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      Self-esteem is a fundamental aspect of human psychology that influences how we perceive and interact with ourselves and the world around us. One of the first psychologists to describe this concept was William James in 1890, who defined it as the relationship between the perceived self, i.e. "The one I think I am" and the ideal self "The one that I would like to be"; the greater the gap, the greater the dissatisfaction.

      Self Confidence Concept Illustration

      Self-esteem is the reputation we make for ourselves”.
      Nathaniel Branden

      This is why it is essential to have cohesion between your successes and your aspirations. Self-esteem shapes our beliefs, emotions and behaviors, which has a significant impact on our overall well-being and mental health. In this article, we will explore the psychology of self-esteem, understand its definition, its importance, the factors that influence it, and strategies for cultivating a healthy sense of self-worth. Self-esteem refers to the overall assessment and perception of a person's worth, abilities, and usefulness as an individual. It’s how we perceive ourselves and how we think others perceive us. Healthy self-esteem involves having a positive and balanced view of yourself, recognizing your strengths and weaknesses while maintaining a sense of acceptance and self-respect.

      The importance of self-esteem

      Self-esteem plays a crucial role in various aspects of our lives:

      - Emotional well-being: A good self-esteem promotes positive emotions, resilience and a feeling of inner happiness. It helps us face challenges and setbacks with more confidence and optimism.

      - Relationships: Self-esteem influences our relationships with others. When we have a healthy image of ourselves, we are more likely to form and maintain healthy and fulfilling relationships. It allows us to set boundaries, communicate effectively and engage in mutual respect.

      - Achievement and success: A healthy self-esteem contributes to our motivation, our determination and our ability to pursue our goals. It gives us the conviction that we are capable of succeeding, which allows us to take risks and to persevere despite the obstacles.

      The factors that influence self-esteem are:

      - Early experiences: Childhood experiences, including parenting, family dynamics, and societal influences, significantly shape our self-esteem. Positive and supportive environments tend to foster good self-esteem, while negative experiences can have a lasting impact.

      - Self-perception: The perception we have of ourselves, including how we interpret and evaluate our abilities, appearance and achievements, contributes to our self-esteem. Unrealistic expectations, harsh self-criticism, or a constant focus on perceived flaws can undermine self-esteem.

      - Social comparisons: Comparing yourself to others, especially through societal ideals or social media, can have a negative impact on self-esteem. It is important to remember that each individual is unique and that comparing yourself to others is often an unfair and unrealistic standard.

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      Cultivate a healthy self-esteem

      Developing and maintaining good self-esteem is an ongoing process. There are basic strategies for promoting a positive self-image, such as treating yourself with kindness, understanding, and forgiveness. Take care of yourself, put your needs first, and engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Become aware of negative self-talk and replace it with more realistic and compassionate thoughts. Acknowledge your strengths and accomplishments, and remember that no one is perfect. Break down your goals into manageable steps and celebrate each step you take. Focus on personal development and progress rather than perfection. Seek to build relationships and connections with people who support and encourage you. Surrounding yourself with positive influences can help boost your self-esteem. Participate in activities that you enjoy and that allow you to learn new skills. Gaining skills and mastery in areas of interest can build self-esteem. Nathaniel Branden, a leading psychologist and self-esteem expert, has written extensively on self-esteem in his book "The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem", Here are some of the key ideas:

      - The six pillars or key components that contribute to good self-esteem: (1) self-acceptance, (2) self-responsibility, (3) self-affirmation, (4) mindful living, ( 5) personal integrity and (6) the practice of self-actualization.

      - Self-acceptance: self-acceptance involves recognizing and embracing all aspects of yourself, including your strengths and weaknesses. It's about being compassionate and not judging yourself.

      - Personal Responsibility: Taking personal responsibility for our choices, actions, and emotions builds self-esteem, especially when individuals hold themselves accountable for their lives and actively work toward their goals.

      - Assertiveness: The practice of assertiveness, which consists of expressing one's needs, desires and opinions in an honest and respectful manner. It's about standing up for yourself and setting healthy boundaries.

      - Live consciously: Live consciously and be present in the moment. Being aware of one's thoughts, feelings and actions, and making deliberate choices consistent with one's values ​​and goals.

      - Personal integrity: Personal integrity, which consists of aligning one's actions with one's values ​​and principles, promotes integrity, self-esteem and a sense of inner coherence.

      - Self-actualization: Self-actualization, which involves striving to fulfill one's potential and pursuing personal development, enhances individuals by actively engaging in activities that match their passions and contribute to their fulfillment.


      Cultivate a healthy self-esteem

      How to damage your self-esteem in 8 easy steps 

      We must remember that what matters is not what we are, but what we can become, and we know that self-esteem is not hereditary, but built. By following the simple and ancient Chinese stratagem of "knowing how to straighten something by bending it first", we must try every day to ask ourselves how I could deteriorate my self-esteem in order to learn how to improve it. By asking ourselves this question, we can already identify nine dysfunctional patterns which, if repeated in a rigid and generalized way, will guarantee the success of our problem;

      - Complain. Very often, talking about your difficulties initially produces relief, but in the long run it amplifies and complicates the extent of the discomfort and turns the pain into suffering.

      - Seek help. It is reassuring because if we receive it, it also means that the person who "helps us" cares about us, but without wanting it, he also communicates another message to us which is: "I help you because you don't unable to help yourself", which triggers dependence on others and weakens us.

      - Avoidance. Feeling fear in the face of certain situations can be natural and in some cases the primordial instinct of avoidance is too, but if in the moment it produces relief, in the long term our perception of danger increases. and, therefore, our inability to deal with such situations.  

      - Self-fulfilling prophecy. Our actions influence how others think of us, determining their behaviors which, in turn, reinforce and confirm our beliefs and actions.  

      - Postpone. Cultivating the illusion that we can act effectively, but in reality we don't or we delay it so much that we start to question ourselves, is a great way to weaken our resolve and corrupt our ability to take decisive action, which is at the heart and soul of self-esteem.

      - Say yes, when you should say no. In order to gain greater security, it is sometimes easy to give in to the temptation to always say "yes" to the requests of others, under the illusion that our self-esteem can be improved by being more sympathetic or more docile. . Nothing could be further from the truth. Saying yes so as not to have to say no is the source of many social and relational difficulties.

      - Neglect yourself. Contrary to common sense, dressing too humble or scruffy hurts people's image of us, and remember that there's rarely a second chance to make a good first impression.

      - surrender. "We are only defeated when we surrender. It is detrimental to our survival as human beings to avoid surrender or to believe that our ideas will not work. We must keep moving forward until we reach our goal.

      The psychology of self-esteem is complex and multifaceted, with profound implications for our well-being and quality of life. Cultivating good self-esteem involves embracing our unique qualities, accepting ourselves with kindness, and recognizing that our worth is not determined by external factors or comparisons with other people. By fostering a positive self-image and practicing self-compassion, we can develop higher self-esteem and lead more fulfilling lives. Remember that you deserve love, acceptance and happiness. Embrace your inner worth and let it shine.


      - Branden, N. (2006). The six pillars of self-esteem. Milan: Tea Publisher.

      - Duclos, G. (2007). Self-esteem. Passport for life. Cuneo: Sao Paulo Publisher.

      - Gibson, P. (2019) The 12 most common mental traps. Strategic Science Books

      - Gibson, P. (2022). How to bend to straighten. A step-by-step guide to troubleshooting. Strategic Science Books.

      - Jang, J. (2015). Stronger than not. Milan: Vallardi Editore.

      - Monbourquette, J. (2002). From self-esteem to self-esteem. Florence: Edizioni Paoline.

      - Nardone, G. (2014). The fear of decisions. Milano: Adriano Salani.

      A team of more than
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      the following category of actions: Training action

      A team of more than
      50 trainers in France
      and abroad

      of our students satisfied with
      their training year at LACT *

      International partnerships

      The quality certification was issued under
      the following category of actions: Training action


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