Dr melanie fennell


The impact of low self-esteem on the person



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The impact of low self-esteem on the person
Negative beliefs about the self – which form the essence of low self-esteem – express themselves in many ways. OVERCOMING LOW SELF
-
ESTEEM
CR034 – overcoming low self-esteem text:Layout 1 19/3/09 10:26 Page 8

To get a sense of this, it maybe useful to think about someone you know who you would say had low self-esteem.
If you think you have low self-esteem, you could of course consider yourself at this point. But you may find it more helpful first of all to consider another person instead. This is because, if you try to look at yourself, it is often difficult to obtain a clear view – you are too close to the problem.
Think now about the person you have chosen. Remember recent times when you have met. What happened What did you talk about How did your person look What did they do How did you feel with them Try to get a really clear picture of them in your mind’s eye. Now the question is how do you know that this person has low self-esteem?
What is about them that tells you they have a problem in this area Jot down as many things as you can think of that give the game away. Look for clues in what your person says.
For example, do you hear a lot of self-criticism, or apologies What does this tell you about how your person thinks about him- or herself Look at what your person does,
including how he or she gets along with you and other people. For example, is he or she characteristically quiet and shy in company Or conversely always rather pushy and self-promoting? What does this tell you And what about self-presentation (posture, facial expression, direction of gaze Does he or she, for example, tend to adopt a hunched, inward-turned posture and avoid meeting others eyes Again, what does this tell you about how he or she sees him- or herself Think too about your person’s feelings and emotions. How does it feel to be him or her?
What is low self-esteem? CR – overcoming low self-esteem text:Layout 1 19/3/09 10:26 Page 9

Does he or she seem sad Or fed up or frustrated Or shy and anxious What bodily sensations or changes might go with those emotions You will probably discover that clues are to be found in a number of different areas.
T HO UGH TS AND STATEMENTS ABOUT THESE L F
Negative beliefs about the self find expression in what people habitually say and think about themselves. Lookout for self-criticism, self-blame and self-doubt; the sense that the person does not place much value on him- or herself,
discounts positives and focuses on weaknesses and flaws. BEHAVIOR Low self-esteem is reflected in how a person acts in everyday situations. Lookout for telltale clues like difficulty in asserting needs or speaking out, an apologetic stance, avoidance of challenges and opportunities. Lookout too for small clues like a bowed posture, downturned head, avoidance of eye contact, hushed voice and hesitancy.
E MOTIONS Low self-esteem has an impact on emotional state. Lookout for signs of sadness, anxiety, guilt, shame, frustration and anger.
B OD Y STATE Emotional state is often reflected in uncomfortable body
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OVERCOMING LOW SELF
-
ESTEEM
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sensations. Lookout for signs of fatigue, low energy or tension.
Your observations show how holding a central negative belief about oneself reverberates on all levels, affecting thinking, behavior, emotional state and body sensations.
Consider how this may apply to you. If you were observing yourself as you have just now observed another person,
what would you see What would be the telltale clues in your case?



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