Self-esteem is the way we think, feel, and value ourselves. It is not determined genetically, but develops in response to how we are treated, from our earliest experiences, and by those around us.
As children, if we are treated with love and respect, we learn to feel safe, secure, comfortable, and special. We then assume we are worthy. If, on the other hand, we feel that we are being physically neglected, or placed in harm’s way, we learn that our feelings, needs, thoughts, imagination, and dreams are of little value.
How we were treated as infants and children is how we learn to treat ourselves. These early experiences and the immature conclusions about who we were, created the basis for how we perceive our places in society, what to expect in our relationships, how we conduct ourselves in all areas of our lives: family, work, and community— large and small.