Do you suffer from low self-esteem? Are there times when you feel useless or not good enough? Do you constantly put yourself down?
Throughout my twenty years as a hypnotherapist, people with low self-esteem have made a steady beeline to my door.
What is it that causes us to feel unworthy or not good enough? How do we end up feeling like a failure?
This page will help you find out.
Rest assured, things can and will change with the right help and effort.
Let’s find out how…
What causes low self-esteem?
Low self-esteem – the feeling of being ‘rubbish’ or not good enough – probably has its origins way back in your past.
Perhaps you were told when young that you were useless, pathetic, bad, unwanted or stupid. Maybe you were told much worse?!
See, over time those types of messages get programmed into your subconscious mind and you end up believing in them. You then live out a self-fulfilling prophecy where you unconsciously seek evidence to support those (faulty) beliefs.
You see, the beliefs are faulty. They say nothing about who you truly are as a person.
I speak about how this is likely to happen in my article on trance phenomena.
It’s in those awkward, emotional situations as a kid that you go into a confusion-type trance. Any words said to you (or deeds done to you) can stick like glue in that trance state.
Undoing faulty beliefs through re-programming old memories is something hypnotherapy aims to do.
Changing memories changes how you feel about yourself
One of the main reasons I use hypnosis is that it makes changing beliefs a lot easier. See, many of those beliefs were given to you (or forced on you) by others.
In the REM state – which I talk about in my free ebook – we are highly suggestible. In emotive situations we slip into mini trances that might only last a few seconds. But the words we hear (or the internal dialogue we say to ourselves) become the driving narrative, shaping how we see ourselves and the world around us.
But it’s never too late to change.
The fact is that memories are not set in stone…
Sure, you can’t change what happened back then but you can change the emotional content and the meaning you placed on those events.
This is best done in the same state that you first established those beliefs, namely the REM state. Once in that state you are, once again, open and receptive to ideas. Only this time those ideas are new, better, healthier ideas, free from the damaging influence of your past.
Low self esteem as a result of life’s setbacks
On the other hand, your self-esteem may have been affected in response to temporary setbacks in your adult life…
You may have been made redundant, have financial difficulties or relationship problems, for instance.
The thing is that we all sometimes over-react to life’s setbacks such as losing a job or being left by a lover.
Once again, just like in the earlier childhood incidents, our strong emotions reduce us to black and white/all-or-nothing thinking. This is a trance in itself in that your perception of reality is severely restricted.
Black and white thinking is driven by the emotional or ‘survival’ brain. It assumes that just because one thing went wrong, everything is now hopeless…
If you have a so-called ‘bad day’ your whole life is a disaster…
If you ‘fail’ at something it means you’re no good at anything…and you write yourself off as worthless human being!
See how limiting this is? And at the same time, how global? One thing becomes everything!
That’s how the emotional brain operates but the thing is that when your thoughts are distorted in this way you lose sight of the truth of who you really are.
RELATED CONTENT: Find out how to get out of emotional thinking
Why very high self esteem is never a good thing
Very high self-esteem is not the opposite of low self-esteem and is not something you should be aiming for at all.
As certain wise and knowledgeable people have pointed out for millennia, esteeming the self is damaging.
People with very high self-esteem tend to be selfish, greedy and arrogant and take little account of other people’s feelings and opinions. It borders on narcissism.
The thing is that high self-esteem has become a buzz word with psychologists and self-help experts.
These ‘experts’ say that having high self esteem is vital for your mental health – but I don’t buy into that at all…
Positive feelings about yourself – and self esteem – emerge naturally when you engage with life in a meaningful way, so that your emotional needs are met.
The importance of meeting emotional needs
When you learn new skills and develop new competencies, feel emotionally connected to other people, and feel that your life has a purpose, self esteem is yours.
When you engage in activities that truly give you a sense of value and when you are helping and serving others, that is when you will feel best about who you are.
It might sound paradoxical but the best way to feel better about yourself is to forget about yourself!
In other words, the more you focus outwards, away from your self – engaged in positive behaviours and healthy relationships – the better you will feel about yourself.
The self-esteem scale – getting an accurate measure of your self-worth
The truth is that self-esteem goes up and down. It is not a fixed thing. The better your emotional needs are met, the more likely it is that you’ll feel good about who you are.
The key thing to understand is that when emotional needs are met your self esteem naturally rises and if needs are not met, esteem falls. Simple.
So, let’s now look at the Self-Esteem Scale…
I’ve put this into a pdf file for you to download. (I won’t ask for your email. Just click the link and, depending on which app you use to open it, you should be able to score yourself on the scale).
The result will reflect how you feel about yourself at the moment.
The key thing to understand is that self-esteem is changeable! Even if you score low there’s plenty you can do to help yourself, such as this online course from my hypnotherapy trainers…
Or if you’d prefer one-to-one help, book a Free Discovery Session to find out how I can help you boost your self-esteem.
Don’t be held back by old beliefs! Free yourself now!