Interview with Adela Lasierra (IEPP): self-esteem to overcome adversities
Self-esteem is one of the most worked concepts in psychology , and something that we constantly experience throughout our lives. It is linked to our perception of ourselves, to the notion that there is an "I", and precisely because of that, it is at the core of our way of being and behaving. To know more about her, we have asked several questions to Adela Lasierra, a psychologist and expert on the subject.
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Adela Lasierra: self-esteem to keep moving forward
Adela Lasierra is a psychologist and trainer of the European Institute of Positive Psychology, one of the main references in the field of Positive Psychology in both professional training and therapy. In this interview he will talk about self-esteem: what it is, how it develops and how it affects us on a daily basis and in the challenges we face.
Many people do not distinguish these two terms, but ... what is the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence? What is really our self-esteem?
It is difficult to give a unitary definition of the concept of self-esteem because for each author who has studied it widely, it involves different elements. Personally, I like the approaches of Walter Riso, Enrique Rojas Marcos or Silvia Congost.
By combining all of them, we can define self-esteem as the "internal, and therefore subjective, photograph that each person has of himself on a physical, psychological and social level". There are people who use the word self-confidence as a synonym, but I find it closer to associate self-confidence with the sense of ability we have for each of the areas of our life (as professionals, as friends, as a couple, as children ...) , and that in terms of self-esteem we call self-efficacy.
Why is the correct development of self-esteem during childhood important? What affects its development?
A well-known psychiatrist states that "childhood is the playground where we play the rest of our lives". I think that this phrase answers the question very well since the experiences of childhood are a part of the explanation of the level of self-esteem with which a person comes to the consultation.
At that time, it is configured in terms of the link with the parental figures, which can be unconditional love or unconditional love and experiences with significant people: family members, later school mates ... Later, adolescence will influence and finally the current moment, based on personal achievements and internal worth.
Can self-esteem vary throughout our lives?
Yes, it can fluctuate slightly and that is logical and normal. My objective in consultation is to achieve a good baseline based not on external achievements but on an internal feeling in which the experiences to the person affect him but do not condition him. It is about feeling a valid and capable person all the time.
What relation do the thoughts we have to our self-esteem?
They are the most important, the cornerstone! To work on self-esteem is to work on our internal dialogue, that is, our thoughts. Because in many cases the person who is having more signs of self-contempt and more frequent be yourself.
And emotional intelligence?
It is key: emotional intelligence is knowing how to choose the thoughts that suit you. It is to take the road of the brave: to work in your well-being. The lack of emotional intelligence leads us to take the opposite path, which is the easy, choosing for example the passive complaint or constant criticism.
- Related article: "What is Emotional Intelligence?"
Having a good self-esteem is key to overcoming the obstacles that may appear in our life. Why?
Because the person who is going to get you out of all these obstacles will most likely be yourself. It's about turning your thoughts into your allies, not your worst enemy.
How can we cultivate good self-esteem?
It is a process that takes time and effort, just as if we wanted to get a toned body!
The first step I would recommend would be to work selective attention, that is, to be aware that the mind sometimes distorts reality and we only look at our elements that we do not like, both physical, psychological and when we relate to others people. We say for example "you have made a mistake writing this report, what a disaster you are" and we ignore that the rest of the morning you have been getting the job satisfactorily, without errors and in time.
It is necessary to stop zooming in on what we do not like about us and see the complete image.That does not mean denying reality and focus only on the good, but, taking the previous example, say "it's true, you've made a mistake in writing the report but what else have you done the rest of the morning? You have taken the job on time and with excellent quality "
At IEPP you offer a practical course on self-esteem and positive psychology. What benefits do you have for your participants?
The course provides them with a briefcase of specific techniques and tools to improve or strengthen their confidence in them. We work specifically on personal strengths, that is, the elements that contribute to the well-being of people, which make their operation optimal.
At the end of the course, if the recommended dynamics have been put into practice and there has been a proactive commitment to the study of video lessons, the sense of personal capacity and worth increases substantially and people get rid of many fears and doubts that were weighing on the that reach their potential, that Martin Seligman, father of positive psychology defined as the "extraordinary life" and that is not other than the purpose of study that focuses positive psychology.