Do you ever find yourself thinking I will be ok when I get a great job? Or, when I find my dream mate everything will be perfect?
If you do, it’s probably because you have low self-esteem.
Self-esteem can affect so many aspects of your life including your ability to make decisions, assert yourself, recognise your strengths and positives, feel able to try new or difficult things, show kindness towards yourself, move past mistakes without repeatedly blaming yourself and, take the time you need to look after you.
Self-esteem is how you value and perceive yourself based on your opinions and beliefs. At the very core of poor self-esteem, is the feeling that you are not valued. When you value something, you regard it as having worth because it is useful, important and beneficial.
So, understanding that value is based entirely on needs can be a game changer.
We all come into this world as perfect human beings believing that all our needs are going to be met. But we come into families and a society dominated by values.
And, if society and/or a family values one thing, they usually condemn the opposite. For example, if looking after others is a value in your family, engaging in vital self-care maybe considered selfish.
Or, if your school valued winning, then you will be disapproved of if you consider someone else’s best interests. One is deemed good and the other is deemed bad.
As a child to keep you in order, you were trained to behave in a way that was acceptable to the family and society that you lived in. As children we are indoctrinated with these values and then rewarded when they are adhered to. But if they are contradicted, then they are punished.
If you want your needs to be met, to survive in society and have a chance at feeling things like love, belonging, connection, and safety, you only have one option, you needed to adopt the values of the family and society you were born into.
The punishment you were met with as a result of not adhering to those values was so painful that you avoided it at all costs. And to avoid it, you adopted those values and made them your own standard for yourself.
But if any of these values that are now your standards oppose your own unique being, this becomes problematic. For example, if you were born into a sporting family but actually, you are artistic you are going to adopt being sporty as a value and standard yourself. But it is a standard that you will consistently fall short of and therefore, you will feel low self-esteem.
When your standards are at odds with your own unique being and so, you didn’t feel things like love, belonging, connection, and safety, your needs weren’t met. So very early on you formed a belief that they will never be met. You then believe that you can’t meet your needs and that you need someone or something else to fix you.
When you give your needs to someone else to fix, sadly this always leads to disappointment. This is because there isn’t another person in the world who can meet all of your needs and you can’t meet all the needs of another.
As a result, you can end up in an endless cycle of looping thoughts. Looping thoughts work like this: thoughts create feelings and feelings create action.
For example, you might say to yourself ‘I am so fat, I can’t stop myself over eating, it will always be like this…’ thoughts like these create feelings such as disgust, disappointment or anger. And then, those feelings drive action, in this case, it was probably to the fridge.
To give you some clarity around this, it is a good idea to try to identify what are your unmet needs.
Typically, clients with low self esteem will feel that they didn’t get love, didn’t get praise, didn’t feel they mattered or had to earn love.
But needs like love can only be given it can never be earned and so, by trying and feeling as though you are failing makes you feel helpless and/or hopeless.
When you recognise these feelings, a good tip is to write out;
What you are feeling?
Where does it come from?
Relate them back to your unmet needs as a child – there will be a connection.
Understanding is power and once you are aware, you can begin to meet your own needs and not keep searching outside for people or things to fix you.
Making decisions becomes so much easier because you begin to recognise your strengths and positives, feel able to try new things, show kindness towards yourself and take the time you need for yourself.
Making these changes helps your looping thoughts to believe you matter, you are good enough and, you deserve happiness.
If you would like help with any of this, get in touch.
You are worth it 💛