Self-esteem is in essence a measurement and runs on a continuum. We rate ourselves against a variety of criteria to come up with a value of our worth. The big problem is that we often rate ourselves against impossible criteria and judge ourselves too harshly and produce an inaccurate picture. The end result is a lack of self-esteem as we undervalue ourselves based on our negative perceptions. The next stage is usually that we turn these beliefs into facts and in a self-fulfilling prophecy scenario, start to collect evidence to justify actions that underpin these beliefs. At the same time, we push away any evidence that tells us something different. We are then essentially living our lives based on false information and unhelpful reasoning and many find it hard to release themselves from this trap. Going untreated, this can lead to depression and make life unbearable.
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