Assessment Title: Self-analysis essay
Student Name: Amanda Thwala.
South African College of Applied Psychology (Pty) Ltd.
Module Name: Self-esteem and Motivation.
Educator Name: Lana Levin.
Assessment Due Date: 25 June 2018.
In accordance with SACAP’s Plagiarism Prevention Policy and Student Code of Conduct, Wellness and Disciplinary Policy, I, Amanda, the undersigned, hereby declare that I have abided by APA referencing guidelines, that the work contained in this assessment submission is my own original work, and that I have not previously in its entirety, or in part, submitted this work previously as part of a module or qualification.
Signature: A.A THWALADate: 25 June 2018.
Table of content.
The search for identity and meaning………………………………….5
Internal and External factors………………………………………….6
Inner voice and Inner critic……………………………………………7
Areas of personal vulnerability……………………………………….8
You have a right to feel good about yourself. However, it can be very difficult to feel good about yourself when you have negative distortions and low self-esteem (Mc Kay and Fanning, 2000). When someone insults you, you feel bad, then you begin to give yourself negative self-talk, like “I’m no good” or “I’m a failure”. That may make you feel so bad about yourself that you do something to hurt yourself or someone else, such as getting drunk or shouting at others. This assessment aims to provide some basic information about my current self-esteem, what influenced it, the role of the inner voice as well as inner critic, with examples and exploring two areas of personal vulnerability in my life and how can I work to strengthen my self-esteem using different sources
The search for identity and self-esteem in adolescents.
Self-esteem can be best described as having confidence in your own abilities and values (Wilding and Palmer, 2010). It does not mean thinking that you’re the best at everything but feeling comfortable with yourself even when you’re not. It is accepting, all your strengths and weaknesses, while still taking opportunities for self-development (Mc Kay and Fanning, 2000). Self-esteem also means having trust and faith in yourself (Mc Kay and Fanning, 2000). Erik Erikson, an Ego psychologist who developed influential development stages called Erikson’s psychosocial development stages (Corey, 2014). Erikson argued that adolescents face a crisis between identity and role confusions, a stage where they are trying to define and figure out themselves. This stage plays an essential role in developing a sense of personal identity which will continue to influence behavior and development for the rest of a person’s life (Corey, 2014).
During adolescence, children explore their independence and develop a sense of self. Those who receive proper encouragement and reinforcement through personal exploration will emerge from this stage with a strong sense of self and feelings of independence and control (Louw, Van Ede and Louw, 1998). Those who remain unsure of their beliefs and desires will feel insecure and confused about themselves in future and develop low self-esteem. Identity refers to all the beliefs, ideals, and values that help shape and guide a person’s behavior (McKay and Fanning, 2000). Completing this stage successfully leads to fidelity, which Erikson described as an ability to live by society’s standards and expectations (Weiden, 2016).
External and internal factors that influenced my current self-esteem.
For years, I used to have a problem with my appearance and body image. People will tell me over a thousand time that I have a nice body and I would not believe it. I would feel like I’m not pretty enough and compare myself to other girls and think “why can’t I be like her”? Struggling for not being good enough, seeking approval from other people and thinking that I have to wear, walk and act in a certain way because people would accept me, it affected my life negatively. After finishing high school, I learned more about myself, started to accept my body. I blocked all the negative remarks I had for my body and admired it the way it was. I now can look in the mirror and say good things. However, by accepting myself, I came to realize that I am absolutely beautiful, not because I am better or worse than anyone else, but because I am exactly what I’m supposed to be.
They say childhood is one of the main influences on your self-esteem. When you grow up, everyone around you has the potential to influence the person you become. I grew up in a chaotic home environment, full of violence and sometimes there were traumatic events that caused me to misinterpret and conclude that I was unworthy. My mother used to criticize me a lot for being a bad cooker and failing grades. My mother’s parenting style (uninvolved and authoritarian) also influenced my self-esteem. She was and still does not care about my emotional, social and physical needs, no clue of what’s going on with my life, she lacks communication, very harsh verbal punishment and excessive criticism. According to Kail and Cavanaugh (2016), Children of authoritarian parents are prone to having low self-esteem, they are fearful or shy, associating obedience with love, having difficulty in social situations, and possibly misbehaving when outside of parental care. Children of uninvolved parents are greater prone to stress and anxiety, risk of alcohol, problematic behaviour, perform less at school and poor social skills. At school, I had shame for coming in poor background, learners laughed and criticized me for being different, so that caused lot of anger, self-doubt, unworthiness and low self-esteem. This was getting out of hand so, I decided to rewrite and edit my self-esteem. I changed my everyday self-talk and negative beliefs. I forgave myself for everything and carried on with life.
In 2016, I dated a boy, while with a low self-esteem, so in everything I relied on him (body, looks and clothes). If he did not tell me that I’m beautiful, I would be so hard for me to believe. This impacted my life negatively. I viewed myself not good enough, ugly and not getting married in future. I strongly depended on him about myself. Instead of enjoying the relationship, in fact it negatively affected my emotions and confidence. After break up, I fixed my self-esteem and realized that I’m beautiful and worth it. I realized that it is okay to be selfish and value yourself, instead of depending on boyfriends.
According to Corey (2014), Albert Ellis founder of Rational emotive behavior therapy, people are not disturbed by things, but rather by their view of things. REBT believes that my negative thoughts perceive my behavior, emotions, responses to specific situations and the way I perceive my world. Before I used to believe that “I’m ugly, not good enough and failure in life”. This affected my life, not believing that I’m competent, affected my school grades, my view of myself and life overall. I suffered from insomnia, self-mutilation, low self-esteem and depression, which took many years to overcome. So, to me now it’s very important to be careful when you talk to yourself, avoid criticism, negative distortions and believing that nobody is perfect and you’re capable of becoming what you want in life.
The role of my inner critic and inner voice.
My inner critical voice was formed out by painful life experiences in which I witnessed early in life. The inner critic impacted my behavior and shaped the direction of my life back then. It also sabotaged my relationship with friends, preventing me from living the life I wanted to lead and becoming the person I wanted to be. My inner critic voice would tell that “he really doesn’t love you” and “nobody cares about you” and I would believe that. I was self-critical, self-denying and self-destructive. This anti-self would perpetrate negative thoughts that would tell me that I’m not good enough, it cast doubt on my goals at school and undermined my accomplishments.
I failed grades, I didn’t have friends and thought to myself I should give up. Since I improved my self-esteem, I remembered that my inner critical voice was not a reflection of reality. It was a viewpoint adopted based on destructive early life experiences and attitudes directed toward me that I’ve internalized. Now I’m aware of the impacts of inner critic voice, and decided to change it. With my current self-esteem, if the inner critic says “I’m ugly and I cannot speak English fluently”, I just change the negative thought to positive thought by replying that “I passed with a bachelor degree in matric”, “I’m in college, studying what I love and I’m beautiful, whatever the situation”. I Changed my thoughts, my daily self-talk and looked at the positive side of things that make me feel good. I empowered myself and learned to be gentle to myself. My behavior has started to reflect on positive things, which improves my current self-esteem and confidence.
My two areas of personal vulnerability.
When it comes to these two factors I think I’m very hard on myself. I love cooking for myself, but for other people I cannot. It’s stressful and overwhelming, and when I make small mistakes like not adding salt I feel like a failure. In my mind I believe that I have to be perfect and my food must be delicious. I do not know, but I think this has to do with past experiences. My mother used and still criticizes the food I make and I have this belief that I will never be a good cooker. This thing has affected my view of getting married and having a family.
To improve this I must stop listen to her criticism and maybe tell her how I feel. I must also learn to be gentle with myself and stop allowing the inner critic voice to control me. Start practicing food cooking that I like, give myself a challenge and change my negative thoughts to positive thoughts.
When it comes to dating I see myself as a fool who doesn’t know what she’s doing. I don’t know my own worth so I’m unlikely to convince anyone else of it either, which is a shame. In my head, I am not the girl who gets the guy — I’m the girl who loses him to someone prettier, smarter, thinner, etc. It is hard for me to believe that a guy can love, to me it makes no sense. I tried dating in 2016 for the first time, but after that I didn’t see any point of dating again. I’m scared of taking chances again, because of getting hurt. I lack confidence in bedroom, even being naked in front of people, I’m not comfortable in my own skin, so I’ve concluded in my mind that being single is my greatest strength.
If I continue to believe that I’m unworthy of love, there’s no way I can find love, so it’s better to work on myself and change my mindset. I can’t live my life being afraid to take chances, people get rejected every day and my world doesn’t have to end because of my past.
I need to find confidence, true love for yourself, set aside perfection, stop doubting and worrying that if he really loves me or not and learn from my mistakes.
In this assessment I have learned that low self-esteem can cause us to feel like we are not important, it can keep us from trying new things in our lives, performance at school and lead to negative self-talk sometimes to mental disorders and destructive behaviors. But when people have high self-esteem, they tend to view life in a positive way, feel confident, view difficulties as challenges, be assertive, say yes to what they want and feel and do not allow others to treat them bad. And also having support from peers and family will allow people to know that they are not powerless and need to believe in themselves
References.Louw, D.A, Van Ede, D.M ; Louw, A.E. (1998). Theories of Development. Human development. (2nd ed). (pp 24-81). Pretoria: Kagiso Publishers.
Kail, R., ; Cavanaugh, J. (2016). Theories of Development. Human development: A life-span view (7th ed. Ch. 7). (pp 12-21). USA: Cengage Learning.
McKay, M., ; Fanning, P. (2000). The Nature of Self-esteem, The pathological Critic and Disarming the critic. Self-esteem. (3rd ed). (pp1-45). California: New Harbinger.
Weiten, W. (2016). Human development. Psychology themes and variations (2nd SA ed., Ch. 1). (pp 311-317). RSA: Cengage Learning.
Corey, G. (2014). Psychoanalysis Therapy and Rational emotive behavior therapy. Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (SA ed. Ch. 1;2). (pp.295-313, 57-98). USA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning.
Hill, S.E ; Buss, M.D (2006). The Evolution of Self-esteem. Self-esteem: Issues and Answers: A source of current perspectives. (2nd). (pp328-333). New York: Psychology Press.