First, it is important not to think there only a few quick tricks and our self-esteem with be perfect. The next is to think one's self-esteem is set.... this is all we get. Both are false erroneous thoughts. There is not one miraculous trick to repair self-esteem, you may have to use a few techniques, and experiment which ones work best for you. Next, the work is on-going. No one is immune to doing the work at some point in their life, most likely in an ebb and flow process throughout one's life.
The first step is to admit that their is still work to be done on your self-esteem,
and then to figure out what the process would be to improve that/those area/areas.
We have so much inner strength, the ability to self reflect, to make the necessary changes to achieve a hight quality of life. Self-efficacy is the belief that we deserve this level of happiness and when we are in the midst of this kind of bliss...we DO NOT sabotage it by fears of it (possibly) ending at some point. The truth is, it may end or it may not. But to allow those erroneous thoughts to take over our mental state and then we choose to creates drama that ends the happiness...we say to ourself "look nothing good ever last", we convince ourself this is true without a counter realization that we never gave this place of happiness a chance to grow, we never gave ourself a change to get used to "being" in this place. Painful emotions and happy/positive emotions can trigger an unhealthy response if we are not functioning in our full self-esteem compasity.
Scenario 1: You meet someone who you have intense feelings for. At first you are ok, you are enjoying the possibilities, but at some point you panic.. inside, maybe not admitting this fully to yourself. You disengage, you detach and pull away because you fear being vulnerable. In a healthy relationship, two people can be vulnerable and trust and know there is safety,it is ok to experience a range of emotions and since their is trust and intimacy there is safety.
Scenario 2: You choose a person who shows signs of not committing, you continue not fully getting your needs met. Eventually the relationship ends and you say " everyone always leaves me."
These are relationship example, choosing to go back to an addictive behavior: drugs, alcohol, gambling, shopping, sex, eating, etc. etc. etc. can be other examples.
Whatever the patten is, by choosing a maladaptive patten it reflects a need to explore areas of self-esteem that need to be addressed.
Here are some terms that may be helpful to understanding the importance of a healthy self-esteem, a work in process I think, as it is something that needs to be on-going.
None of us are immune to doing this work at some point in our life .
This information is from Nathaniel Branden, Six Pillars of Self-Esteem.
"To trust one's mind and to know that one is worthy of happiness is the essence of self-esteem."
"The healthier our self-esteem , the more inclined we are to treat others with respect, benevolence, goodwill, and fairness---since we do not tend to perceived them as a threat, and since self-respect is the foundation of respect for others.
....if someone is treating you poorly first stop allowing it!!! and realize it is about them... a sign of their issues/ their splintered self-esteem.
They are not full capable of being a functioning adult. Don't take their actions personally, but instead take care of yourself ...heal the hurt and pain and move on.
If someone is "emotional impoverished", they "tend to see other people essentially as sources of approval or disapproval. I do not appreciate them for who they are in their own right. I see only what they can do for me. I am looking for people who will not condemn me---and perhaps will be impressed by my persona, the face I present to the world."
This is a view of someone who is in need of doing some serious inner work on their self -esteem. In the hope to make better choices but also to avoid drawing people into their life who they can not fully love or respect and end of causing others pain. Self-growth and caring for other hopefully is a motivation.
Self-Esteem Part 2 to follow:
Branden, N (1994). Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, New York, NY: Bantam Books.