3 What is self-esteem?
You’ve just looked at two areas – physical health and finances – which can have an impact on how you feel about yourself. The phrase ‘self-esteem’ is used to talk about the beliefs you have about yourself – what you think about the type of person you are, your abilities, the positive and negative things about you and what you expect for your future. This links to the ‘I can’ element of the model you looked at in Week 4.
If you have healthy self-esteem, your beliefs about yourself will generally be positive. You may experience difficult times in your life, but you will generally be able to deal with these without them having too much of a long-term negative impact on you.
If you have lower self-esteem, you may tend to focus on your weaknesses or mistakes that you have made. You may find it hard to recognise the positive parts of your personality. You might talk to yourself in a critical tone that you wouldn’t use with others, or might blame yourself for any difficulties or failures that you have.