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"I am a little depressed and I have low self-esteem". We've all heard this phrase or similar at some time, right? This entry is not about “be depressed ”, a term that is too widespread in our society and that in most cases is not used properly, but on the second part of the sentence, because ...What really is self-esteem?

We could define self-esteem as the set ofperceptions, thoughts, judgments and affections about oneself. It influences all aspects of our experience and is expressed in ourway of being and being, of acting and relating. Love, friends, work, family, our present and future are affected in some way by our self-esteem.

Good self-esteem appears in the form of trust and respect for oneself.

We are born with a self-esteem and ... is it? Not at all! To the extent that a child feels loved, valued, recognized and respected, he will learn to love himself, value himself, recognize himself and respect himself. To keep my self-esteem healthy I don't need to be valued as much as I value myself.

Here lies the key:Self-esteem is always susceptible to improvement.A person who develops their self-esteem acquires skills to face life with confidence, security and develops strategies to achieve their goals.Self-esteem can develop at any time in the life cycle.

Another important aspect is to differentiate it from what is NOT self-esteem (what is known as"Pseudo-self-esteem" or false self-esteem). Think of people with an incredible professional career, handsome, desired, with social and economic success. Okay, surely cases of celebrities have come to mind that have had all that and yet have not been entirely happy. However,Are all these things synonymous with self-esteem?There are people with “false self-esteem” who value themselves and measure themselves for what they get (for their results) and not for what they really are.

We cannot forget several aspects that influence self-esteem: the first one is theselfconcept, which is the image we have of ourselves nuanced with the opinion of others. This concept is formed throughout life and once formed, we build our self-esteem, that is, "how we feel with ourselves." Second, identify that we are often not aware thatOur thoughts influence how we feel and how we act. When we feel an unpleasant or positive emotion it is because before there has been a thought, that is, an interpretation of the reality that surrounds us. As we can not forget that our self-esteem is also set according to our goals and achievements throughout life.

Characteristics of a person with adequate self-esteem

  • Trust yourself.
  • Trust your own judgment without feeling guilty, even when challenged by other people.
  • Do not blame yourself excessively when you make mistakes.
  • But he is responsible for his actions, and if he is wrong, he recognizes it and tries to learn from the error.
  • Face new challenges appropriately.
  • You do not need the approval of others to move forward.
  • Accept criticism.
  • Show your feelings and emotions (negative and positive).
  • He does not feel uncomfortable recognizing his achievements or his defects or mistakes.
  • Know your capabilities and limitations realistically.
  • He has the capacity to enjoy and live the present.
  • It is not considered inferior or superior to others and respects the opinions of other people even if it does not share their ideas and values.

Keys to good self-esteem

  • Stop asking others for opinions to create your own.
  • Try to compare yourself with others as little as possible, but compare yourself with yourself to know how to improve.
  • Risk the possibility of being wrong.
  • Start making small decisions without the help or advice of others.
  • Stop judging yourself.
  • Stop self-demanding ("should").

Author: Mireya Martín Manzano (Health Psychologist)