How Self-Esteem Influences Personal Development

How Self-Esteem Influences Personal Development

Nowadays, psychology and the care of personal well-being are on the rise. More and more people are trying to ask for professional help to work on their personal development and solve psychological problems.

A common problem treated in therapy is low self-esteem. Having low levels of self-esteem greatly affects our actions, the decisions we make, our way of relating to others and our general psychological well-being.

Consequently, Low self-esteem is decisive in terms of personal development. But in what specific way does self-esteem influence personal development? In this article I describe what personal development is, what self-esteem is and how the latter influences the former.

What is personal development?

Personal development is the growth of our capabilities and abilities, in order to improve ourselves and achieve a higher quality of life. Among the skills that are sought to be improved are social skills, emotional management skills and the ability to make decisions, thus increasing psychological well-being.

The focus of personal development depends on what values ​​the person has, that is, what vital areas or moral ideas are most important for each person (family, friends, work/studies, spirituality, honesty, contact with nature…). In this way, personal development goals are intimate decisions.

Any growth is always progressive, and personal development is no less so. This process needs patience, respect for our own rhythm and time. In fact, We can understand personal development as a series of life projects, which are desirable but always unattainable Since we will always be able to continue developing our skills and grow as people, there is no end.

However, this does not mean that to develop personally we have to work in order to achieve maximum excellence and ability in everything. Personal development would become an exhausting and tortuous path, and this is not the idea. Remember that the objective is to improve your quality of life, working on values ​​that fulfill you as a person and learning to feel good about yourself.

What is self-esteem?

We understand self-esteem as the subjective assessment we make of ourselves. It is necessary to distinguish it from the term self-concept, the set of beliefs we have about ourselves and that make up the mental image of ourselves. Self-esteem is precisely the opinion we have about this mental image, and is in turn considered the emotional component of self-concept.

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This opinion is developed based on our own experiences: self-esteem depends on the perceived successes or failures we have had in our lives. Within these experiences, social interactions are included. Therefore, a factor that greatly influences is the opinion of others understood through comments, praise or insults, looks and actions.

Self-esteem also depends on our emotions. When we are in a bad mood or in a low state of mind, we tend to evaluate ourselves with a more pessimistic perspective, and vice versa. A very clear example is when we look in the mirror. Has it happened to you that the days you wake up with a sprained foot you look uglier? And, on the other hand, on days when you are in a better mood, do you look more attractive?

At the same time, self-esteem also works as if they were glasses through which we see life and our own actions. Depending on our level of self-esteem, we will make an interpretation of the past, present and future towards a more positive meaning or towards a more negative one. This way, People with low self-esteem will tend to think that they have made a very serious mistake and will judge it and this will lead them to a state of continuous hyperalertness about what others think of each of their actions.

As you can see, low levels of self-esteem are closely associated with unpleasant emotions, in addition to being exhausting. That is why it is not surprising that low self-esteem is also related to psychological disorders. In fact, it is usually a common symptom among many disorders, such as social anxiety, depression or some personality disorders.

How does self-esteem influence personal development?

Once both terms have been described, we can now answer the question of how self-esteem influences personal development: depending on the level of self-esteem we have, we will be able to advance more easily or not in our personal development.

A low level of self-esteem implies having a subjective perception of worthlessness, inability or lack of abilities. This image makes the person afraid to do anything outside their comfort zone, as they fear failing again. If we are afraid of failure and, therefore, of trying new activities, it is possible that fear blocks us and does not allow us to put into practice skills learned theoretically in therapy.

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Not only that, but sometimes low self-esteem does not allow us to enjoy our achievements, since with those glasses on we underestimate the achievement or we do not attribute it to our own abilities (because we believe that we do not have them) but rather it has been luck. .

However, let us remember that self-esteem is a very subjective view of facts, so having low self-esteem is not synonymous with a lack of skills. We may have been left with an obsolete conclusion from an experience that happened years ago in which we did fail. However, it is most likely that during this time we have already had personal development that has allowed us to learn to face the same situation in a different way, but we no longer want to try out of fear.

If this is your case and you feel identified with what is described in the article, I encourage you to find a way to start your personal development. Low self-esteem generates a feeling of life dissatisfaction and rejection of oneself. Therefore, it can be a good reason to want to grow as a person and train new skills, regardless of whether your perception of yourself is accurate or distorted by pessimism.

How to work on both personal development and self-esteem?

Luckily for you, personal development work is a good way to improve self-esteem, precisely. So if you go to therapy for one reason or another, the strategies for covering both terms are the same. Be patient throughout the entire process, as personal development requires a lot of time and self-esteem is an opinion that you have formed throughout your life, so it is something difficult to change, and even less so quickly. I leave you here the steps you can take to start working on them.

1. Identify what personal values ​​you want to deepen

We have already mentioned before that the vital areas or moral ideas on which you are going to work depend on your own way of being and it is a completely personal decision. That’s why, The first step in seeking psychological well-being is to decide which areas you are going to focus on to develop your skills. Remember not to choose so many that you cannot cover them. If you find it difficult to identify which ones are most important to you, give them all a numerical value that indicates how relevant they are and sort them based on those numbers.

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2. Define concrete goals

Once that step is completed, make them even more specific: establish objectives or goals within each of them. Remember that personal development is an endless path, so it is important to define objectives along the entire path, both short and long term, so that they mark the path for you. This way, you will be able to avoid getting exasperated by seeing an unattainable ending and you will feel more competent every time you accomplish one of them.

To make them concrete, Ask yourself when you are going to do it, how, with whom, how many times. Remember to go little by little and not set goals that are too high that could frustrate you. If possible, anticipate possible problems that may arise and make a plan to deal with them. If a goal is too difficult for you, break it down into smaller goals to better tackle them.

3. Remodel yourself

The time has come to get out of your comfort zone and put into practice everything you have planned. This way, you can start learning new skills and see how effective you are. To do this, ask yourself what has been holding you back until now. Get over that fear, change what you don’t like and get out of automatic mode.

If your life satisfaction does not increase, reevaluate the values ​​you have chosen, they may not be the ones that best fit you or not enough time has passed. And, above all, keep in mind that you have begun the work of personal development and improving self-esteem to improve your quality of life and psychological well-being, so the most important thing is that you enjoy the journey.