Self-Confidence & Self-Esteem
The terms 'self-esteem' and 'self-confidence' are often used interchangeably when we describe how we feel about ourselves. However, although self-confidence is related to self-esteem, they are two different concepts. Unlike self-esteem, which describes how we feel about ourselves as a whole, self-confidence is the level of trust we have in our abilities, our sense of judgement and personal qualities.
Self-esteem is the phrase we use to describe the opinion we have of ourselves. It refers to how we think, the type of person we are, our abilities and what we expect for the future.
When our self-esteem is healthy, we tend to feel good about ourselves and have a positive outlook on life in general. A high self-esteem gives us the courage and strength to deal with the ups and downs in life – without them having a long-term impact on our health and well-being.
When our self-esteem is low, our thoughts and feelings about ourselves are generally negative. We are more likely to focus on our weaknesses and be overly critical of the things we do and mistakes we’ve made. Low self-esteem means our entire outlook on life is affected. We are also less able to cope with everyday challenges.
Our mental health can be severely affected by ongoing low self-esteem. Our relationships and physical health may also suffer. Seeking help is vital for ensuring long-term problems do not develop. Hypnotherapy for self-esteem is an increasingly popular means of treatment and support.
Self-esteem and self-confidence
Levels of self-confidence can vary depending on a situation. For example, one may be self-confident when it comes to doing mathematical equations, but not so much when it comes to reading and writing. Self-esteem on the other hand is how we feel about ourselves overall – no matter what the circumstance. Our self-esteem is shaped by our experiences and situations that have happened in the past. These determine how we feel about ourselves in the present.
It is not uncommon for someone who is self-confident to have low self-esteem – and vice versa. Ultimately, when you value yourself, your self-esteem improves. This makes you feel more confident. When you are confident in many areas of your life, you feel better about yourself. You can work on both simultaneously. Hypnotherapy is one of the ways you can do this, but on this page we are looking specifically into overcoming low self-esteem.
It is generally believed that issues with self-esteem stem from childhood. Our history and relationships with those around us – including our parents, friends and siblings – shape the opinion we have ourselves. We receive a combination of positive and negative messages as we grow up, but for some reason it tends to be the negative ones that stick. Feelings of not being good enough can continue into adulthood.
How we develop our self-esteem through adolescence can impact our future levels of self-worth. Our own natural personalities may also play a part. Some of us may possess personality traits that make us more susceptible to negative thought patterns about who we are and of our capabilities.
Another source of low self-esteem, particularly among young people, is the media. People portrayed in the news and online are packaged into unrealistic ideals of beauty and success. These plant the seed of self-doubt into our minds and make us feel like we can’t measure up to what is considered desirable. We are inundated with messages from the media every day. For those struggling with low self-esteem, this offers little relief from feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness.
On the other hand, traumatic life events such as abuse or serious illness can cause self-esteem to plummet. Being forced into a physical or emotional position against your will can make it very hard to trust yourself or others. It can leave you feeling out of control and in your head you may have convinced yourself you were to blame in some way. Hypnosis for self-esteem works specifically with these past causes to help people overcome negative thinking patterns.
Low self-esteem affects us all in different ways. There are however common signs to look out for. If a person feels like they are inadequate or unworthy, their behaviour will reflect this. They act in a way that confirms they aren’t able to do things or aren’t very good.
Below is an overview of the types of behaviours and feelings someone with low self-esteem may experience. Over time these can start to take a toll on health and well-being, relationships and working life. This is why treatments such as hypnotherapy for self-esteem are so important:
- feeling hopeless or depressed
- feeling bored with life
- having no motivation
- feeling constantly anxious or fearful of making a mistake
- lack of assertiveness
- feeling overly sensitive to criticism
- thinking there’s nothing to look forward to
- thinking negatively about yourself
- feeling tired a lot of the time
- feeling like a failure
- wishing your life was better.
Living with low self-esteem
The signs are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding what it’s like to live with constant feelings of inadequacy. Read on to explore more behaviours and feelings exhibited by those struggling with low self-esteem.
It is a basic need of all humans to know they are, and can be, loved. If you have low self-esteem it is likely that you question whether you are loveable. You may constantly seek reassurance from others – looking outside of yourself and at the behaviours of those closest to you – to define whether you are loveable. Overcoming low self-esteem involves learning to accept yourself through your eyes, and not through the appraisal of others.
Often people with low self-esteem have difficulty maintaining close, honest, healthy relationships. Negative thinking such as assuming the worst and self-doubt translates into relationship insecurities. This is because low self-esteem not only impacts perception of self, but also the expectations of the partner and the tenor of a relationship.
Hypnosis for self-esteem can help you develop respect and appreciation for yourself. This will completely change how you interact with others. It will enable you to take control of your insecurities and not let them affect your relationships. With healthy self-esteem you can trust more easily and fully embrace the love, support and affirmation a relationship can bring.
We all have a tendency to be defensive, but having low levels of self-esteem can make you more defensive. Feeling negative about yourself will make you sensitive to criticism. You may fear any suggestions you make will receive disapproval. As a result you may get defensive when being asked to add input or voice your opinion. This could be an immediate reaction to being exposed in such a way.
Overcoming low self-esteem through hypnosis involves reprogramming your thoughts. Hypnosis for low self-esteem empowers you to develop a more positive perception of yourself. In turn, you will feel more confident about discussing your views and ideas with others.
Living with constant fear and anxiety means people with low self-esteem can find it difficult communicating their true feelings. If you can relate to this, you may feel that you don’t have the right to ask for what you want or that you have nothing to offer. You may have an intense fear of rejection and feel paralysed in social situations – unsure of what to say or do. This difficulty communicating can impact several areas of your life.
What are the consequences?
If you are living with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt your mental health may be at risk. Although low self-esteem is not recognised as a mental health problem, the two are closely related. This is because long-term negative thinking can lead to depression and anxiety. Self-doubt and feeling hopeless can also make it hard for you to try new things or complete everyday tasks. This can stop you from living life in a fulfilling and healthy way.
Low self-esteem is also linked to the development of unhelpful habits such as smoking and drug taking. For many, these habits help them to better cope with their thoughts and feelings. In the long-term however, addiction can make life more difficult and reinforce feelings of unworthiness and self-loathing. It can also lead to mental health problems.
Alternatively, mental health problems can cause low self-esteem. Eating disorders, depression and social phobias, for example, involve negative thinking about yourself. In many cases, people with mental health problems will withdraw from society. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Both are linked to low self-esteem. The stigma associated with mental health problems can also contribute to negative thinking.
Overcoming low self-esteem
Overcoming low self-esteem requires identifying and challenging the negative beliefs you have about yourself. Understanding how you learned them and why, can help you to unravel the significance they have in your daily life. There are many self-help tips you can try.
Taking care of your physical health, reducing stress levels and exercising can all help you build self-esteem. Keeping a diary to explore negative memories may help you relate to how these are causing you distress now. Asking when you first started thinking negatively about yourself and why, may allow you to see things in a more realistic light. Dance, music, creative writing and painting are also thought to increase self-esteem. They can help you to find a sense of empowerment.
In addition to self-help techniques, counselling and hypnotherapy for self-esteem can be helpful. Hypnosis can be particularly beneficial for those wanting to discover the root cause of your negative thinking and learn new behaviours that support a healthy esteem in the long-term.
Hypnotherapy for self-esteem
Hypnosis is a relaxing and safe process that involves redirecting the attention of both the conscious and subconscious mind. The aim of hypnosis for self-esteem is to identify and challenge patterns of negative thinking. It also encourages positive changes through the power of suggestion. Once you’re under hypnosis, a hypnotherapist will present various hypnotic suggestions, visualisations and other techniques. These help to promote positive thoughts, attitudes and beliefs that support a healthy self-esteem.
In the deeply relaxed state of hypnosis, your subconscious is more accepting of suggestions to change. By identifying your problems and goals in an initial conscious enquiry, a hypnotherapist can tailor their suggestions to meet your needs. In the case of hypnotherapy for self-esteem, the primary aim is to encourage self-empowerment and reduce negative self-talk. Thus promoting the development of long-term, healthy self-esteem.