For adults there are a range of self tests available on the internet that can help us assess our level of self esteem. There are also some for older children which are worded in a way that children will feel comfortable with.
But we can ask some simple questions like…
- Do you feel comfortable trying new things and meeting new people?
- Do you think you are generally liked?
- Do you think you have the respect of your work colleagues?
- Do you feel happy most of the time?
- Do you look forward to new challenges?
- Do you value your own opinion?
If you answer yes to these questions you probably don’t have low self esteem. However if you think you have low self esteem, you might want to find out more.
Sometime it helps just to read about self esteem and think about how feel about what we have read. We may feel that although we don’t have the optimum level of self esteem, we are reasonably self confident and just need to have a bit of a tinker with some of our attitudes and feelings.
For example, an understanding of how our level of self esteem is formed can give us a better feel for our level of esteem. Our experiences with our family and other people as we are growing up will be very instrumental in developing our self esteem.
If we are treated well, kindly and fairly by our parents, teachers and peers, we are more likely to have a healthy level of self esteem. However if we are treated badly, and we believe unfairly, it is more likely that our self esteem will be low. Regular criticism, being told we are useless, stupid etc., being constantly being reminded of our failings. These are likely to damage our self esteem.
Low self esteem can result if we are generally told we are useless or stupid. If we are shouted at, or ignored, or made to feel we are in the way, or not really wanted these attitudes are damaging to self esteem.
On the other hand, if we experience a kind and understanding reaction to an exam failure, or not getting a certain job or onto the netball or football team, we may from an early age understand that one exam failure doesn’t mean we are failures as people.
Supportive and loving parents, and others who keep things in a sensible perspective, will help us develop a good and healthy level of self esteem. These people will want us to feel good about ourselves. They won’t want us to have negative feelings about ourselves, and they won’t want us to be full of ourselves either.
Sadly, many people who suffer from low self esteem find it hard to develop good communication skills. For their children this can be devastating, and serves to pass down to the next generation the same difficulties and concerns they have themselves.
If we can learn from this, we can see that the way those who have hurt us have behaved reflects more on themselves than it does on us. They don’t want to hurt us, but don’t know how to behave differently.
Learning that self esteem is itself a learned behavior is important in helping us to change our view of ourselves. If something is learned, it can often be unlearned.
If we can learn how to value ourselves more fairly, we can influence our future behavior, our future life chances. Perhaps most importantly, we can learn how to behave better with our own children or other youngsters in order to improve their life chances too.Tagged with: Adults, Attitudes, Challenges, Exam Failure, Experiences, Feelings, Job, Low Self Esteem, Optimum Level, Parents, Peers, Self Tests, Simple Questions, Tinker, Work Colleagues,