The Foundations of Self-Esteem
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.