Talking About Self-Esteem


The conversation began with, “I don’t think that I am smart enough to do …..”

That’s all I heard.  I confess.  I was eavesdropping.  When I heard those words my first thought was – Of course you cannot do it if you think that you cannot!  And then my mind went tripping away on a discussion of self esteem.   I thought about what I knew.  To be sure that I was defining it properly, I looked the words up in the dictionary, the Oxford dictionary to be exact. – self-esteem NOUN

  • Confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.

    ‘assertiveness training for those with low self-esteem’

I thought about all the people that I know that have trouble with their self-esteem. I thought about how people change their self view.  In life, we need to have confidence in our ability to make the right decisions/choices to help us move through life.  When an opportunity comes up, it is a doorway to something new.  Not taking the door may close on a chance to make a life change.

I remembered a class that I taught on assessing one’s self.  There were ten simple questions to answer. The answers were: a) much of the time   b) some of the time  c) almost never.  (Remember, there are many ways to assess self-esteem.  There are other quizzes, counsellors, or professionals that can give you a much more definitive answer than this short little test.  This is not to replace professional advice or counselling.)

The questions are:

  1. My feelings are easily hurt.
  2. I get very upset if someone criticizes me, even if it is “constructive criticism.”
  3. I feel angry at myself if I make a mistake, even if it is an “honest mistake.”
  4. Instead of making decisions by myself, I usually ask other people what they think I should do.
  5. I usually go along with the group, even if I don’t really agree.
  6. I feel uncomfortable when someone gives me a compliment.
  7. I feel as if I don’t “measure up.” I never feel good enough.
  8. I frequently say negative things to myself, like telling myself I am stupid or fat or just no good.
  9. I don’t like what I see when I look in the mirror. I feel I am very unattractive.
  10. I find myself apologizing for things a lot, even things that aren’t really my fault.

As you might imagine, the more “almost never” answers that you have means that you are quite confident in yourself and your abilities to make good choices.  If your had the answer “some of the time” to many of the questions, then you seem to have a pessimistic view of yourself and your ability to make choices.  Some good coaching can get you back on track.  The answer “much of the time” to many of these questions, then you do not have a good self view, and you lack clarity in making choices.  Self work, coaching, and/or counselling will help change your outlook.

I am a fan of Louise Hay.  I love her affirmations.  Here is a set of affirmations for positive self-esteem.  Try saying or writing the affirmations out twenty-one times each over a period of twenty-one days.  Yes, twenty-one.  Research has shown that repetition over a twenty-one day stretch is what is required to change a habit, view, or belief.  Self-esteem is a belief system. You can change your beliefs.

Positive Affirmations for Self-Esteem

I am totally adequate for all situations.
I choose to feel good about myself. I am worthy of my own love.
I stand on my own two feet. I accept and use my own power.
It is safe for me to speak up for myself.
It does not matter what other people say or do. What matters is how I choose to react and what I choose to believe about myself.
I willingly release any need for struggle or suffering. I deserve all that is good.
Life supports me in every possible way.
I am wonderful, and I feel great. I am grateful for my life.
I have the self-esteem, power, and confidence to move forward in life with ease.
I am a radiant being, enjoying life to the fullest.

I am finished with my discussion on self-esteem.  Thanks for listening.

Many blessings.