This might come as a shock to you (!) but women are notoriously lacking self esteem. I know, you’re not surprised but why does this happen? We aren’t born without self esteem! As children we strut our stuff and never care what anyone thinks about us, and we never give a thought to what people think about what we’re doing. But, studies have shown that between ages 8 and 14, a girl’s self confidence starts to decline by 30%.
How does the decline of a woman’s self esteem start? It starts with other people’s expectations of us. Other people have achievement expectations and create pressure around being a “good girl”. Their show of disapproval around the things we say and do create anxiety. Truthfully, boys have an easier time taking risks and failing - which builds their confidence. But, for girls, it’s the opposite. We were unwittingly encouraged to be perfect people-pleasers.
Moving into adulthood, it’s only natural that we want to please others, right?
So, how can we build our self esteem back up to help improve our self worth? It helps to understand what the three components of self esteem are.
3 Components of Self Esteem
When you think about self esteem, more often than not, you think about liking yourself. You believe if you like yourself, you have a solid base for self esteem. But what makes you like yourself? Three specific components of self esteem:
Do we know our stuff and when we don’t, are we able to figure it all out? Do we believe in our ability to accomplish the things we want to accomplish, and if we lack in any area, can we learn and grow and figure it out? When we know we have abilities, then we know we’re capable of handling whatever comes our way. This leads to confidence.
When you see toddlers fall on their butts after attempting to stand, they instinctively know the attempt may have been a failure, but there’s a way to get it done. They find something to hold onto, and continue to figure out how to stand the hell up. They “got this’. And how do they know all of this? Because they have everyone around them cheering them on, telling them they can do it.
When you’re competent and you know it, confidence goes hand-in-hand with competence. The same toddler that just figured out how to stand up whilst holding onto the table grins and shows that table who’s boss! She’s so confident she can get back up, she'll drop back down on her butt because she can stand back up any time she damn well wants to.
The final aspect of self esteem is not one people associate with self esteem. In order to embrace your self esteem in the most epic way, you have to have integrity. I have to feel connected to other people and to society. I have to care about other people. And am I doing things to improve the world so I can leave it in a better state than when I inherited from past generations.
Feeling that connection and knowing your life has purpose and is valued, creates a higher sense of self esteem.
Lack of Self Esteem Affects Our Self Worth
When a woman lacks self esteem, we often beat ourselves up and we don’t believe we are worthy of love. Honestly, we don’t feel we are worthy of anything. That lack of worthiness, especially when we don’t feel we are worthy of love, equates to our self worth taking a huge hit.
It’s safe to say positive self esteem (and some self care) lays a foundation for our positive self worth. Without it, we never really learn to trust ourselves and our ability to make good decisions. Without it, we constantly choose abusive (physically and emotionally) relationships in love, friendships, and work. We condition ourselves to believe that’s what we deserve. Ladies, we need to stop this.
Improve Self Esteem and Help Build Your Self Worth
Most of us go through low periods of self esteem. It’s human, it’s inevitable, and it’s okay. But, when you’ve had enough and want to build yourself back up, there are ways to help yourself and boost your confidence!
Identify your negative beliefs about yourself, and then squash them! Write all those negative beliefs down, and then look at your life and prove that these negative beliefs are not true and write those down.
Write down a list of all the awesome things about yourself. If you really can’t find any, ask other people to give you a little help with the list.
Remove negative people from your life and build your positive relationships up.
Challenge yourself but start small. Want to be a better baker? Challenge yourself. Ask a friend to teach you to bake brownies from scratch. Want to start running? Start a Couch to 5K program. The challenge should be to do something you have an interest in without overwhelming yourself.
Once you improve your self esteem, it naturally improves your beliefs that you are worthy of love, and all the good things in life. You will believe you are a good person and deserve to land that dream job, or own that dream car, or take that dream vacation! And most importantly, you deserve to love yourself and treat yourself well when it comes to friendships, relationships, work, healthy living, and all the amazing things life has to offer.
Empower Your Self Confidence with Help
Sometimes it’s important to ask for help in order to improve your overall self esteem and self worth. It’s not something that’s done overnight. You can read all of the articles and blog posts about building self worth, but sometimes you need outside help. That’s where I come in. I help women learn their worth and build their self esteem with women’s empowerment counseling. A therapist can keep you focused and on the right path. We’re trained to help you break down the walls you built over the years and we can help you rewrite your future self. Through therapy, we will also be there to help you understand why you’ll take a few steps back as you move forward. It’s what we’re trained to do! Ready to get started? Request a session today or reach out if you have any questions.