I had a powerful experience in my early twenties that helped me understand the power of owning my identity. It was my first year of college and I still didn't even have language that would help me understand my gender identity or sexual orientation. I became fascinated with a woman named Rachel on the edge of my social circle. She was a brash, outspoken campus activist, always surrounded by friends. Have you ever wondered what you can do to raise your self-esteem? Self-esteem is a psychological term that defines our general evaluation of our overall worth as an individual and is a natural by-product of secure attachments. These evaluations are based on our judgments about ourselves and the attitudes we have about ourselves--for example, our beliefs about our competency. I am a worthy individual, and I have belief in my abilities, or I am not smart and not good at anything. Self-esteem also encompasses the emotions we feel about ourselves--for example, feelings of pride and triumph or feelings of despair and shame. In a nutshell, self-esteem is the judgments we make and the emotions we feel about who we are, as well as our beliefs about how others perceive us. When our overarching self-evaluations are negative, we experience low self-esteem; Conversely, we have high self-esteem when we have positive self-evaluations; Self-esteem also affects the way we behave and how we relate to others (ie, compassionate and empathetic or defensive and judgmental). In childhood, parents have the most influence on shaping self- Furthermore, there is a suggestion that it is this degree of assimilation, rather than the initial quality of the person's counseling, which best predicts his success. A study of the overall effectiveness of the work of the Personal Counselors has already been presented in article 4, pp. Criticisms of the Program These decidedly positive research findings might be taken to mean that the training course had no important defects. This assumption would be most misleading. As a course it received, and deserved, many criticisms.

Many of these came from individuals who had no contact with the course, and whose sources of information were remote. It is of doubtful profit to consider these objections. The criticisms made by the members of the course themselves are perhaps more fruitful to consider. On the basis of a questionnaire at the conclusion of training and extensive correspondence since, Blocksma has endeavored to collect and consider the most serious weaknesses of the course. I admired that supportive community, and Rachel especially, for their social confidence--a trait I hankered for. I suppose I was a bit of a stalker, watching Rachel and her crowd, even following them around campus. Though I wanted to be a part of their energy, I was too intimidated to talk to them. One night, I saw an opportunity to tag along as they poured into a packed seminar hall. Following, I figured I could blend into the crowd and remain below their radar. I didn't know what was going on in the room but managed to slide into one of the last remaining seats--unfortunately at the front and center. Although I didn't know anything about her at the time, I was about to hear the famed poet, feminist, and civil rights activist Audre Lorde speak. When she stepped to the podium, she opened with, I'm a Black, working-class, feminist, lesbian, mother, poet. The word lesbian resonated inside me. My mind raced and I felt panic rise. The more positive early experiences we have, the higher the chance we will develop a secure attachment and, consequently, a healthy degree of self-confidence as children and adults. Numerous articles and several studies have been conducted that show that parents who give their children unconditional love and respect raise children with high self-esteem. Conversely, adverse childhood experiences that cause low self-esteem would include being harshly criticized, humiliated, sexually or emotionally abused, ignored, or expected to be perfect all the time. We all have inner dialogues that support or reinforce our beliefs and expectations. When we open any number of social-media platforms and scroll through photos of vacations, celebrations with family and friends, and adorable pets, our inner critic might say, I'm not successful enough or I'm not good enough. When there's a constant stream of such information, for the anxiously and avoidantly attached person, it becomes increasingly difficult to stave off feelings of inadequacy or inferiority;

Skill-Building Strategies How do you raise your self-esteem? Below are some suggestions. Try not to be overly critical of yourself or demand perfection. These may be summarized in several major categories. There was too much of an effort to get across a client-centered point of view, at the expense of a process helping the trainee to become a therapist in his own terms. Partly because the staff had not sufficiently recognized the implications of a client-centered point of view for teaching, and partly because the urgency of a six weeks' time limit interferes with sound judgment, the group members were immediately exposed to a client-centered point of view and encouraged to consider it as a possible point of view for themselves. If many standard or real or role-played pre-tests of the sort employed in this research could have been recorded, transcribed, and analyzed by each trainee on himself, then he would have had a picture of his own methods and attitudes and empirical counseling philosophy. Once he sees himself, and compares himself to others, and to client-centered counselors, then he is better able to decide how and why he wishes to change his counseling methods. In the writer's experience, a slower start, with emphasis on self-analysis, makes the presentation of the client-centered viewpoint more objective and learnable. Such an approach would have enabled the group to arrive, deductively, through discussion and practice, at those attitudes and procedures which experience showed to be more effective in their own job. These attitudes and procedures would have been client-centered to the extent, and only to the extent, that such an orientation proved more effective than other approaches. Dealing with the group in this fashion would have eliminated the oughtness which still tended to creep into the teaching. It would also have eliminated the slight feelings of guilt and rebelliousness which the personal counselors tended to feel as they developed the procedures which were individually most effective. I wanted to run from the room, but there was no way to without being noticed. Then, things got worse. Lorde was pointing at me. She was asking me to stand up. I slid lower in my chair, glancing around desperately, hoping she really meant someone else--or that she'd have pity on me and call on a neighbor. No such luck.

Stand up, she said. Identify yourself, she said. I stuttered, muttering something about not wanting to limit myself to particular categories. She wasn't impressed. Work on being more patient with yourself and others, developing self-compassion, expressing emotions, and being open to trying varied interests and new activities. These actions are big steps toward raising your self-esteem. Avoid derogatory self-talk. While an occasional self- We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Just like we cannot all be great at everything, the opposite is also true--we cannot all be bad at everything. Generalizing negative beliefs about ourselves inhibits us from having a realistic picture of our true abilities. Take time out to think of a few things you are not terrible at and that you might even enjoy doing. Most likely, your list will be longer than you expected. Make a plan to do one of the things on your list. The net reaction to the course, as expressed by many counselors throughout the subsequent year, might almost be rephrased as follows: It was a fine program. It helped me greatly in starting on my work. I have met many unexpected problems. I am gradually learning to be much more effective in my work, thanks in considerable measure to the six weeks at Chicago. I am not as client-centered in my work as I should be. Had the program been better handled, this last sentence would have been meaningless and unnecessary.

A second criticism is closely related. It is that the course was not sufficiently learner-centered. Although a real effort had been made to approximate the atmosphere of the counseling relationship, this did not go far enough. There was still insufficient willingness to rely, freely and actively, upon the members of the group. Identify yourself, she insisted. I'm a Caucasian woman, I offered. Is that all? I nodded, mortified. If you don't own your identity, she said with obvious disdain, you give up your power. You allow others to control it. She went on to other people, including Rachel's clique, who easily threw out identifying terms like lesbian, gay, homo, queer, socialist, and anarchist. Why was I so uncomfortable? If they tagged themselves with identities, why couldn't I? Until that moment, in a room of about fifty people where I had ended up quite by accident, I had never confronted my attraction to women. Doing activities you feel good about will naturally build your self-esteem. Develop relationships with a healthy dependency. When we feel a combination of both connection and independence in our relationships, we have established a healthy dependency. These types of relationships empower us to take risks, to venture out and explore new relationships and interests, and, at the same time, to feel connected and close to the essential people in our lives. Give yourself permission to ask for help. Talking with a