Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Self-Image, Self-Esteem, Self-Worth

The way we feel about ourselves stems from a combination of our external experiences and our internal thoughts. Often our internal thoughts are those of not being enough, or worthy, or lovable. These thoughts when repeated frequently become beliefs. This brings us to the good news and the bad news. The good news is that many of these thoughts and beliefs are false. The bad news is that we believe them.

Self-esteem refers to an inner sense of value that gives a person resilience and a general feeling of well-being. Every person has ideas about their own self-worth.

Having good self-esteem does NOT mean being proud or having an overblown “ego”. Rather, it has more to do with confidence and self-respect.

Low self-esteem can cause: feelings of self-hate, believing that one is unworthy or incompetent, a refusal to get close to people, a belief that one doesn’t deserve strong or supportive relationships, refusal to trust others, and an inability to accept oneself as special or unique. Your self-esteem is in trouble when you allow others to convince you that you are not valuable or significant. Poor self-esteem is often the result of prolonged periods of negative feedback in a person’s life, which can result in deep wounds and emotional pain.