The fundamental building blocks of self esteem are your core beliefs, as used here, your basic assumptions about your value in the world.
Core beliefs determine to what degree you see yourself as worthy, safe, competent, powerful, autonomous and loved. They also establish your sense of belonging and a perception of how you are treated by others.
Negative core beliefs formulate the rules you tell yourself, like;
“Because I am stupid, I should not talk in meetings,” or “I can never make a presentation because I’m so incompetent.”
Positive core beliefs affirm that you can master something because you are smart and capable or that you can ask for a raise because you are worth it.
Your inner monologue (what you tell yourself about a situation) is profoundly affected by your core beliefs e.g don’t try to fix that plug because you’ll probably electrocute yourself. Your inner monologue, in turn, serves to strengthen and reinforce your core beliefs. When you tell yourself constantly that you’re stupid, you convince yourself that this is true. By the same token, if your self-statements reflect a basic faith in your intelligence, this core belief will be confirmed and solidified.
Core beliefs are the very foundation of your self-esteem, they largely dictate what you can and cannot do (expressed as your rules) and how you interpret events in your world (expressed as your inner self talk).
Core beliefs are frequently distorted by early trauma and deprivation. In response to hurt or rejection, you may have come to see yourself as flawed or unworthy.
Changing your core beliefs requires time and effort and yet changing them will fundamentally alter your view of yourself and your environment. Shifting negative core beliefs in a more realistic direction is like replacing a fun house mirror with a non distorting one.
Instead of looking like an idiot when you attempt new things, you can see yourself as normally and properly proportioned.