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How to increase Self Esteem and Confidence

Self Esteemon April 5th, 2014No Comments

Jorg Thonnissen | Hypnotherapy In Perth - Hypnotic Impactby Jorg Thonnissen (2010) Registered Psychologist | Hypnotherapy In Perth – Hypnotic Impact

A study shows that children & adolescents high in task or goal orientation have higher self-esteem. Accordingly, Baldwin (2002) believes that in order to increase self-esteem, one’s expectations have to be lowered or successes have to be increased. Abel (1997) on the other hand, views high self-esteem as adaptive as it is associated with an individual’s greater capacity for a number of personality characteristics such as self –regulation, persistence and successful performance as well as higher expectations of success.

In other words, if persistence exceeds expectations where performance is related to efforts, a person of high self-esteem will experience success that will heighten self-esteem.

However, there is a clear distinction between typical (realistic) and atypical (unrealistic) expectations, as the latter often presents itself as an individual’s maintenance of goals in situations where failure is the obvious result. Thus, one has to consider the effects of attainment and non attainment of future expectations (expressed as realistic or unrealistic goals or tasks) as it will have a direct effect on a person’s development of self-esteem.

Studies found that a ‘positive goal discrepancy’ is achieved when performance exceeds expectations. On the other hand, a ‘negative goal discrepancy’ is achieved if performance fails to meet expectations.

Thus, the consequences of failing to meet expectations are likely to be expressed as a lowering of expectations each time failure occurs, creating highly stressful and emotional situations negatively affecting judgment and the failure of setting realistic goals in future. In other words, under such circumstances self-esteem is in systematic decline.

On the other hand, success will lead to the willingness to ‘raising the bar’ each time a task has been completed. Therefore, the setting of realistic goals is of crucial importance if self-esteem is to be increased. However, in order to truly increase a person’s self-esteem, it needs to be understood that it is one’s own observation of self that is of prime importance to the development of self-esteem.

Seen from such perspective, an individual’s achievements are only seen as appropriately reflecting the self, if they have been internally caused. Externally motivated achievements on the other hand, are said to have little effect on self-esteem. This view is consistently supported by a number of self perception and self attribution theories which indicate that when people perceive their behavior as internally motivated, the consequences for the self are stronger. Therefore, the importance of achievements and attainments based on self direction are of crucial importance for the development of self-esteem.




Factors in the Development of Self Esteem

Self Esteemon April 4th, 2014No Comments

by Jorg Thonnissen (2010) Registered Psychologist – Hypnotherapy In Perth | Hypnotic Impact

Parental behaviors have a strong influence on children and adolescent self-esteem. For example, Nielsen et al (2002) reports parental affection and support to be positively related to the development of self-esteem in children.

Researchers found that good support from parents was an adequate predictor for mental health. Generally, vulnerability and low self-esteem was greatest in those children and adolescentdownloads whose parental support was low, this applied especially for males.

On the other hand, a study investigating the relationship between family dimensions and self-esteem in early adolescents indicates that girls’ self-esteem in particular is strongly related to a parent behavior, that displays an intellectually cultural family orientation, whereas boys’ self-esteem was positively related to their parents’ moral global orientation.

Overall, children and adolescents from high conflict families reported lower Self-esteem, higher levels of anxiety and weaker inward control.

This can be seen in support of a study that found that the greater the perceived happiness of parents, the higher their children’s self concept. In addition, parents who avoid the use of guilt, anxiety and the withdrawal of love in order to control children/ adolescent behavior are likely to strengthen the self-esteem of their children.

However, parenting styles utilizing moderate levels of discipline at the same time are believed to further enhance the construct, whereas excessive parental control has the opposite effect (Nielsen et al, 2002).

Besides strong evidence of parental support as a factor in developing self-esteem in children and adolescents, there is also reason to believe teacher and peer support to be of similar importance.

For example, low teacher and classmate support have been linked to low self-esteem and consequently behavioral problems. There is a relationship between low self-esteem and peer rejection as well as low academic achievement in children and adolescents.

Further, as youth evaluate themselves across adolescents, contemporary social influences have a major influence on the formation of their Self-esteem. This is unsurprising if one is to consider the impacts of media and advertising on social trends and lifestyles.

For example, the ‘perfect body’ may be something to be idealized by many, however, achieved by only a few. Similarly, children and adolescents may idealize a particular brand of footwear or soft drink used by the ‘in’ group, thereby perceiving themselves as ‘outsiders’ or as ‘lesser’ individuals for as long as these ‘brand icons’ haven’t been achieved.

by Jorg Thonnissen (2010) Registered Psychologist – Hypnotherapy In Perth | Hypnotic Impact



How to maintain Self Esteem

Self Esteemon September 9th, 2010No Comments

by Jorg Thonnissen (2010) Registered Psychologist

How people maintain their self-esteem has been extensively researched. It is believed that after formation, it enables those who are high in the construct to maintain high feelings about the self, whereas those with a lesser degree of self-esteem, are proportionally less able to do likewise.

The results of a study in which participants were given success or failure feedback on intellectual ability assessments seems to supports this. In the assessment, participants with high levels of self-esteem reported consistently higher feelings of self esteem, than those whose levels were low.

It was consequently discovered, that in order to achieve this, participants with high self-esteem employed various strategies to protect, promote, and thus restore their feelings of self worth by methods such as the attribution of failure to the selection of ineffective strategies.

Such strategies have been described by Mullis & Chapman (2000) who found that adolescents with higher self-esteem used different coping styles than those considered lower in the construct.

For example, adolescents with low self-esteem preferred to rely on emotion based strategies (emotion focused) such as the ventilation of feelings for example, whereas those of high self-esteem were more likely to rely on strategies designed to solve problems (problem focused).

Perhaps it is this difference in coping styles which leads to the perceived success or failure of an individual’s goal or task achievements. For example, Tafarodi (1997) associates low self-esteem with an individual’s tendency to show decreased efforts following a performance failure which in turn affects the individual’s willingness to be persistent in his/her pursuit of future goals or targets.

Development of Self esteem

Self Esteemon August 29th, 2010No Comments

by Jorg Thonnissen (2010) Registered Psychologist

There are a number of models by which self-esteem is believed to develop. For example, the affective model assumes that it develops early in life in response to temperamental and relational factors.  However, as self esteem is intrinsically connected to an individual’s ‘self concept’, the term will have to be addressed for clarification.  Perhaps the most noted psychologist to explain the development of an individual’s ‘self concept’, from early childhood to adulthood is Piaget (1969).

In his ‘theory of mind’ he makes a distinction between four stages of cognitive development in individuals, namely, sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational stages. In the sensorimotor stage (birth to age 2), the child is believed to have no conceptual or reflective thought, and therefore the notion of self-esteem is of no consequence.  From about the preoperational stage (2-6 years), the child engages in symbolic thinking, at which moment the child understands the world only from its own perspective and thus has only one point of view – that of its own.

In the concrete operational stage (7-11 years), the child begins to interpret experiences objectively and understands the basic concepts of conversation and other scientific ideas such as classifications and numbers. The formal operational stage (12 years and older), enables the adolescent or adult to think about hypothetical concepts and abstractions. Throughout these four stages an individual’s cognitive abilities are consistently increasing, which in turn also causes an increase in the individual’s self awareness due to physical and mental attributes, as well as social roles. What emerges is the person’s ‘self image’. At the same time, the individual usually develops a concept of who they would like to be, a characteristic referred to as the ‘ideal self’.

Together, self image and ideal self are part of a person’s ‘self concept’. In other words, an individual’s self concept can be seen as an umbrella term for self image and ideal self, two terms that between them give rise to self-esteem.  As such, the level of self-esteem is determined by the discrepancy between an individual’s perceived self, and an expectation of who they ‘should’ be. Branden (1995) understands self-esteem as the reputation individuals acquire within themselves. Put simply, by satisfying personally defined roles an individual is able to measure or perceive his/her ‘self-esteem’.

Consequences of Low Self esteem

Self Esteemon August 18th, 2010No Comments

by Jorg Thonnissen (2010) Registered Psychologist

Poor self-esteem, when internalized, is often associated with a number of mental disorders and social problems, ranging from depression, suicidal ideations, eating disorders and anxiety, and if externalized, it may find expression as violent behavior or substance abuse.

Especially low global and academic self-esteem in children and young adolescents was found to be a predictor of such health compromising behaviors. For example, a study by Phyllis (2000) shows that poor grades and deviant behavior of children as early as in grade 7 are a possible indication of such behavior 5 years later.

There are a number of characteristics displayed by children and adolescents with low self-esteem. For example the frequent voicing of negative statements about the self as well as excessive criticism of others, overreaction to constructive criticism or other anxiety provoking situations may all indicate low self-esteem.

A relationship between Self-esteem and accomplishment has been identified in the classic ‘Principles of Psychology’ by William James in 1890. Ever since, many researchers have sought to define the construct. However, researchers are still rather undecided in their understanding of how many dimensions are considered reasonable, to ‘truly’ capture the construct of self-esteem in its entirety.

Some belief that especially early adolescent self-esteem is multidimensional in structure, as it is influenced by individual and contextual factors linked to adjustment outcomes that can both hinder or promote overall development of an individual’s self-esteem.

Brown, Dutton and Cook (2001), on the other hand, found the construct of self-esteem to have three meanings; global or trait self-esteem, self evaluation, and feelings of self worth. The concept of global self-esteem is commonly used to refer to the way people characteristically feel about themselves, whereas the same term has also been used to refer to the way abilities and attributes are evaluated, thus the name ‘self evaluation’. Conversely, feelings of self worth are used to identify rather momentary emotional states arising from positive or negative situational outcomes.

Across the literature, gender has been cited as a significant indicator of the individual’s perceived self-esteem. The construct has been found to have gender specific characteristics with global male self-esteem being on average higher than that of females. This follows that particularly age and gender are considered to present significant predictors of ‘Global’ self-esteem, and, as such, may vary substantially across contextual and/or developmental domains in youths.

What is Self Esteem? A Definition

Self Esteemon August 18th, 2010No Comments

by Jorg Thonnissen (2010) Registered Psychologist

For Hypnotherapy in Perth and Fremantle visit Hypnotic Impact

“Self-esteem is a set of attitudes and beliefs that a person brings with him- or herself when facing the world. It includes beliefs as to whether he or she can expect success or failure, how much effort should be put forth, whether failure at a task will “hurt,” and whether he or she will become more capable as a result of different experiences.

In psychological terms, self-esteem provides a mental set that prepares the person to respond according to expectations of success, acceptance, and personal strength” –Stanley Coopersmith,  Coopersmith  Self-Esteem Inventories Manual
“To compare oneself favorably to others, to appreciate and evaluate oneself highly, to have a positive attitude, the conviction in ones ability, competence and the belief to be in ‘control’ of ones life are all associated with levels of ‘high’ Self-esteem. On the other hand, powerlessness, depression, self depreciation and helplessness are considered feelings of ‘low’ Self-esteem”Mecca, Smelser & Vasconcellos, 1989

Researchers suggest that the active protection and promotion of self-esteem is critical to improve mental and physical health. As it influences aspirations, personal goals and interactions with others, self-esteem is of crucial importance to mental and social well being and plays an important role as a protective and non specific risk factor in physical and mental health. Youth problems such as poor academic achievement, risky sexual behavior, insolence, drug and alcohol abuse, psychological distress and delinquency to name only a few have been associated with low self-esteem.
Hypnosis or hypnotherapy provides an avenue to effectively promote the development of self- esteem (please read next article).

by Jorg Thonnissen (2010) Registered Psychologist

For Hypnotherapy in Perth and Fremantle visit Hypnotic Impact