Healthy self esteem is what we all strive for! What is healthy self esteem? Healthy self esteem according to many resources I have read, is the way we value ourselves and various aspects of ourselves. Its how we balance our view points about ourselves whether they are our weaknesses or our strengths. Strengths may be celebrated and weaknesses could be worked on as they are recognized. At risk situations might affect self esteem. At risk situations might be triggers to our past which activate our core beliefs. Our core beliefs are what we think and feel about ourselves because of various life experiences. An example might be that you were criticized as a child and some of those criticisms became what you thought of yourself. They may not be true but because you heard them over and over again they became beliefs about yourself by yourself and thus core beliefs. Core beliefs Can be strengths or weaknesses and weaknesses may get triggered and don’t serve you so can be worked on to get positive change. Other triggers can be relationship breakups or disputes, traumas or health issues or losses of important people, pets and jobs. The foundation of self esteem according to Glenn Schiraldi is a triangle of three factors; unconditional worth, growth and love.

Unconditional worth is what every human being is born with. It’s simply you and you are equal to all others on our earth. It’s independent of what you do, your education, your wealth or any other exterior factor. Its your worth as a human being and you simply have to accept it. The non-acceptance can hold you back.

Your growth is what you do to elevate your self esteem through books you read, changes you make, therapy, courses you take and people you learn from. Awareness and openness leads to growth. Often adults come to therapy in mid life when their children are grown and they want more from life than they are getting. They want to feel different about themselves.

Love is a big factor of self esteem and this starts with love from your family, extended family, friends, teachers, church and finally and most important love of yourself. The love of self is impacted by your core beliefs. Do you have positive or negative core beliefs? Often it’s some of both. Change can help. Other factors that may hold you back are traumas. Become aware of the trauma in your life. I often here people say “oh that happened years ago and doesn’t impact me at all.” Do not be so sure that it doesn’t impact you because it does.

You might wonder, where do I start? Group therapy is a good start to learning about self esteem and it can be inexpensive.
Self esteem is the current theme of the Drop-in Art Therapy groups on Friday at 2pm and 4pm for $10 per person please call or e-mail or simply drop-in at 9562 82 Ave Downstairs Edmonton.

Irene Haire, MC, RCAT, Registered Provisional Psychologist/Registered Art Therapist is in private practice in Edmonton at The GB Building Downstairs-9562- 82 Avenue, 780-232-1055 www.cloverdalecounselling.com info@cloverdalecounselling.com