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Self-esteem and motivation for social, personal and labour enhancement
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What is self-esteem?Click to read

Self-esteem is the evaluation we make of ourselves, based on all the thoughts, feelings, sensations and experiences we have gathered throughout our lives.


It is a key factor for the development of an adequate emotional and social adjustment.

It is dynamic.

It is learned.

It is the basis of our personality:

Promotes learning.

Helps to overcome personal difficulties.

Enables the establishment of healthy social relationships.

Produces general satisfaction in life.

Helps to cope with stress more effectively.

Increases quality of life.

Stimulates personal autonomy.

Drives future projection.

Develops creativity.

Components of Self-EsteemClick to read

Cognitive component: it is the personal self-concept, how a person perceives himself/herself taking into account his/her personality, thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, etc.

Affective Component: it is the result of a person's evaluation of himself/herself, that is, a value judgment of self-perception.

Behavioral Component: refers to the behavior or performance of each person according to each person's assessment of him/herself.

  • Self-esteem refers to the concept we have of ourselves, according to subjective qualities:


  • It may vary according to the field (work, family, social, etc.).
Gender barriers to women's self-esteem. Click to read

Women start from a lower social valuation than men and for that reason, low self-esteem is more frequently found in women, especially in those who have grown up in a family with traditional roles.

  • We suffer the first gender discrimination based on sex at birth.
  • Discrimination in the workplace, at certain educational levels, politics, sports, culture, the street, the media and fundamentalist religions.
  • Women are named and treated in second place.
  • We receive an education based on control, dependence, guilt and fear.
  • We are educated to serve, care for and educate others.
  • This education results in problems of inferiority, insecurity, mistrust and impotence, that is, low self-esteem.


If we experimented as girls:

  • A constant criticism of our deeds, our physical appearance, our capacities or our behavior...
  • In a hostile environment where we are undervalued...
  • In an environment dominated by fear...
  • If we were pitied because of our physical appearance or our lack of intellectual capacities...
  • If we were ridiculed...
  • In a culture where women are dedicated to education and care...
  • In a society where the important jobs are occupied by men...
  • In a society that demands us to be perfect...
  • In a patriarchal system...


We learned to:

  • ...we learned to make demands on ourselves.
  • ...we learned to fight.
  • ...we learned to live in fear.
  • ...we learned to feel sorry for ourselves.
  • ...we learned to be shy.
  • ...we learned to take care of our daughters/daughters, elders and husbands.
  • ...we learned to try twice as hard.
  • ...we learned not to fail or make mistakes.
  • ...we learned to fight for gender equality.


Reflect upon the following questions:

  • What have I done for myself?
  • How have I loved myself?
  • What do I do to love myself?
  • What do I like about myself?
  • What don't I like about myself and would like to improve?


Things to keep in mind to answer the questions on the line of my self-esteem:

  • How I take care of my body
  • How I take care of my diet
  • How I spend my time
  • How I live my sexuality
  • How I take care of my friendships
  • How have my affective relationships been
  • Where my thoughts are (past, present and/or future)
  • What I do that I like
  • What sacrifices I make
  • I ask for help when I need it
Low and High Self-EsteemClick to read

Indicators of low self-esteem:

  • Is very critical of herself
  • Lacks self-confidence
  • Exaggerates mistakes
  • Insecure for fear of being wrong
  • Demands a lot from herself
  • Great need to please

Indicators of high self-esteem:  

  • Has confidence in his capabilities
  • Knows his personal limits
  • Respects opinions even if he/she does not always share them
  • Accepts their emotions and feelings
  • Has a positive attitude towards life

Positive self-esteem occurs when the personal value judgment arouses a feeling of satisfaction and pleasure.

The Rosenberg self-esteem scale is the most widely used scale to evaluate the level of self-esteem of each person. Do you want to know how your self-esteem is?

Rosenberg self-esteem scale

It is important to look at ourselves and see ourselves. To do this, we propose the mirror technique. It is a simple activity that you can do when you have a 10 minute break before leaving the house, before taking a shower, when you are getting ready for work, etc.

Stand in front of the mirror and answer the following questions:

  • What do you see in the mirror?
  • What does the person looking back at you from the mirror look like?
  • Do you know the person?
  • What good things does that person have?
  • What bad things does that person have?
  • What do you like most about that person?
  • Would you change anything about the person in the mirror?


Modifiable negative thoughtsClick to read

Overgeneralization: From an isolated fact a universal, general rule is created for any situation and time: I have failed once (in something concrete); I will always fail!

Global designation: Pejorative terms are used to describe oneself, instead of describing the error by specifying the moment in time when it happened: How clumsy I am!

Polarized thinking: All-or-nothing thinking. Things are taken to extremes. Absolute categories. Relative evaluations are not accepted or known.

Self-accusation: One finds oneself guilty of everything. I am to blame, I should have realized it!

Personalization: We assume that everything has to do with us and we compare ourselves negatively with other people. He looks bad, what have I done to him!

Thought reading: You assume that others are not interested in you, that they don't like you, you think they think badly of you... without real evidence of it. These are assumptions that are based on unprovable things.

Control fallacies: You feel that you have total responsibility for everything and everyone, or you feel that you have no control over anything, that you are helpless.

Emotional reasoning: If I feel this way it is true. We feel alone, without friends and we believe that this feeling reflects reality without stopping to contrast it with other moments and experiences. "If I am really useless"; because it "feels" that it is really so.

Words have a great power over our perception of ourselves and the situations we face on a daily basis. At this moment we propose you to work on modifiable negative thoughts using words as tools.

Here are a series of phrases that you will have to modify in order to positively influence your thinking.

Modifiable negative sentences:

  1. I am clumsy and I always mess up when I have to expose something.
  2. I am not capable of running my own business.
  3. I am insecure.
  4. I don't like my body.
  5. I am not capable of running a house, taking care of my children and also being an entrepreneur.


Now it's your turn!

  • What are your negative thoughts that can be modified?
  • Use "The Power of the Word" to modify them.

We modify the negative assumptions:

  1. I am learning to control my nerves to say exactly what I want to say.
  2. I don't feel ready to run my own business but I am preparing myself for it because with the right knowledge I am capable of doing it.
  3. There are situations that make me feel insecure but I am learning to manage my feelings.
  4. Not every part of my body I like, but there are many that I love.
  5. I am capable of doing a lot of things, but I have the need to find a gap to prioritize me.
Good Self-EsteemClick to read

ALL people need:

  • To feel safe
  • To be loved and accepted
  • To be integrated
  • To feel accepted for who we are
  • To have recognition and approval
  • To be autonomous
  • To be free to think and act
  • To empower our capabilities

When these basic needs for our proper emotional development are not met, we grow up with a series of deficiencies that have a negative impact on our conception of ourselves.

Symptoms of Good Self-Esteem:

  • You believe you are worthy of happiness, respect and act in favor of receiving it.
  • You influence your thinking, emotions, happiness, desires and goals.
  • You develop the ability to respect yourself and feel proud of yourself, even when you make mistakes.
  • You have an assertive attitude, you know how to say NO, you respect your values and limits.
  • You never compare yourself with others.
  • You have a sense of direction and control in your life, you face problems and difficulties.
  • You act independently and interdependently, take responsibility and are willing to support others.
  • You are able to take on new challenges and can take criticism without feeling hurt.
  • You feel happy, it is an integral part of your relationships and the achievement of your goals.
  • You are in control of your life, it empowers you to do what you want to do and is the source of your mental health.


Working on my Self-Esteem: The best storyteller.

Our head plays tricks on us. Sometimes "low self-esteem" can make us wander and create false stories or expectations that can make us feel bad and insecure.

For example, Clara spends her free time knitting, from clothes to blankets. The other day she was walking down the street with her latest garment, a knitted sweater with wide sleeves and "oversize" and a young girl stared at her. Clara's low self-esteem, whom she likes to call "La Culebra", starts to tell her: "You look ridiculous", "She stares at you because she is horrified by the way you are dressed", "Stop wasting your time with that crap you wear to go down the street where everyone can see you". Clara's head makes her think: "I'm sure she stares at me because she doesn't like my sweater at all, she's probably thinking: where did I buy this so I'll never go to that store. I hope she doesn't imagine that I made it myself."

Our poor self-esteem can lead us to negative thinking. From now on we propose you to be "the best storyteller". Why always stick with the worst version of the story? The new Clara thinks: "I love the way I'm dressed, how proud I am of myself, I'm sure that girl loves the outfit I'm wearing. Maybe I could start thinking about selling my clothes".

Learn how to be "the best storyteller", choose one of the pictures we have selected for you. Now you will have to think of three stories:

  1. Objective story: what do you see. At this point you are not interested in giving your opinion or your perception. Just describe what you see in the picture.
  2. Negative story: what you perceive. From your point of view, what do you think is happening in each of the images. Let your negative side speak.
  3. Positive story: what do you perceive. From your point of view, what do you think is happening in each of the images. Let your more positive side speak.

Why always stick with the worst version of the story?