Self-esteem, conditions of worth and hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy can help eliminate conditional self-regard. You can learn to improve your self-esteem!

Self-esteem. Every day my time is spent helping people in Reading, Oxford, London (Holborn), Wallingford and Thame to build and bolster their sense of self-worth. Often, however, people have something that we therapists call conditions of worth’ which can stand in the way of a healthy sense of self-confidence.

changes hypnotherapyWhat are your conditions of worth? What conditions do you place upon your own value? “I am worthy of respect and love only if I achieve or become x, y or z.”  

Perhaps you’ll never feel lovable unless you put yourself last, devoting yourself to everybody else’s happiness but your own. Perhaps you’ll feel OK about yourself when you get that promotion, achieve that qualification or own that house or car. Others will respect you only when you do.

There are endless other potential conditions of worth.

What are yours?

The problem is twofold. Firstly you feel awful about yourself until you achieve those goals. Secondly, you’ll soon find that achieving that goal won’t have changed a thing. After the initial buzz has faded, you’ll simply adopt a new goal. Unhealthy conditions of worth can’t be appeased. They simply move the goalposts.

Whatever they may be, learning to change them is possible. I’d be glad to help you. Small steps, one at a time, will help you to let go of the negative ways in which you view your own self .

Small steps, one at a time, will help you to learn to adjust the conditions of your own self-worth. Small steps will enable you to establish a healthier way of relating to your own self.

You can do it. I’ll be more than glad to help you.

How do we acquire these conditions of worth?

Sometimes we learned to feel special as children because of academic achievements. Sometimes parents rewarded us for a good grade here, a passed exam there or were visibly upset when we failed to achieve these goals. We can come to see this as meaning that we are worthy of love and respect only when we are achieving something.

what is the self?Whilst this is a great spur to success, it means that success has to be constant in order for us to feel good about ourselves. One slip, one failure and it can feel as if our world is caving in,

Other people may have parents who are unable to cope with their children having strong emotions. Love and affection is only forthcoming so long as they child is calm and collected.

‘I am good and lovable when I am quiet’ can be the message which is drawn from these experiences. Others may take lessons such as ‘always be strong’, ‘never let other people see weakness’ from emotionally unavailable parents.

What if our conditions of worth are based upon serving others? ‘Kind people are good people. I am only good in as far as I can help others’ What kind of life would that be, forever striving to keep a sense of self through ignoring one’s own needs and devoting every ounce of strength to helping others. It may sound noble but it’s actually self-destructive and in the end helps nobody.

I often work with people who only feel valid when they devote all of their time to working for the benefit of others. Too often they leave no time at all for their own needs and this will never end well. Depression, anxiety and the enlistment of food, alcohol and other substances are a common consequence f leaving no time to meet your own needs. If this is what you’re doing for yourself then it will only end in one way. Perhaps its time to seek help before you, too, lapse into a debilitating depression.

Hypnotherapy can help cut them down to size

We all have conditions of worth. They become a problem when we become too unforgiving of ourselves, placing the bar impossibly high. They become unhelpful when we neglect our own needs as a full person and focus only on satisfying this condition.

Hypnotherapy can help people to cut them back down to size. Hypnotherapy can help you become a kinder judge. Hypnotherapy could help you to realise where they came from and how utterly false they are.

You can change them, adapt them and, ultimately, you can come to realise that you are worthy of respect, love and self-regard without any conditions whatsoever.

When your standards become more reasonable, you’ll find it easier to live with yourself, like and love yourself. When that happens you’ll find that you’re happier, healthier and less prone to stress-related conditions. You’ll realise that you are good enough in your own right.

I could help you to make the necessary changes to your conditions of worth. I could help you to become more comfortable with meeting your own needs. I could help you to leave anxiety and depression behind.

My own conditions of worth

conditions of worthSuccess used to be my condition of worth. Getting to Cambridge University was a goal for a while, in my teens. Having achieved that I based my sense of self upon success within my career. I had to become something significant within the teaching profession.

Moving into psychotherapy I then had to have my own heaving case-load, a training school, be someone big within a professional organisation and so forth. I had to be great at various fields of endeavour. Chess, cooking and children’s poetry are some examples of areas in which I worked incredibly hard to become excellent.

At some point I realised what a tyranny these conditions of worth had become. I had achieved the case-load. I had been a trainer, I had been on the board of a professional organisation. None of these things proved to be satisfying in and of themselves. I realised that I would never be happy looking to the future and outside of myself for sources of self-esteem and self-acceptance.

I realised that I was OK as I was. I let go of the motivations behind the ambitions. I may well still build by own training school one day. However, if I do it will be because I want to, not because my self-esteem depends upon it. I can’t tell you what a liberation that has been.

You can discover that sense of liberation for yourself!

The world really is a beautiful place and you really do deserve your place within it. I’ll be more than happy to help you to realise that you are a person with a great deal to offer to the world around you.

If you live in or around Reading, Thame, Oxford or Wallingford and would like to discuss how I could help you to achieve these things, please call me on 01183 280284 / 01865 600970 or 07786 123736. Alternatively, email me at

Best wishes

Paul's signature for hypnotherapy Reading