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  • Writer's pictureCarmela Pollock

Understanding Self Esteem & Identifying The Balance

We all know that self esteem sometimes referred to as self-worth or self-respect, can be an important part of success in life. Too little self-esteem can leave someone feeling depressed or defeated, they fall into destructive relationships and make bad choices because their focus is on their weaknesses or mistakes. Too much, can certainly be off-putting to others and can even damage personal relationships. Adjectives such as egotistical and narcissistic quickly come to mind.

So What is Self Esteem?

It is how we see and what we think of ourselves constituting our beliefs, thoughts and ideas. Self esteem begins in childhood and is created through nurture, protection, care, love, affection, praise and encouragement from parents and other significant people in our lives. Our self esteem is then further developed through exposure to new environments and experiences at school, friends and teachers, sports, achievements in studies etc.

Ultimately it is the way we are treated that moulds our self esteem.

Finding the Balance

Self-esteem levels at the extreme high and low ends of the spectrum can be harmful, so ideally, it's best to strike a balance somewhere in the middle. A realistic yet positive view of yourself is generally considered the ideal.

Behaviours that demonstrate the correct balance of self esteem include:

- Appreciating yourself

- Believing in yourself

- Confidently making decisions

- Feeling in control of your life, without being controlling

- Positive attitude

- Having positive self image and appreciating your body

- Healthy boundaries

- Knowing that you are important

- Seeing yourself as valuable as the next person

- Valuing your worth and your right to live a happy fulfilling life

- Being uninhibited and taking appropriate risks

- Having self respect

- Being able to say no!

- Negative experiences don't impact your overall perspective.

Building Self Esteem in Adulthood

Sometimes our childhood experiences may set us back in particular areas of our life but we are not limited by it. As adults we have choices and building a healthy self esteem is one of these choices. If you find you are not able to tick off all of the balanced self esteem traits above then maybe therapy can help.

In a therapy situation, improving self-esteem may involve first understanding where your underlying beliefs come from. This may be a painful process, and you may not see a gain in your self-esteem straight away. Counselling can allow you space to explore all aspects of yourself, including your views, opinions and thoughts and feelings. The safe, empathic and confidential environment that therapy creates, allows you to go at your own pace while you discover more about yourself. It will allow you to engage with your strengths and abilities, and discover aspects of yourself which maybe you buried, forgot or dismissed because you felt you were not good enough.

If you are ready to discover and realise your fullest potential, contact Soulworks by completing the online contact form - click here.


'I started seeing Carmela a few months ago, for both Reiki and Holistic Counselling. Carmela amazes me each time with her caring loving nature, her enthusiasm and her beautiful soul. I believe I am very lucky that Carmela has come into my life, and I will continue to have Reiki and counselling with her.' ~ Wendy S, Langwarrin

'Carmela has changed my life in so many ways. I was struggling and without direction. I played small because l didn't know how to get out of this limiting mindset. She guided me gently and opened a space of compassion and connection. I am so thankful and grateful of her skills to open a heart like mine that was closed for so long due to grief and childhood neglect. Thank you Carmela for what you do. She is amazing.' ~ Stephanie B, Mornington


Carmela Pollock is a certified Counsellor, Usui Reiki Master teacher, award winning published author and advocate for mental health & women's health & well-being. Located in Mornington, Victoria, Australia she actively contributes to a number of charities that support women's health.

If you would like to know more about Carmela's services, visit her website at

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