How Self-Esteem is Nurtured and Damaged

By S. Renee Smith, Vivian Harte

Understanding your past means digging deep to identify what you experienced and the feelings you had. You may not be fully aware of the impact these experiences had on you.

Have you ever said something like, “I’m never going to have a good relationship!” or “I might as well not even try for that promotion. Everyone else always gets promoted, not me.”

Statements like these are not based on reality, but on what you think reality is. You’re really scaring yourself from trying harder to have a good relationship or putting your name in for that promotion. These thoughts hold you back and limit you from creating your life the way you want it to be.

If you see the world as hostile, that’s what you’ll experience. On the other hand, if you see the world as friendly, you’ll experience it that way.

How you think about reality now is directly related to how you lived through your past. If you have healthy self-esteem, your experiences in your past were positive and enriching.

If you have low self-esteem from past experiences, you’ll interpret what happens to you as an adult as a repeat of your sense of low self-worth as a child. Zeroing in on the factors that caused your low self-esteem is crucial to dealing with them effectively.