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“Why Do I Still Struggle So Much With Self-Esteem?”

GETTY/SUPAWINEE PRACHUM

Struggling with self-esteem? You're not alone.

I had a difficult childhood. Both of my parents were alcoholics. There was always conflict in our home. I feel like I’ve dealt with all that in several stints of therapy. I now have a career I enjoy and am in a stable relationship with a good man. I haven’t lived with my parents for over 30 years and they are both deceased. So why do I still struggle so much with self-esteem? Kevin: I tell my patients to give up on self-esteem. It’s a losing game. The more you try to convince your small self that it is adequate, good enough, or lovable, the more you give the wounded version of you fuel for reminding you of any and all available evidence to the contrary. Once we give up on improving self-esteem, we can move on to cultivating Self-awareness. What do I mean by Self-awareness? I mean practicing being conscious that there is something much larger than your small ego self flowing through you. You can call your large Self “Love,” or “Compassion,” or “Sacredness.” Some might even call it “God.” My favorite line from the Prayer of St. Francis, which I heard frequently as a child, is sometimes translated a …

By Kevin Anderson PhD, psychotherapist. Click here for more!

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Self-EsteemSelf-Awareness

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