Self esteem and self confidence refers to how we feel about ourselves. Self esteem develops over the course of our lifetime, via messages that we have received over the years from friends, family, the media, and society, influence we think, what we value, how we behave, and how we feel about ourselves.
Receiving messages that we are worthy and important and deserving of respect cultivates healthy self-esteem, whereas receiving messages that we are not good enough, worthless, and unimportant contribute to low self-esteem.
A concept closely related to self esteem in modern day society is that of body image as we are bombarded with information on how we should look. This can often lead to difficulties with dieting and eating disorders, as well as self-loathing. If you are having difficulty with eating, then see the section on eating disorders.
UNSW’s qualified and experienced counsellors are available Monday - Friday during business hours for free, confidential appointments.