What affects self-esteem refers to the thoughts, feelings and actions that we take as we deal with life’s challenges. It is often said that you are what you think about yourself. Self-esteem is based on your belief about yourself and your capabilities. Negative self-talk, criticism and judgment of yourself are all detrimental to maintaining high self-esteem.
Childhood experiences and your own perceptions of reality are the most significant factors in determining your level of self-confidence. Childhood experiences include how you were treated by your parents, how respected you were as a child, and how people responded to you. These things we did to us as children determine how our adult perceptions of ourselves will be whether or not we accept what others tell us or believe that we deserve any fate that is handed to us. Negative feedback from others, negative reactions from others to our behavior, and our own resistance to accepting change or criticism are all considered childhood experiences that affect self-confidence.
Our self-esteem is also impacted by our level of physical appearance. People with high self-esteem tend to think they look better than those with low self-esteem. Physical appearance also affects self-confidence as well as how we perceive ourselves.
Another aspect that impacts self-esteem is our reaction to criticism from others and society in general. There is new research showing that the way we internalize the social roles we have can impact our level of self-esteem and confidence. Social roles may include the role we play at work, in sport, in politics, religion or any other activity that we participate in.
When we get older, there are more changes happening in our lives. Many of these changes are not in our ability to do the things that we did when we were younger. One of the greatest challenges for people as they get older is how they deal with criticism and how they handle their physical appearance.
New research is showing that some of the things we did in childhood can impact our level of self-esteem and confidence even years later. Children who were encouraged and took pride in their physical appearance were more likely to have high self-esteem and confidence. On the other hand, children who were discouraged and felt that they did not have good enough physical appearance were less confident and had low self-esteem. These children were encouraged to talk about their problems rather than try to hide them through their negative self-talk.
Some of the factors that were found to be related to the level of self-esteem and confidence were the childhood experiences that a person had. For example, if a child had a bad self-image or low self-esteem because of a sexual abuse experience, that child may be more likely to have low self-esteem and confidence even into adulthood. On the other hand, children who had positive experiences at a young age were more likely to have high self-esteem levels throughout their life. This was also found when comparing children who were born again or those who went through difficult childhoods.
These new findings provide support for the view that the way we think about ourselves and our capabilities at a very young age has an effect on our overall self-esteem later in life. In addition to this new research, several other studies are looking at the relationship between early childhood experiences and self-esteem. What is being learned from these studies is that children who had positive experiences during childhood are more likely to develop higher self-esteem levels as they become adults. This study found that the effects of early childhood experiences, specifically the positive experiences were stronger for women than for men. This study looked at the effect of a mother’s early experiences and found that the effect was more positive for mothers than it was for fathers.