One cause of low self-esteem is guilt. Sometimes we feel too guilty to be lovable. If you done something you haven’t forgiven yourself for or feel in some way responsible for someone else’s pain, part of you may have concluded that you don’t deserve to be loved. If you believe that you’re unworthy of love, then any relationship you have will reflect this belief. If you feel that you don’t deserve the best in life then, without doubt, you won’t get the best. The quality of your life depends largely upon the quality of the relationship that you have with yourself.
Self-belief is the cornerstone of self-esteem. If I believe that I am worthless, no good and incapable, then my feelings about me will be reflected in my thoughts. My behavioral patterns will reflect my low self-opinion and so my whole experience of life, especially my love life, if I have one, will be low on quality and satisfaction.
When we are so lacking in self-esteem that we simply criticize and blame others or ourselves instead of doing something constructive to improve things, our behavior will always be ineffective.
If, however, my thoughts about me are supporting and validating and I believe that I am intrinsically a worthy person who deserves self-respect, then my feelings about me will be correspondingly positive. Hence my behavior will be creative and effective and I will succeed in making things happen in my life. Our self-belief, our thoughts about ourselves, directly affects our feelings that cause our behavior. The good news is that we don’t have to wait for things to change in the outside world. We can improve the quality of our lives by changing the way we think about ourselves. In so doing, we lay the foundations to bring our love life alive.
Self-esteem rests on self-acceptance, regardless of what we look like and what we are capable of doing. Liking comes after self-acceptance. Your liking for yourself will increase dramatically when you learn to accept yourself, the good bits and the shaky bits.
What are the main elements of self-esteem? People with high self-esteem have respect for themselves, they like themselves and they have a dear sense of purpose.
In order to facilitate further self-development it is important to differentiate between self-esteem and self-confidence. Self-esteem is more than just self-confidence. Self-esteem, quite literally, is the value we put on ourselves, whereas self-confidence relates primarily to action and the completion of tasks.