Your self-esteem is more than just the confidence you have in yourself. It goes much deeper than that, down into your feelings of self-worth and how much you respect yourself. Your self-esteem affects everything about you, from the decisions you make to your overall outlook on the world.
A strong and healthy self-esteem is one of the main building blocks of a happy and healthy you. With a healthy self-esteem you can have the confidence to do well in the world, and the self-respect to make good decisions.
Self-Esteem & Your Happines
Happiness means different things to different people, but we know it when we feel it.
The key to happiness is how we feel about ourselves. It’s an inside job. Loving and accepting ourselves for who we are. Yet, from an early age we all receive criticism from people around us.
Even if the comments have a good intention, it doesn’t mean we will take it that way. Especially when we are young. It’s true sometimes people are trying to guide us in living our lives safely.
There are rules that are in place to do this, but they can be interpreted as criticism too. And we do receive negative criticism along the way that can impact the way we feel about ourselves.
We don’t like criticism from others, but from a very early age we internalise it and begin to criticise ourselves. Studies have shown that as much as 87% of our self-talk is negative. That little voice in our head that doesn’t shut up isn’t the friendliest voice to listen to.
Because of this, our self-esteem is threatened from an early age. We sometimes crave acceptance from others when we don’t even give it to ourselves. We are putting happiness outside of ourselves and giving the power to someone else to make us feel good.
All the negative emotions and all the elements of insecurity (fear, anger, hate, jealousy, envy, depression, anxiety, and sadness) begin by the time we are toddlers. We can combine all this under the umbrella of unhappiness.
Unhappiness drains our energy, distracts us, and causes us to act in self-defeating ways. Our level of happiness will determine what we go towards in our lives and what we turn away from.
If our self-esteem is good we will go towards the things we want. We have a plan, a direction on where we are heading. More than that we have a belief that everything we want in life is possible.
If our self-esteem is low, we tend to turn away from the things we want because we don’t believe we deserve them. We fear failure so we stay in our comfort zone.
8 Factors that Influence Your
As you’ve just read our self-esteem has been either built up or knocked down since we were young. Very young. Following are 8 factors that influence your level of self-esteem:
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Your childhood is one of the main contributing influences to your self-esteem. As you grow up and your personality is developing, everyone around you has the potential to influence the person you become.
For example, children that grow up in particularly chaotic home environments tend to have lower confidence and self-esteem. Children that grow up in unstable homes tend to carry that burden with them throughout their entire lives.
The level of love and attention they have been shown as a child can determine (in their mind) the level of love they deserve.
2. Our Society
The pressures of society are a main contributor of low self-esteem. There are so many demands to live a certain way, dress a certain way, have a certain kind of job and act accordingly.
These pressures can weigh on you, and succumbing to the pressure can often lead to low self-esteem.
Many people get caught up in comparing themselves to everyone else. As the saying goes you can’t measure yourself against someone elses Ruler.
3. The Media
Our absolute obsession with the media, magazines, TV, and social media, contributes to the dilemma of widespread self-esteem issues, especially in today’s youth.
Social media especially helps to influence young minds with the pressure to look, act, or otherwise be like celebrities, public figures, or even their peers. It can be hard not to compare yourself to others even as an adult, but young people struggle with this even more than adults.
With botox, fillers, boob jobs etc Hollywood is now at our door. It’s not reserved for the elite to have access to services that enhance the way you look.
Girls in particular are spending thousands of dollars on getting their hair, makeup and cosmetic enhancements every month. Feeling the need to keep up and not get left behind it places a massive toll on their self-esteem.
4. Religious Beliefs
Some religions and other belief systems can contribute to your sense of self-worth. On the one hand, some religions and belief systems can build you up as a person and fill your life with love and joy.
On the other, some religions suggest that people are inherently bad and that you are a sinner no matter how you live your life. While no belief system is inherently bad in itself, sometimes these practices and ideas can influence self-esteem.
People inherently want to be good. But taking into account we are all human and we have faults and we can and will make mistakes means it’s not a matter of if you break the ‘rules’ but ‘when’. And that’s when a persons self-esteem is impacted they believe they are now a bad person.
5. Friends & Family
The people you spend time with have a big influence on your self-esteem. Your friends can help you build up your confidence, self-image, and self-respect, or they can bring you down.
Some people even purposefully bring each other down to build themselves up, whether or not they’re aware of what they’re doing. It’s sad but true. People like you to succeed but not to be better than them. It threatens their self-worth and self-esteem so you can see it’s a vicious cycle.
When it comes the family you grew up with there can sibling rivalry. Brothers and sisters in competition with each trying to win the affection and attention of their parents.
It’s not uncommon to have one sibling outperform and outshine another. This puts a serious dent in a persons self-esteem and self-confidence.
When you’re an adult and have your own family your self-esteem and self-worth can be impacted by the level of income you created. Can you afford the needs and wants of your family? Are you giving your children everything you didn’t have?
If you have a supportive family that works together and contributes in ways they can it works the other way. It builds self-esteem and self-worth. Just knowing you have people who have your back goes a long way towards self-confidence, reassurance, and self-esteem.
6. Romantic Relationships
All relationships can influence your self-esteem, but romantic relationships tend to have the biggest impact. Being in a happy and loving relationship can boost your self-esteem.
Having your person love you, supports you and believe in you sets a foundation that you can build on. It gives you a soft place to fall if you need it.
On the other hand, a bad relationship can bring you down in so many ways. A bad break-up or being left by a partner can also weigh heavily on your confidence and self-esteem.
Being in a relationship with a Narcissist will blow your self-esteem into tiny little pieces leaving you wondering if you’ll ever be able to put them back together again. (You will by the way)
If your partners used you, cheated on you, said nasty hurtful things or put you down it can leave an imprint on your self-esteem that brands you as worthless and unlovable.
None of that is true however the impact of a negative relationship on your self-esteem has the potential to knock your self-esteem down so badly that you don’t even realise it yourself. The people around you who love you and know you well will see it a mile away.
7. Work Environment
You spend so much of your life at work or at school, so it’s no wonder that that environment would influence every aspect of your life, including your self-esteem.
A stressful and overly demanding job can often contribute to a low self-esteem, while a productive and encouraging workplace can help you grow stronger.
If you put all your efforts into advancing and climbing the ladder at work but are often over-looked for promotion your self-esteem can take a big hit.
Even worse when your company hires outside people who have no clue of your industry but all of a sudden they are higher up than you, and you get the pleasure of training them that shit hurts like a bitch. Yes – been there done that. And it cut real deep.
8. Health Issues
Your overall health can also contribute to your self-esteem. Taking care of yourself, body, mind and spirit can strengthen all aspects of yourself including your self-esteem.
If you have health issues that limit your ability to do things that others can do it’s going to make you feel like you’re missing out. Missing out impacts the way you see yourself.
You end up feeling like you don’t belong, you don’t fit in and you don’t have anything in common with people anymore. Health issues and the impact on self-esteem is so overlooked but the pain is real.
Overall, there are so many factors that can influence your self-esteem. Every part of your life has an influence, and therefore has the ability to effect your self-esteem.
The good news is, the person with the most control over your self-esteem is you. You can do something about it but know that you have to be consistent. For every negative comment you’ve heard you need to tell yourself 10.
Take a look at the next blog 10 tips to help you build up your self-esteem so you can create a healthier relationship with yourself and increase your self-esteem.