.
- An unhappy childhood where influential people were hyper-critical
Long-term effects of low self-esteem.
Low self-esteem issues are often associated with the Solar Plexus Chakra and the Spleen Meridian.
Low self-esteem can affect a person’s life in many ways, including:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, anger, shame, or guilt.
- Scattered and confused thoughts.
- Bad Tempered.
- Relationship issues and tolerating unreasonable behavior
- Fear of failure, doubting one’s abilities or worth and avoiding challenges.
- Fear of judgement, avoiding activities that involve other people, because they are afraid they will be negatively judged. The person feels self-conscious and stressed around others and constantly looks for ‘signs’ that people don’t like them.
- Ability to cope. A person with low self-esteem finds it hard to cope or become overwhelmed by challenging life events.
- Lack of self-care – may neglect or abuse themselves, for example, drink too much alcohol.
- Self-harming behaviours, there is an increased risk of self-harm, for example, eating disorder, drug abuse or suicide.
- Some of the physical indications of an imbalance may be fluid retention, weight gain and poor digestion, frequent urination, fatigue and more.
How Kinesiology can help resolve low self-esteem issues.
Kinesiology is a therapy designed to identify and reduce stress and improve self-esteem on a number of different levels.
Kinesiology helps us to identify the causes of low self-esteem by accessing the many and varied subconscious connections that lead to a state of low self-esteem. By working with the subconscious mind to unlock and integrate past experiences and events we can help the body to let go of subconscious attitudes and beliefs about yourself.
Through Kinesiology we can remove the blocks and help you to learn new strategies for understanding and coping with stress to help you better deal with future situations.
Kinesiology can help you to learn how to:
- Set goals and help remove blocks to achieve them.
- Challenge negative ‘self-talk’ stop criticising yourself.
- Open the doorway to enable you to accept yourself.
- Acknowledge your positive traits, accept compliments and acknowledge your positive qualities.
- Let go of the past and become more present.
- Let go of worry and fear about the future.
- Help you set boundaries, enabling you to communicate your needs, wants, feelings, beliefs and opinions to others in an authentic manner.
- Help you get more joy from your life with a quality morning routine.
- Unblock your energetic pathways such as the meridian and chakras by working with vibrational medicine techniques such as acupressure.
Kinesiology works with the Chinese medicine meridian system and the ayurvedic chakra system to balance energy centres using vibrational frequencies such as sound and flower essences.
The importance of small steps
It is very unlikely that you will go from poor to good self-esteem overnight.
Instead, you will probably find you make small improvements over a period of time. The key is to look over the long term, rather than day-to-day, and focus on the big picture, not the detail of how you felt at a particular moment yesterday.
When you feel good, or you do something good, celebrate it—but don’t beat yourself up if you occasionally slip back into negative patterns of thinking. Just pick yourself up again and try to think more positively. Eventually, this will become a habit and you will find that your self-esteem has quietly got better.
If you have any questions, reach out!
Suggested kinesiology treatment plan.
When treating emotional stress at Life in Progress Kinesiology Melbourne we recommend:
- An initial 90-minute kinesiology consultation followed by between 3 – 5 standard consultations 1 -2 weeks apart.
- Further follow-up standard consultations should be spaced between 2 -4 weeks apart or booked as needed.
If you want to find out more about self-esteem check out the Victorian government’s Better Health Channel.
Author – Kinesiologist, Carla Kaine from A Life in Progress.