We all have days where our self-esteem dips and we can’t seem to get ourselves out of our emotional funk – after a day or two (or perhaps a week), we get over it and “find” ourselves again. But what happens when we “find” ourselves and we realize our self-esteem wasn’t high to begin with? In fact, how do you KNOW whether or not you have a healthy level of self-esteem?
I sat down with the lovely Robin Craycroft, MS, PLPC – a counselor who has worked with people from all walks of life and who can hold my attention for hours and hours (until your daughter is tugging at your shirt because she is hungry and we’ve been in Starbucks for two hours), and she gave me a few pointers on self-esteem which I wanted to share. You are welcome, Springfield, Mo.
Why Self-Esteem is Important
Self-esteem is how we view and think of ourselves. Most of our decisions and choices in life are based on self-esteem. Robin shared that if we have a good sense of self-worth then we typically make healthier and more beneficial choices in life which often leads to joy and success.
When you have high self-esteem, crossing paths with that grumpy coworker leaves you emotionally unaffected. They may say negative things in an attempt to get a rile out of you, and you are unmovable emotionally whereas others may react and have one statement ruin their whole day.
People with high self-esteem have a tendency to set themselves up for success both with people and with themselves. They value who they are, and they take care of themselves emotionally, physically and mentally. They also set boundaries for people and the way they allow others to treat them, and in turn, they treat others in a better way as well.
They are nice to be around because they are friendly to you…but not in the over-compensating people-pleasing way… they are genuine and authentic in their kindness and compassion.
Problems and Symptoms of Having Low Self-Esteem
- People with low self-esteem tend to feel sad, down, depressed or empty regularly;
- There is reduced pleasure in activities;
- Increased or reduced appetite;
- Difficulties sleeping;
- Feelings of lethargy overtake them most of the time;
- Feeling restless or fidgety;
- Difficulties concentrating or making decisions;
- Thoughts about being better off dead or hurting oneself come regularly.
Granted, you may be going through a difficult time at the moment which renders feelings and emotions which aren’t your norm, so keep that in mind (such as losing a job, going through a breakup or divorce, other stressors, etc.).
Do I Have High Or Low Self-Esteem?
Because your self-esteem impacts almost every part of your life, it is important to take a look at how you view yourself. Take a moment and honestly write a description of yourself. What value do you place on yourself? What are the first few things which pop into your mind? I did this activity with Robin and luckily, I am bordering on narcissism…. I kid!!
On a side note, narcissism is an indication of someone over-compensating for low self-esteem as they want to APPEAR confident to those around them, when inside, they have low self-worth.
*GASP* That moment you realize all those arrogant jerks you dated were simply little boys who didn’t value themselves…. It all makes so much sense!
But I digress!
What were the first couple of things that popped into your head? Was it the things you are or the things you aren’t? For example, did you write or think that you are pretty, or just “not ugly.” Do you feel other people or their needs are more important than yours?
However you answer this question is a great indicator of your level of self-esteem. If this was easy for you to answer and have more “positive” answers than “negative,” you are in a healthy emotional space according to Mrs. Craycroft. If you struggled to answer this, you may want to work on your self-esteem.
We are going to look into this article next week – in the meantime, you can take a self-esteem quiz HERE to see where you are. Keep in mind, an online self-esteem quiz does NOT diagnose you for high or low self-esteem, depression, narcissism or anything really…that’s what a counselor is for!
If you are interested in finding out more or would like a free phone consultation with the lovely Mrs. Robin Craycroft, you can visit her website here to find out more, email her here, or call her number at (417) 210-9175.