The Shadow Blocking Our Light Our self-esteem is about the value and worthiness we perceive we feel and have about ourself out in the world, affecting how comfortable we are in our own skin, how happy we are with who we see in the mirror. An Outsider, Invisible At Times With Others Where & how to place ourself with others may be a dilemma.
What Is Self-Esteem Self esteem is about how much we value ourselves, what we like and approve of, how in touch we are with love. Behaviour Patterns We can go around for years as if we are somehow not good enough or the "ugly duckling" in some way. On The Sidelines Things may happen around us, and struggling to get involved, speak up for ourselves about not just the big issues, but the small things. Stuck In Self-Doubt In our moments of self-doubt we may question our ability and underestimate our self.
Overriding Self-Doubt We may be constantly analysing, ruminating what we are doing, want to overcome self-doubts. Limiting Ourselves We may find it hard to look inside ourselves and struggle with finding our courage to do certain things. Trusting Our Self, Our Innateness We will always look to others for validation, approval, affirmation, reassurance, confirmation, permission, recognition, appreciation, praise, attention, adoration, admiration, adulation, acceptance if we don't trust ourself by our capacity to handle whatever comes our way, putting trust in our capabilities to do whatever we choose, and this empowers us.
Self-Respect Getting back to our core self, honouring our own values, the life & soul of who we are, supports our self-respect, so we can act from this place with a level of honesty, reflecting conscience, integrity, standing by what we believe, without necessarily having to persuade others. Confidence Building Support It is rare for any of us to go through life without an occasional dip in our level of confidence. Freeing Us Up Some of us may have almost fatalistic beliefs, as if our free will is captured, that we should feel dreadful.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Risk Taking - How We May Stop Ourselves Some of us at times may choose to follow our fearful voice inside, telling us that risk taking isn't safe, that the consequences are consistently likely to be negative ("It's too late, I don't have enough time, money, energy, I might fail").
Our Attitude Towards Risk Taking - What May Be Happening Inside Remaining self-critical & believing we are no good, can keep us safe, yet stop us taking risks, even small ones. Our Need For Validation, Approval, Affirmation, Reassurance, Confirmation, Permission, Recognition, Appreciation, Praise, Attention, Adoration, Admiration, Adulation, Acceptance Most of us enjoy approval from certain people, need validation of our worth (and this can date back to very early connections and bonding patterns). Worrying What Others Think About Us Alongside affirmation, from time to time we may also need assurance & re-assurance. When the voice and the vision on the inside is more profound, and more clear and loud than all opinions on the outside, you've begun to master your life.
Validating Ourselves & Others - Giving What We Want For some people, the more we try to get approval, validation, etc. Believing We Are No Good Disappointed, our very identity can be caught in the belief that we are no good, not enough (often stemming back from our childhood - see also Our Painbody). I am a professionally trained and registered (MBACP) Psychotherapist offering both short and long term, confidential Psychotherapy and Counselling. Feel free to take a look around Therapy in London to find out more about psychotherapy and how it can help you. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Have you ever wondered why some people can get on with life seemingly unaffected by setbacks and social or work situations?
By means of hypnosis, we can start to build imaginary situations that teach your unconscious mind how to feel more relaxed about doing what it is you need to do.
This lays down new templates for a more confident approach to life and teaches your mind to be able to relax and trust in your own abilities to do well. Your path to a ‘more confident you’ is a realistic obtainable goal, so how will life be different when you have that confidence you need? Whereas confidence is more about how we feel about our abilities to do things in certain situations.
Caught in a double bind, some of us may have a tendency to make ourselves invisible to others, yet another part of us would also like to be seen, noticed (see also Social Anxiety Or Phobia). Some of us choose not to show our frustration & anger to anyone - keeping it all inside.
Some view self-doubt, questioning things, as a sign of weakness, yet it can also be seen as strength, coupled with holding our hope & faith. Viewing our doubts as thoughts, we may want to utilise ways of not feeding our unhelpful thoughts, doubts, stepping through them and move forward with more confident thoughts. When anxious, vulnerable, caught in our painbody, it can affect our ability to trust us, others & life. Many areas of our life are affected by how good we feel about ourselves - fundamental to who we are, sense of empowerment. We may be seeking ways we can be freer in our lives, so we can hear & see what is, instead of what was, should be or will be.
Being comfortable may be important to us, as may the value of caution, reflection, yet opportunities may slip by (see also Changes & Transitions), because we may want to avoid the awkwardness or temporariness of being uncomfortable. Before we start something new, take a risk, it can be important to carefully consider balancing risks, that what we are doing is right & what the consequences of our actions may be, understanding these (see Healthy Side Of Doubt). Worrying whether or not we can do things may also inhibit our freedom to enjoy the process, learning, the journey itself and what we need to learn.
Once we start saying negative things to ourself, we tend to believe that others too have negative thoughts about us without any real evidence.
This is to talk over what brings you to therapy, to answer any questions and to help you decide if I am the right therapist for you. Let’s work together to make your life less stressful, more fulfilled and more importantly, happier. When you learn to trust yourself and your own actions you begin to live a more comfortable and fulfilling life. Along the way we may be forsaking who we are, maybe putting ourselves down before someone else does.
When we have self-doubt, it can help stop us being so impulsive, maybe rushing into fix things before considering things, what we perceive, alongside all other options. Our self-encouragement, appreciating our achievements however small may be in short supply, which stops us thriving & acting in the world. And when we do trust us, we are less reliant on others to give us only what we can give to ourselves.
Re-discovering, being in touch with and trusting our inherent nature and own intrinsic resources - the ones we have had since birth & life itself, may support us. When we are in touch with our self-respect, we are freer to respect others, be respected by others, including having respect for our partner in our relationship.
What we give our power to can be explored in the confidence counselling & self-esteem therapy. Stepping outside our perceived boundaries, being willing to continuously explore, learn, committed to expressing ourselves more fully, rising to challenges may paradoxically be our very challenge. Exploring our external, internal sense of safety in counselling & psychotherapy may be significant. We all need feedback, support, validation, to be appreciated & receive the right sort of attention from others, over-relying on others to make us feel good (and even if we get it we may tell ourself we don't deserve it). Others, our family, supportive friends and community can be important support for us when they reach out, are compassionate. These repeated voices acting as our inner judge or selfcritic, can be an attempt to create safety (e.g. We can become too selfcritical, believe we are wrong, should be more this, less that and overly dependent on worrying what others think, seeking approval, validation & reassurance from others. Avoiding rejection, we would rather avoid asking what we want, stating our needs, even in our relationship. Fearing criticism or rejection, some of us opt to please others (often saying "Yes" without really meaning it), maybe frustratingly at the cost of our own needs & wants. Struggling to meet our own needs, we can become needy of others, and we can behave in destructive ways. Our doubt enables us to slow down, observe & reflect, allow for something "other" to emerge, work things through, test things out. We may also worry about change, uncertainty, future scenarios, worrying about what might go wrong. Some of us may lack confidence in trusting who we are - self-trust (see also Emotional Insecurity, Inadequacy).

We may also be in touch with a respect for the world around us and our responsibility to take action. Empowering ourself, and the decisions we make, may be important for us, so our life is in our hands. Enduring stability comes from building our own confidence, Emotional Intelligence, finding out who we are, our capabilities, what makes us happy. Being less awkward, taking charge of our thoughts, learning from our mistakes, not worrying so much about having to know everything, no longer trying to blame us or change others, living from the heart and soul of who we are, having the freedom to express what we want, rather than waiting for permission, may also support us in being confident in who we are, as may the freedom to take risks, make decisions without guilt being our constant companion.
Exploring life in more challenging ways we do our best growing when we move outside our safety zone. Others may choose curiosity, adventure, having a "let's see" approach, love or courage to override their fear of taking risks.
Essential to our growth, we all need recognition, reassurance, appreciation & approval.
Yet we may also want to no longer abandon ourselves, be integral with our own support system, being compassionate, caring to ourselves, be resilient, have our own internal strength, validate ourself. We may have a strong need to be liked, yet at the same time afraid we might be exposed somehow, as if we might be seen as a fraud or weak. Easily punctured, once we start putting ourself down or writing us off (often our familiar script), we can set off into a spiral of depression and consequently lack confidence.
We may tirelessly try to agree with others for worrying about not being liked, fear of rejection, abandonment or of getting into any conflict.
We may feeI envious or rageful towards people we believe are superior to us, or jealous of the attention they receive.
Our self-doubt can carry wisdom, be part of our humanity, authenticity, and can enable us to be in touch with our beliefs, values and what matters, keeping our feet on the ground, allowing for life's uncertainties, before we jump in.
Making the choice to trust ourself, be in the moment & taking different, positive action, tackling our doubts head-on may be our challenge. Yet for some our lack of confidence, low confidence or low esteem may in a strange way give us comfort, and stepping outside of this safe & familiar place into unknown new territory can be unnerving at first. Stepping outside our comfort zone can help us grow, feel more alive, achieve & bring about change, transformation. Trying something new can empower us, so compassion for our self outweighs our fear of what others might say or do. Being safe enough inside, willing to exchange over-cautiousness, controlling things for taking new risks, willing to step into the unknownso we are not just surviving, but feel more alive, loving to us & others, may be important for us. We need others to validate and value us, show interest in us, be proud in us, validate our worth. Yet when we become over-dependent on others for these, or feel worthless without them, we can become powerless, especially when we get caught in continuously comparing us with others. An aspect of this self-validation may include being aware of our emotions without numbing, suppressing them, integrating all our feelings, being grateful for our attributes, strengths, what we are proud of, any progress we've made, validating our intrinsic self-worth, so we have a sense of internal safety. Trapped in being ashamed or sorry for us, our negative selftalk can reinforce a negative selfimage & low self-esteem. Wanting to be liked by everybody may put demands on us, so we worry what others might say, even if what we think & say is true for us.
In the company of others we can feel like an outsider, on our own, alone, maybe alarmed at times, with a sense of panic, as if we need someone to help us out. Our self-doubt enables us to be open to new ideas, deliberate what the best decision we can make is and then to decide act upon it. Self-esteem counselling & confidence therapy can support you in building positive self-belief, without self-deception, having belief in yourself when others don't, moving towards your own self-trust and encouragement - turning adversity into an advantage, exploring your attitudes and what inspires you, so other possibilities open up, that you can do whatever you choose. We may have become cynical, when discussing certain things, developed a habit of mistrusting not only us but also everyone else (see also Trust, Vulnerability & Intimacy In The Relationship). We had a need to emotionally and physically attach ourself to those closest to us who cared for us.
This can be especially so if we have denied what really matters to us, our needs or certain feelings we are not supposed to have. Being cautious, playing things safe, doing the sensible, proper thing can at times be wise, yet other times we may want to try new things or something different, choosing to exchange safety for risk, utilise our will, consider throwing caution to the wind, be frivolous, more spontaneous, allow for surprises, be carefree (see also Our Free Will).
We need contact and people to like us, love us, be there for us, support us, yet confuse this with approval.
It can be so important that we are seen, recognised, acknowledged, appreciated or maybe admired, that we would do anything to get this.
In the therapy we may also need to explore what stops us - the part of us that is in resistance to our own self-validation.
When our esteem, confidence is low, we may have an additional set of unhelpful self-beliefs. We may have ended up not only basing our sense of worth on what others think, but also believing that failure erodes our intrinsic worth.
When we start to believe or accept our doubts, even though much of what we think may be irrelevant, we can allow them to influence our decisions or sabotage us.
Confidence building comes from being self-assured, which arises from us appreciating our own abilities. The benefit of hindsight is useful, yet we may ask how will we know if things will be different. We may struggle to be assertive & be tempted to control or manipulate situations, so that outcomes are predictable, safe, risk free, yet this may be stifling.
We may need approval & love, which is unconditional or perfect, yet which may be too much for someone else to always give.
If what we want most is validation, approval, appreciation, attention from others, we can also give this to others (often opening up a doorway for also receiving these qualities back) and if not, we can feel OK anyway because we are no longer reliant on others to do this for us. We may also believe that we should know everything, and struggle to let ourselves off the hook - see Tolerating Not Knowing - Our Need To Be In Control. We would rather ignore our own emotions, what's important to us, struggling to express these, yet attend to those of others.
Some of us may blindly put all our trust in others, yet not in ourself, not listening to that distant call or still voice inside of us, one we may have known all along. Preferring the comfort of familiarity, we may be in a double bind, because we won't know unless we try, make choices, decisions and act, helped by building, maintaining supportive habits. So rather than trying to have control over feeling safe (which can lead to resentment, blame, withdrawal, being overly defensive) we may want to choose from what is more loving for us or others, what's life affirming, towards our life's journey.
Highly dependent on others for our self-esteem, we may too often expect approval, recognition, affirmation, etc. We may believe that any approval is better than none and do anything (even compromise ourselves, to receive approval & recognition). We can seem invisible, like an outsider to others (and us) at times, as if we are disconnected, lost, that the world is moving, happening around us, yet we are static or powerless.
Frequently analysing things, we may shut down, believing we have nothing valuable to say, with a stream of negative thoughts running through our mind, and would like to be more vocal, in control, feeling less paralysed, inhibited at times, so we are being the person we want to be, in touch with who we are and more comfortable relating with others.
We may have lost our firm belief in us, our qualities, abilities & potential, what we can do, our self-worth.
We may have let what others say or do define us and become dependent on them for validation, approval, affirmation, reassurance, confirmation, permission, recognition, appreciation, praise, attention, adoration, admiration to be our moral compass , so also our self-worth becomes based on how others perceive us or our emotional evaluation, which has nothing to do with our intrinsic worth.
As we learn to take charge of our anxiety and change our unhelpful attitudes, we may be willing to risk learning new things, be open to new possibilities, trying them out, practice using them, until they become familiar & ours.
Needing or desiring recognition, validation or approval so much (and confusing this with love), interferes with our performance & how we are in the world. Confidence counselling can explore with you how you feel at ease with yourself & others, more comfortable in your own body and what inhibits us, so we can live our life to its full potential.
Trusting our feelings (so called positive and negative ones) as information and messages for us may support us. The confidence therapy can look at how we can build our confidence, be in our own ground & empower our self, feel potent, so we are strong inside. Taking a chance, being prepared to make mistakes, fail, be wrong, let go at times may help us take risks.
We may be holding onto beliefs from our wounded place or holding on to unhelpful rationalisations (often of how things should be).
We can define our worth based on our body or looks, overlooking our inner qualities or ability to love.
There can be an uncomfortable gap between how we are inside, how we would like to be, and how we show ourself to others.

When we take things too personally (or become overly sensitive), we may react by blaming ourseIves. In our early years we may have been trusting in nature, yet picked up some wounds along the way and if we were hurt as a child, we may have unhealed trust issues now.
The counselling & psychotherapy can explore our own human givens - being in touch with all of who we are, aligning ourself with what matters to us, our intrinsic worth, value and relationship to trust (see also Ownership, Guardianship, Trusteeship). Dating back to old wounds, we may fear people won't like us, struggle to say what we want, feel and become so dependent on approval, reassurance. We can be so busy criticising ourselves, putting ourselves down, that we now seek validation, affirmation, appreciation or adoration & admiration from others.
We can feel false, a fraud, a fake, as if we are an impostor, believing "I mustn't expose myself, otherwise I will be found out" or "I must adapt at all costs".
In our insecurity we may perceive ourselves as unlovable, inadequate, so paradoxically, if we don't feel good about ourself, we can end up at times diminishing our own esteem as if to prove, reinforce this belief.
Some of us may get easily anxious in social situations or want to examine their relationships with others.
Learning to regain trust, putting faith in who we are and our own path may now be important to us. We may seek out approval too often for our own comfort, ending up playing things safe, or become dependent on the people we seek approval from and when we don't get our approval "fix" (having what some people call an approval addiction), we may deflate. Trying to pin our esteem on others, we may give ourselves away, constantly seeking confirmation from others about who we are, whether we are good enough, maybe fearing others will abandon, reject us. Seeking an illusion of external safety we can believe we are bad, unacceptable or unlovable (confusing love for approval), questioning how anyone can love or even like us, compounded by our need to control others, outcomes, our partner. And feeling we are not good enough we may fear rejection, abandonment - make ourself rejectable. Our familiar response to challenges may include "Will I, won't I?", "I'm not sure", "Maybe", "I can't", "I should", and we can end up procrastinating. Believing in and honouring who we are, and our own strength, gives us trust, as does finding our courage to trust things will work out, doing what we need to do, even when afraid. Yet we may make approval-giving the job of others, overlooking that it is also our role to value ourself, validating our own intrinsic worth. Not feeIing good about ourselves, we can look for others to source our motivation & give us the answers, meet our dependency needs. And when we believe we are bad inside, so too may all our thoughts, feelings, beliefs be bad. We may be out of contact with what we want, struggling at times to connect to our "this is me" sense, to define our own worth, without attaching it to what others think. Dependent on approval from others (which can be withdrawn at any time), we may go along with things, continuously wondering what others think (frequently double, treble thinking) or trying to please others or fix things for them - giving them what they want or want to hear (often at the cost of what we want or really want to say), without giving away ourself. Coming from this place we may believe we have to play at being good - "knowing" from this bad place it is an act.
Building trust with ourself when our loving actions line up with our words may be important, alongside having faith in promises we make & keep. However if we do begin to focus on what we want, this may give us time to think, which for some we may flee from. Nothing can be right for us, we don't deserve any good, and if our good points, qualities are seen, acknowledged, we may believe we are conning others. When we are captured by our doubt, we can't believe any possible solutions, because we believe our thought. Our self-trust can be our foundation, when we are in touch with it and hold on to it, supported by our resilience.
Confidence counselling & self-esteem therapy can look at what may lay behind your need for approval, recognition, appreciation, admiration, adoration or adulation (see also Possible indicators of being needy), including ways you can, at times, give yourself "internal gratification", good feedback, take care of your own needs and give this approval to yourself, without always having to look from outside of us.
Unsafe inside, or feeling like a fraud we may try to control others, outcomes or our partner, be manipulative.
Believing and reinforcing we are inferior, not good enough, hopeless, we may even sabotage things or turn to unhelpful habits or addictions. As we place trust in us and in our own ground, we may have more of a capacity to calm ourself, putting ourself at ease and reflect, observe & respond to whatever comes our way, putting trust in our actions, move forward. Analysing things, some may also expect our needs to be met without saying, asking for what we need including in our relationship. We may always try to justify things and struggle to have a balance between withholding or sharing all our thoughts. We can ensure that our inner fears of not being good enough, get reconfirmed in our interactions with other people. We may have moments of clarity, when we can see a light in a dark tunnel and lose it again, as if we are caught somewhere between an unsatisfactory past or fearful future (see also Stuck In The Past, Present Or Future), yet struggle to live in the light of the moment.
Doubting our own competence, qualities & capabilities we may have given this thought more weight than we need to, underestimating ourselves, as our doubts get the better of us.
If we don't get these needs met in our relationship or marriage, we may withdraw or seek sexual encounters elsewhere to validate our worth. When we are convinced that nobody likes us, it is usually a signal that we need to like ourseIves.
Our waves of insecurity, lack of or low confidence problem, can be like our shadow, blocking out our light, inhibiting the fullness of our personality to shine through.
When our self-talk is negative we make our doubts our reality, they become self fulfilling prophecies impacting on our ability to achieve things.
We may try to be nice or please to get appreciation, validation from others as a form of control.
Ironically, even if we receive our longed for approval, affirmation, validation, recognition, appreciation, praise, confirmation - important though it is, it may never be enough. Some of us may have a masochistic lifestyle, suspicious & mistrusting others, believing we have to do everything on our own.
If we become hooked on our need for approval or validation, we give others power over us, as if we give ourself away, selling us short, losing touch with what inspires us. We may have allowed incidents & memories from the past to shape us more than we want to.
How love & approval gets played out in our relationship, marriage, may be worth observing. To compensate for our need, we may have developed certain habits like excessive emailing, texting or internet chatting or other unhelpful addictions.
Somehow believing that we shouldn't be self-conscious, we may have got into a habit of boycotting any good thoughts, which can tarnish our beliefs about who we are, affecting our centredness, groundedness. Searching for direction, we may have become overly dependent on getting our "compass" bearings from others, struggling to trust our own readings. Oversensitive, or basing our esteem only upon the responses of others, we may be over-reliant by holding on to what others say & how they respond.
If we don't get the response we need, we may end up blaming ourselves, beating ourselves up, as if we are wrong or bad or prove our own unworthiness.
The self-esteem counselling & confidence therapy may also explore what resources inside us we are in touch with and can develop, so we can utilise our personal boundaries and are less worried about how we are seen by others and are willing to be self-appreciative, grateful.
We may have difficulties being in touch with our own free will, expressing this, preferring to follow others or external authorities, yet not always feel comfortable doing this, because it is not close to who we are.
Being on our own path may be a need, as may listening, respecting to what we think about ourselves, being more physically connected to who we are in our own ground, opening our heart when other people aren't or can't be there for us. Releasing ourselves from the burden of being dependent on others for our OK-ness - being ourselves and thriving may matter to us. Please note that I use the words "self esteem help", "self-esteem therapy London", "esteem therapy London", "confidence therapy London", "self-esteem counselling London", "confidence counselling London", "avoiding conflict", "avoiding confrontation" interchangeably.
Instead of "self-esteem therapy" I often use terms like "low confidence building", "low esteem building", "low self-confidence building", "counselling Camden Town", "counselling Kings Cross", "low self-esteem building".
I also refer to "lack of confidence", "lack of self-esteem" as general terms about self-esteem or confidence problems.

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