Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.
–-Louise L. Hay
Self Esteem & Self Worth
Love who you are. You have to love yourself first before you can love another. Cliche' ? Yes. Wrong? Probably not. Easy to do? Hell no! If it was, you probably wouldn't be here on this webpage and in such pain. Learning to love and accept ourselves for who and what we are is hard work. Every relationship we have whether romantic, platonic, at home or at work, is based on how you feel about yourself. It sets the tone and tenor of your life.
Low self esteem is like a pair of glasses, a lens in which your world is viewed through. The family reunion in which you get to see your favorite cousins, is viewed through the lens of 'I've put on weight, I am a failure', the blind date with the super cute friend of a friend is viewed through the lens 'I always get dumped, this will be no different'. And what happens? You flake out on the family reunion and the date and stay home watching reruns of Star Trek the Next Generation. Your life get smaller and smaller as your poor opinion of yourself grows.
Not feeling good about yourself is incredible painful, I get it, and you are not alone. But there is a way out. It can get better. You have the power to make all the cliche's true and love who you are.
Signs of Low Self Esteem & Self Worth
You Apologize for Being Human: someone bumps into you and you say sorry, chronic apologizing, thinking everything that goes wrong is your fault.
Not Accepting Compliments: always deflecting when someone says something nice about you, not believing people when they compliment you, always responding with a compliment for the other person.
Pessimism and Putting Others Down: everything sucks and everyone is sucky, you need to put down others so you don't feel as bad, when you feel bad about yourself it's hard to feel good about anyone else.
Blaming Others: by finding others to blame for how you feel you become a victim of circumstance, problem is you know it is a lie and shame begins to build up.
Unduly Influenced by Others: you buy things you don't actually like because 'everyone' tells you it's the cat's meow, or you pick a major or career because it would impress someone.
Low Expectations: you set your sights low in order to keep your predicted failures less painful, you don't volunteer for a plumb work project because you feel that you will just screw it up.
Therapy for Low Self Esteem and Self Worth
Often times poor self worth manifests in particular ways with each person. Maybe you focus on your weight, height, nose or big toe. Maybe it is focused on your socioeconomic standing, ethnicity or education. What ever you think that one thing is that if you could change it, everything would be perfect. Unfortunately, you would just move on to the next item on the list. Therapy gets to the real issue, so you can make real changes.
Your one thing gives us a perfect starting point to begin to unravel what is actually beneath the surface. In therapy we will start by exploring childhood experiences, family patterns and personal patterns. We will start to make the unconscious conscious and begin to accept what has been pushed away. We will grieve past hurts, betrayals and regrets in a safe non-judgmental space. We will identify your negative core beliefs and work to replace them with beliefs that support you. We will be building shame resiliency and new coping skills. Self compassion therapy, mindfulness and forgiveness may be a part of therapy as we work together on your path to greater self worth.
Professional Counseling in Lake Oswego, SW Portland, Beaverton, Tigard & Greater Portland