Low self esteem? How should we think about this?? High self esteem? How are they different? Self-image is a assortment of messages we have taken in about ourselves over long periods of time. If the messages are predominantly sunny ones, the average self-image we have, or more specifically, our sense of esteem for ourselves, is good. We have a good self-image. If the messages are predominantly bad ones, the average self-image we have, or more specifically, our sense of esteem we have for ourselves, is bad.
This is overly simplistic, but the idea is that Self-esteem emerges out of the millions and millions of individual " introjects" (inputs we "inculcate;" that is, take in, own, as real about ourselves, etc. over the entire span of our lives.) It starts accumulating from day one and does not cease evolving, for better or worse.
If you consider the dynamics of this process, believe it or not, both low and high self-esteems are formed in the exact same way. Only the content of our minds vary, which has an effect on our moods. In the beginning, individual dealings (thoughts, experiences, messages taken in) have a massive impact on our self-esteems. That's because we are vulnerable, like most children are, and also because there are less "other" images in our skulls with which to average the new, incoming message. So, in the beginning, one or two new messages has a greater impact on the average experience we have about ourselves. At the other end of life, we have millions of messages already in place, bouncing around inside our heads, most of them neatly catalogued in the back of our awareness. This creates a more robust, less modifiable databank. In other words, it's harder to change self-image in older people just by putting in new ideas, because there are already too many old ones in place.
Fortunately, this does not have to be so. I've developed a technique that uses some specific "mental" cognitions to change our feelings. It turns out it's not our thoughts that change self esteem. It's our feelings. And, feelings can be manipulated by consciously bringing up certain strategic thoughts, thus changing the feeling (because usually feelings follow thoughts in adults). You control the thoughts and your feelings change. Then, you strategically apply the feelings, using the new feeling that comes in a specific way. It's a combination of two surprisingly effective techniques that work--far better than the usual superficial techniques offered in the pop-psychology literature.
It is not significant if your self-esteem has been crummy for a little while or your whole life. You're not going to try to change the whole ball of wax-- just one thought at a time. I tell you how. It's actually a little backwards from what you might expect. You have to start small and work up, not think big and try to generate a trickle-down effect. The latter is what we find in the pop-psych literature. That fails. It also doesn't matter if your self-esteem is very, very bad or just a little impaired. The same technique works equally well for both conditions. But you have to understand the philosophy and techniques behind this breakthrough idea, and for that, you have to read more of what I've written.
Hello, I've been an outpatient psychologist for over twenty years. I' ve come across eight psychological conditions that I see every day. Self-esteem is one of them, and it's one that permeates all the other seven. Improve self-esteem and the others improve, too. Below are some links to take you to my webpages, where more details are provided.
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