Self-Esteem | Self-Worth

Individual Counseling | Columbia, Mo

To attain “success” without attaining positive self-esteem is to be condemned to feeling like an impostor anxiously awaiting exposure.
— Nathaniel Branden
woman with marx glasses, counseling columbia mo

Self-Esteem: 101

When we talk and think about self-esteem, we're really thinking about two main factors that create self-esteem.

What is self-worth?

The first factor we want to keep in mind is self-worth. Self-worth is how worthy or valuable you think you are. This can (and does) range from very worthy and love-able to extremely unlovable and unworthy. 

Low self-worth might feel as though you don’t deserve to be given opportunities, or that you don’t deserve to be treated with kindness or to be given any forgiveness for real or perceived flaws (that can be inwardly directed, as well). The second factor we focus on is self-efficacy.

Okay, then, what's self-efficacy?

Self-efficacy is your belief in your own abilities and capabilities. People with high self-efficacy have lots of faith that they can complete tasks, follow through with goals, make friends, and change their lives. On the other end, people with very low self-efficacy tend to feel hopeless and defeated, as though they can't make a difference (or dent, really) in their life. 

These two things, together, comprise self-esteem. Sometimes, there's a mix and match - people may have high self-worth and low self-efficacy, or they may have high self-efficacy and low self-worth. Even more, some people have both low self-efficacy and self-worth, which usually means having lower self-esteem than the alternatives. 

I think I have low self-esteem. What should I do?

Well, that's simple enough. You can come in for a session (or two or three) where we can figure out which aspects of self-esteem you struggle with the most. Then, we get super clear on what you want your life to look like (in a realistic way) and we systematically work towards your goals. You're provided with real-time, objective feedback and we work to strengthen and grow the self-esteem you already have (even if it's only a little at the start).

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.
— Gautama Buddha
love yourself, counseling columbia mo

I don't have low self-esteem. I'm just insecure and/or feel inadequate.

I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but I would speculate that the two are related. If you're a person who just feels slightly insecure, I would say that there's something amiss with regards to low self-esteem. Whether it's self-efficacy or self-worth, I don't know. However, counseling can help you figure out which of the two it is and how to work through it (or them) for a more fulfilling, self-assured life.

I just have low confidence, not low self-esteem.

Again, I hate to burst your bubble, but the two are related. This is just another way that people talk about it. The reality is that it doesn't matter the language you give it, the 'issue' remains the same. And that 'issue' is something that we can address in counseling and through dedicated work.

Okay, so I think this is me. Is it possible to build self-esteem?

Absolutely it is!  That's the beauty of self-esteem. It's malleable. It can be grown, strengthened, fertilized with self-love (<-cheesy, but there's some truth to it), and repaired - we can improve self-esteem through intentional work and dedication. It may sound simple, but I won't guarantee that it's easy. 

Alright, I'm in. Now what?

Awesome! Here's what you do next. Since you're ready to start gaining confidence and building your self-esteem, you can reach out directly through our contact form or call today to set up a session with one of our counselors! 


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