Time and time again I see clients come into see me with low mood or anxiety and it all comes down to the same, repeating, negative thought; ‘I don’t feel like I am good enough’. You may have this feeling in your job, family life, marriage or perhaps if you’re comparing yourself to another person physically (as we all do!). These feelings of ‘not being good enough’ are firmly rooted in low self-esteem.
If you think of self esteem as the ground in which your life is built, and each component of your life, such as your job, marriage, social life etc as bricks. If you have high self-esteem your ground is solid, it can handle anything you place on it. However, if you think of low self-esteem as ground made of sand, these bricks (life components), begins to sink. It is when these ‘bricks’, begin to sink, is when the feelings of depression or anxiety begin to creep in.
I believe all emotional problems stem from a basic loss of confidence and self-esteem.
Unhappiness can arise out of something circumstantial recently or be much more deep rooted than that, often from childhood. It is vital in the counseling relationship that you feel safe so you can be guided through what can be painful territory. Feelings you may never have shared with anyone before. If these life affecting circumstances or trauma aren’t examined the mood just deteriorates and festers until breakdown eventually occurs. We all need to be listened to and ideally in a discreet and totally confidential environment. Life can be incredibly difficult for us all but some of us cope better than others. Feeling happier in your own skin and mind is the way forward.
So often we keep making the same mistakes in relationships, almost unknowingly because that is the way we have been programmed – usually from childhood. Negative repeat behavior is understandable and can be passed down through the generations.
CBT is different to other therapies in the sense that it isn’t a long drawn out process (usually 10- 14 sessions). It enables you to become your own therapist, rather than depending on someone else.
Causes of low self-esteem
Your early environment and influences can have a major effect on how your confidence has developed throughout your early life – along with the type of person you are and the strength of your ego. Children who have been unable to have their needs understood usually retain the habit. This causes the roots of dysfunction that follow you all through your life. This in turn creates a huge pressure on you to somehow ‘pretend’ socially that you are the person you would like to be whilst harboring huge feelings of failure and self-consciousness.
What you can do about low self-confidence
By unconditional positive regard for you from your therapist. Starting with a clean sheet if you like. You have to start to understand the setbacks before they take you over. As human beings we are quite flexible and all the distortion can slowly be turned around i.e. with CBT. Being aware of why you get a negative thought in the first place, then intercepting it with recognition of the old ways of thinking before it becomes an overpowering feeling. These ‘bad’ feelings very soon become behaviors and patterns that confirm the ‘useless’ way you believe you are. If your setbacks and lack of self-worth are recurring and feel insurmountable then it may well be worth seeing a counselor.
I have helped a great many clients with problems around all these issues. A lack of self-confidence and self-esteem are at the root of most of the difficulties I have listed. You and I can work together, confidentially, and find a way out of the confusion, mood swings, and constant uncertainty you are experiencing.
If you are experiencing these problems and would like to have a no obligation phone call to answer questions or queries. Please contact me through www.jessicaleighcbt.com
Thank you for reading.