Freud said that we are not born with an ego but that a sense of ourselves germinates and grows as a baby, toddler and child. A baby initially focusses attention on its mother and then to family members and other objects outside of itself. As it pays attention to what is outside of itself it is giving of its energy (libido) which starts to decrease. However as that attention is returned from its mother, father and other family members, particular in the form of love the baby starts replenish that energy. Incidentally Rogers suggests that any attention, even shouting, abuse and bullying is better than no attention at all.
If you are someone who suffers from low self-worth, the cause of this may go all the way back to your childhood and may even have started as a baby. Healthy self worth can allow us to enjoy the highs and ride out the lows without any major change to our sense of value. Healthy self-worth allows us to make mistakes and to still feel okay with our sense of self. In doing so we are able to separate ourselves from the behaviour that may have been the mistake.
If making a mistake has a negative affect on your self worth, and you are unable to separate the mistaken behaviour from you, then you have probably experienced the sort of parenting that didn’t encourage a healthy and robust sense of you. If this is true, this is not something to blame your parents or carers for, as they were no doubt doing the best they could based on their upbringing. Very few adults learn how to become parents and the interactions necessary to rear children who have healthy self-esteem. Most adult’s approach to parenting is influenced by their own childhood experiences whether that is to mimic their parents parenting or whether that is to never bring their child up the way they were brought up.
An adult who has low self-worth has probably experienced interactions since birth that may have seemed healthy physically (e.g., fed, sheltered, clothed) but in fact may have also lacked in emotional healthiness. A parent who doesn’t like cuddling will communicate unconsciously that there is something wrong with that child. A different parent who teases their child constantly will undermine that child’s security that they are a sound and acceptable person.
If you have always felt the butt of jokes, have got used to being laughed at, teased, called names or in other ways undermined, and if this has gone on for as long as you remember, it is highly likely that no matter how confident you appear externally, on the inside you suffer from low self-worth.
EMSRP and Self Worth
EMSRP gets to the root of the negative belief you have about yourself and diminishes its power over you. This negative belief may be something that you have never admitted to anyone before. For many people who have experienced EMSRP, its acknowledgement and release can be like a life-long burden that has finally been lifted.