This topic discusses the process each person goes through to develop security within themselves over time, learning to be more comfortable in their own shoes. Society tells us to "love ourselves" but what does that actually mean? This idea can create a lot of confusion and difficulty. Psychologically speaking, improving self esteem has a lot to do with self acceptance and self compassion rather than having to meet certain standards with appearance, performance, career success before feeling confident. We all have to take those steps of independence to make a new friend, turn up to the first day of school, try out for teams, ask someone out on a date, apply for jobs, and the list goes on as we grow up. Somewhere along the way, developing healthy self esteem can be compromised, causing us to question our value and worth.
There are many factors that contribute to low self esteem, mainly stemming from childhood experiences such as poor scholastic performance and sporting ability, bullying especially related to appearance, difficulties fitting in with peers, mistreatment, difficulty meeting high standards of parents and teachers, an absence of positive attention and praise etc. These factors all influence the beliefs we hold about ourselves and are maintained by the mental rules we learned to live by. It seems we can spend our adulthood unlearning the negative things we learned in earlier years as we start to look past our shortcomings and become more comfortable with the way we look, how we interact socially, our performance and abilities etc. I've found that every year older I get, the more comfortable I feel in my own skin and the less I care what others think and the less value I place on external based standards.