Why is Self Esteem so Important?
By: Jessica Plancich, MFT

As I go to write this, I am aware that there aren’t many aspects of life that self-esteem doesn’t impact. Defined as the value that you hold for yourself, it is carried with you throughout all your days and touches all ways of your life. It’s the level of worth that you hold for yourself, about yourself and regarding yourself. If it’s lacking (and unfortunately, most people could use a much healthier sense of themselves) or damaged in some way, it has some deeply hurtful and painful consequences.

The esteem you’re holding for and about yourself is the foundation of self confidence. You can speak the words, get the clothes, and talk the talk, but do you walk the walk? True confidence comes from a genuine sense of positive regard for yourself, which cannot be faked. We’re here to give you insight about how this is showing up in your life and what to do about it if you want to have the long lasting sense of REAL self worth that you can leverage in all areas of your life.

How’s it Impacting Your Life?
When you carry around a lousy image of yourself- (saying and believing things like how much better off you’d be if your butt was smaller or if you had more friends), it effects almost everything you do. It can impact your desire to get up in the morning, to whether you feel like trying in school to whether you decide to put drugs in your body. Starting with the image you see in the mirror to the person behind your eyes, if you don’t see value in this person, then why should other people? Instead of blaming other people for saying the kinds of nasty things you’re already telling yourself, it’s time to take some personal responsibility for changing your way of seeing and relating to yourself.

Harsh perhaps, but freeing because now you can do something about it. Instead of feeling victim to circumstances outside of you, I want to teach you that you drive this machine and can steer it any which way you choose.

How’s it Showing up in Your Life?
Once you understand that one of the biggest reasons why you’re having such a hard time doing well in school, why you can’t stand the skin you’re in or why getting along with friends and family is so hard is about self-esteem, you can do something about it.

The funny thing is, some of the teens who you may think have the best self-esteem are actually those with the lowest sense of worth you can imagine. From bullies to those who brag and show off, these are the kind that go to great lengths to convince others that they have it all together and that others should want their lives. Underneath it, however, they are terribly scared that someone will find out that they too feel lost, insecure and unsure of themselves…but instead of showing it, they do things like pick on others (to make themselves feel better) to take laxatives to lose weight (so that others will find them sexy or valuable). On the other hand, there are those that don’t even try. They don’t even bother trying out for teams, meeting new people or participating in things they’re interested in…all because they’re afraid that they’ll be rejected, aren’t good enough or someone will judge them. They’ll go through the motions, but won’t think they can actually succeed, so they’ll do things to “mess things up” (like not doing homework, not going to practice or meetings regularly or picking fights with friends) to protect themselves from possible hurt.

How do You Improve it?
First let me say that this process isn’t about artificially pumping up your ego so that this fake-confident you can puff yourself up. Far from cheerleading and playing ra-ra girl, my desire is to give you some real insight into how to improve this for good.

I’m not here to deceive or smooth talk you; building your self esteem is perhaps one of the most challenging and yet rewarding tools we could give you. Just like anything in life, the more difficult the challenge, the more joyous are the gifts are.

Author's Bio: 

Jessica Plancich, MA, MFT is a licensed marriage family therapist with a background in clinical, spiritual and somatic psychology, reiki, yoga and massage therapy. She uses an integrative approach to healing and fuses Eastern and Western wisdom. Additionally, her company, Innerfinity specializes in assisting people to live from the heart and make choices in wellness, relationships and service that are motivated from the sage within. Through her own practices and insights, she hopes to inspire others to activate their intrinsic gifts and highest potential.