Self-Esteem For Dummies
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The foundations of your feelings of self-esteem have come from your past. The sources are many — your parents and siblings, the neighborhood children you played with, the children you attended school with, your teachers, and religious authorities. All of these people have helped establish how you’ve felt about yourself.

Many of your notions of self-esteem have come directly from how you were treated in your family. If you were given loving attention and praise and if you were spoken to in a polite manner and listened to, these experiences have helped you form a strong sense of self-worth.

On the other hand, if you were put down, neglected, or disregarded, or screamed at and disciplined harshly, your sense of self-worth has been diminished or extinguished altogether.

If that weren’t enough, you have also received messages from society about who you should be. These messages can come from movies, television shows, and magazines. They tell you to act a certain way and look a certain way. They tell you how successful you should be and what a great relationship you should have. They tell you that you should have a perfect life, so if you don’t, you feel something must be wrong with you.

All of these factors work together to create core beliefs about yourself in your mind — how you see yourself and how you interpret what takes place in your life. Even as an adult now, you still have the core beliefs you formed as a child.

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S. Renee Smith is a renowned self-esteem and branding expert, speaker, author, and resource to the media. Her expertise in personal and professional development and ability to inspire others to make positive, permanent changes has made her a sought-after consultant and speaker to Fortune 500 corporations, universities, government and nonprofit agencies, and churches. Vivian Harte has taught assertiveness skills online to over 10,000 students worldwide. She has 14 years of experience teaching in the classroom at Pima Community College and the University of Phoenix. She also hosted her own radio and television shows for many years in Colorado Springs, Minneapolis, and Tucson.

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