Let’s talk about self-esteem…what a touchy subject that can be right?! Whether you’re a survivor of trauma or not, self-esteem is something that can be in a constant state of flux. How we feel about ourselves can vary greatly based on our past circumstances, and also by the things that happen to us in every day present life.

Ideally we would be waking up each day ready to face world with an unshakable confidence in our ability to handle what’s coming. We would be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and be happy with what we see; content with our life as it is, all the while knowing we have dreams and goals to achieve, and that it’s only a matter of time before those come to fruition.

Wouldn’t that be nice?!

We don’t exactly life in a perfect world though do we? Quite honestly I can’t think of anyone who has that mentality every single day of their lives; at every turn having confidence in their own abilities without ever giving it a second thought. Oh sure there are confident people, but nobody is that confident and that in control ALL the time.

It’s just not realistic to never have a bad day, or to question your abilities from time to time, no matter what your Instagram or Facebook account may suggest.

What if having that kind of confidence in your self is something that you’ve never experienced? What if you wake up every day and wonder just how you’ll make it through the work day? What if you look in the mirror and can’t stand what you see, both physically and emotionally?  Your self-esteem…well maybe you just don’t have any?

I was there, I used to wake up that way most days of my life. I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out how to have any confidence in myself or to feel proud of who I was and what I was becoming in life.  That feeling that I used to have every day is a big reason that I wanted to bring this up on a podcast. For as far as I’ve come in my own journey, I still have those days where old mindsets rear their ugly heads.

So, I was so grateful when my colleague and friend, Claire Cappetta offered to join me for a show to talk about this very subject, and how self-esteem is affected by childhood and adolescent trauma and how growing up with a parent who exhibits narcissistic behaviors, affects our ability to cultivate healthy relationships and enforce healthy boundaries.

Claire is a Coach, Author, and Speaker, specializing in areas such as helping you break free from the pain of abuse, overcoming guilt, gaining self-confidence, setting and maintaining healthy boundaries, and discovering the authentic you. Her books include, A broken Ring, a journey from abuse. Stalking Liberty, Are you safe? and her latest release, Rekindle Your Inner Sparkle: An Alternative Way to Heal from Trauma and Abuse. You can find all of her books on amazon, and her website, https://www.clairecappetta.co.uk/.

During our chat together, Claire and I discuss some of her experiences a child, growing up in an abusive home…mainly at the hands of her mother. You’ll get an idea of what her life was like, living with a parent who would say things like “why can’t you be as pretty as your friends”, or “what’s wrong with you, why do dress like that”…rather than building up her and loving her unconditionally.

Claire would do anything possible to try and get the affection and love she desperately wanted (and deserved), even doing things like saving up her money to buy her mother a small gift just so she could hopefully experience a precious few moments of kindness and love rather than emotional neglect and abuse. This kind of childhood left Claire living an emotional roller coaster, just trying to survive.

We also talk about how growing up with a parent who has narcissistic behaviors, sticks with you long after the abuse and the unsafe person is no longer in your life.  It affects how you see yourself as an adult, the type of people you surround yourself with, and the relationships that you are involved in.

When you’re raised in an environment that is not healthy, supportive, and loving, the things that you think are normal and every day can be very different from what reality is in a healthy environment.

Claire shares the importance of questioning the mindsets and things that we see as normal, and how when we gain the confidence in doing so, a whole new world of healing opens up. No longer do you see yourself as someone who isn’t good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough…but rather you see yourself as being good enough just as you are…and that’s okay. You are no longer bound by the expectations of someone who truly did not love and appreciate you for who you are and the gifts that you have.

That’s no easy task when you were raised in a home full of neglect, abuse, and unhealthy behavior..but it is possible to break free of those chains of the past! It is possible to look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of what you see, to be confident in your abilities, and to live free from what you were led to believe about yourself as a child.

One way that you can break free of those chains and regain your confidence and self-esteem is by a new course that Claire has created, called Rekindle Your Inner Sparkle.  In this 8 module course, that you take at your own pace, you’re guided step by step to regain your self-esteem from a narcissistic relationship so you can heal and be stronger than before!

For more information check out the course info at https://www.clairecappetta.co.uk/course-rekindle-your-inner-sparkle

Lastly, we discuss a product a new product that Claire and her husband are creating, called the Clarified Lifeline. As she describes on ClarifiedLifeline.com –

Beautifully made with sustainable wood, wrapped in steel for durability. It is designed as a unisex piece of jewellery. It is developed with nanotechnology, the coding changes every 4 nanoseconds to keep you and your information safe and protected. Understanding your bio-metrics it will alert emergency services for help if you are in a life-threatening situation, record and time stamp what is happening around the wearer. It is waterproof up to 30 feet and will vibrate to let you know your alarm has answered and help is on its way. The app contains Meditation, Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help you stay calm and lessen potential PTSD and anxiety. We are designing this with Libby Seery, a London Harley Street psychotherapist. Included is a journal, so you can write and save what is important to you,  and a folder also to save pictures.

For more information on working with Claire, her course, and the Clarified Lifeline device and app, contact her on ClaireCappetta.co.uk.

Self-esteem is something that I’m very passionate about not only for myself but for the clients I work with. Survivors or not, we can all use a dose of self-compassion, kindness, and patience with ourselves as we go through life.

Don’t chase perfection, just chase being okay with who you are. 

– Matthew Pappas, CLC

If you’d like more information on working with a certified life coach, or if you have questions about how working with a life coach might be right for you… go for it and schedule your free intro session!   Always remember, You Are Worth It, and there is hope for moving forward from what holds you back.


This post and podcast is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, mental health counseling, diagnosis, or treatment.