We live in a competitive culture. From a young age we are graded and compared with our peers, as well as possibly our siblings. We are taught that what makes us valuable is our achievements, our looks and our intelligence. Commercials bombard us to point out products that can fix our deficiencies. Given this cultural context it is little wonder that so many people find themselves struggling with self-esteem issues.
Self-esteem therapy helps people examine their beliefs about self-worth that have been ingrained in them by our culture and their life histories. Identifying the ways in which this learning has been hurtful helps people start to reject the beliefs that cause problems with self-esteem. Over time, people are then able to develop their own, healthier system of values on which to evaluate their lives.
Many people find this process liberating, as they no longer feel like they have to live up to everyone else’s standards and perfect themselves. Rather than fixating on perceived shortcomings, they are able to cultivate an appreciation of the totality of their personhood.