Is losing your self esteem reversible ?


I listened with interest earlier this week to hear revelations in the news that self esteem issues in women are growing and that they start at a young age.

Does anyone else think this is really news?

Lets forget for a minute the air brushing of photos in glossy magazines, and size 4 models presented to us as ideal images.  This is of course bad enough.  However, self esteem issues can start much closer to home.

When we are born and throughout our early years we believe everything that anyone tells us, without question.  Unwitting parents making general comments can, without releasing start the low self esteem belief.  Of the cuff helpful remarks made in complete innocence can cause damage.  A sibling calling another “stupid” or “ugly” could be something that a person carries with them for the rest of their life.  These become labels that we apply to ourselves over and over again. Its then easy to find examples of when you have been “stupid” proving to yourself that you are.  A spiral develops.

I know that when I think about some of my own confidence issues, that I can tie these back to comments made during my formative years.

Can you break the spiral?

Yes! Follow these simple steps.

  • Listen to the internal dialogue you have with yourself.  Look out for the labels you apply.
  • The next time you hear yourself use a negative label, look for a positive aspect.  (e.g. the term controlling is simply attention to detail – a very positive trait) Apply this new label to yourself.
  • Choose a label of something positive you’d like to be.  Look for opportunities to demonstrate this and examples of when you are.

It is surprising how quickly your thinking can change.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. joelleharris
    Apr 06, 2012 @ 16:03:00

    I disagree with most of the Daily Mail Article. I have worked in schools as a careers adviser, as well as being a parent. I don’t think that it is new and I don’t think it will affect girls long term career chances any more than it will boys.
    Teenagers have always had confidence and self esteem issues. I do however agree that we should do more to support teenagers. The massive government cuts in Careers Guidance and Youth Services will make matters worse, not better.


    • carolyntrafford
      Apr 06, 2012 @ 18:05:05

      Absolutely. I suspect it was a day when there was little else to report. It was useful though in highlighting what a lack of self esteem has on individuals and how easy it is to drop into the lack of self belief trap.

      As a confidence coach i am coming into contact with more and more people who realise thst support is there for them. Its just unfortunate that this needs to be done privately. Counselling is available on the nhs yet coaching isn’t and is more future focussed. We could do so much in schools and colleges


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