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Self Esteem

February seems to very much be all about self-esteem. Not only is it International Boost Self Esteem Month but it is also Plant the Seeds of Greatness Month.  Having healthy level of self-esteem gives you the confidence and ability to reach your full potential and perhaps even true greatness.

Self-esteem is essentially how we value and perceive ourselves. It can impact decision-making, relationships, motivation, emotional health and your overall well-being. The strongest influences on self-esteem are typically self-confidence, identity, feeling of belonging and a feeling of competence.

Healthy self-esteem means you

  • Trust your own judgment and are unconcerned when others do not agree
  • Do not dwell excessively about the past or what might happen in the future
  • Fully trust in your capacity to solve problems and take failure and difficulties in your stride
  • You consider yourself equal in dignity to others  
  • Accept differences in talent, personal prestige or finances without jealousy
  • Accept the value of other and take an interest in them
  • You are sensitive to the feelings and needs of others
  • Do not seek to prosper at others’ expense
  • Can work with others and voice descent without belittling yourselves or others

I have written several times about the difference between men and women and interestingly the sexes differ in how they derive self-esteem.  For men, accomplishing things and especially by themselves is a symbol of efficiency, power and competence. Their self-esteem is often career related. Men rarely talk about their problems unless they are looking for ‘expert’ advice. Asking for help when you can do something yourself is a sign of weakness or failure.

For women, their sense of self is defined through their feelings and their relationships. They often spend time supporting, nurturing and helping each other and experience fulfilment through sharing and relating. Communication is very important and talking, sharing and relating is how they feels good about themselves.

If you suffer from low self-esteem, then there are way to improve it. Firstly, recognise what you’re good at – we’re all good at something. Be tolerant and kind to yourself – we all make mistakes sometimes. Learn to be assertive and learn to say ‘no’ when you have to. Challenge and stretch yourself to do more and be better.

Hypnotherapy can help with boosting your confidence, improving self-image and exploring the roots of any specific concerns. If you think I can help then get in touch.

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Teen Self Esteem

Being a teenager is not easy. You might think it is a care free, wonderful time, but you are probably looking back through adult eyes. During teenage years you are still emotionally, physically and mentally developing. You are vulnerable to peer and social pressure. This can make it a turbulent, confusing and uncertain time. It is also a key time for the development of self-esteem. May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month

So this is a time to make an extra effort to combat the self-worth, self-image and self-esteem problems teens face. It is sponsored by a non-profit organisation called, I Am Worth More. Their mission is to connect teens to resources, build their self-esteem and increase their positive entertainment consumption.

So if you have a teen in your life, what can you do? Well, be tolerant, forgiving and offer all the love you can. Help them and support them as they try to find their way. Set them on a path to realise their full potential. Inner strength and confidence needs time to grow and develop.

Understand how self-esteem develops is critical. A man’s sense of self is often heavily influenced by their ability to achieve and succeed. To feel good about himself, they must achieve goals by themselves, as this is a symbol of efficiency, power and competence. This is often career related. Generally, men are more interested in objects and things rather than people and feelings.

A woman’s sense of self is usually defined through their feelings and their relationships. They spend a lot of time supporting, nurturing and helping each other. They experience fulfilment through sharing, supporting and relating. Communication and personal expression, in terms of appearance and feelings, is also very important. Talking, sharing and relating is how a woman feels good about herself.

So anything that you can do to help them find a healthy sense of self-worth while they’re young will build a solid foundation for the future. Remember, the teens of today are the leaders, entrepreneurs, sport people, engineers, doctors, scientists and technological visionaries of tomorrow.

Teenagers can also help themselves to establish and maintain high self-esteem. The most important thing is for them to accept themselves as they are. Perhaps they are not going to be a soccer / footballer star or a super model, but they have strengths, talents to be proud of. Also, learning to love and be loved by those around them is key. Your family and friends will love you back. Finally, eating a healthy diet and taking regular exercise will help to stave off depression and keep them healthy.

Tyra Banks said, “I don’t have the best self-esteem; mine wavers month to month, but I know how to pick myself up”. And she is a successful model, businesswoman, producer, actress, and writer.

Hypnotherapy can help with boosting confidence, improving self-image and exploring the roots of any concerns. However, Hypnotherapy in children is a specialist area and one I do not have any experience in. So I only accept clients aged 18 or over. I can refer anyone under that age to a specialist child hypnotherapist. Get in touch to find out more.

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Are You Sabotaging Yourself?

“If you don’t believe in yourself, somewhere or another, you sabotage yourself.” Jason Day (Australian Golfer)

So, what is self-sabotage? Some say it’s Self destructive behaviour, such as smoking or drinking excessively. And while that can be the case, that’s not quite what I am talking about here. I am thinking more of self-limiting beliefs and behaviours, such as “I have no will power” or “I am unlucky in love”.

As with any problem or concern it’s important to not let it define you and explore the root cause of it. Often these self-sabotaging behaviours stem from a lack of self-love, lack of self-worth (self-esteem) or a lack of self-belief / confidence. Another way to express this is the thought that ‘you are not enough’, not deserving (of love, success, etc.) or I am lucky to have got where I am now and that’s enough for me. All these are self-sabotaging thoughts. Hypnotherapy has a range of techniques to help explore the reasons for these thoughts and address the resulting unwanted behaviours.

Despite what you may think this is not your mind playing tricks or trying to damage or harm you. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Your subconscious tries to keep you safe, happy and away from pain. Your conscious mind would pull your hand away from a flame without a thought. And your subconscious does the same with physiological pain. But often this is not a conscious process. So, for example, perhaps you want to stop smoking, but you feel you have no will power. Well, to spare you the embarrassment, anxiety or shame of failing to stop smoking, your subconscious tells you it not possible because of your lack of will power. It doesn’t realise that you want and perhaps really need to stop smoking for health reasons.

Another strategy the subconscious uses to protect you is to bury unhappy or unpleasant memories and traumas. And while this can be a good thing in the short term, having unresolved problems or buried traumas can bring different problems in the long term. Not least because, your subconscious will analyse the buried memories and draw conclusions and learn lessons from them. All this without your conscious mind knowing. These lessons and conclusions may not be correct or are contrary to what conscious mind it trying to achieve.

For example, one aspect of self-sabotaging behaviour is the inability to deal with and process the stress stemming from your lack of self-confidence. So, in a relationship you might wonder, how can they love someone like me? Self-sabotaging people tend to lack healthy coping strategies. So, they may feel that showing they are incompetent or unworthy is a way to untangle themselves from emotional, personal or work demands.

Even successful individuals may have self-destructively or sabotaging urges. This may stem from a feeling of anxiety, unworthiness or from an impulse to repeat the process that made them successful. As Mitski (Japanese Musician) said, “I always have strong urges to sabotage myself. Whenever someone says they like something about my music, I tend to not want to do that anymore. It’s not even that I don’t like it anymore: it’s that I keep trying to find ways for people to dislike me”.

Hypnotherapy can be a powerful tool to speak directly to the subconscious and ask it to change and support the changes you want to make in your life. If you feel that hypnotherapy can help you then contact me.