Increase self-esteem: the 5 freedoms of Virginia Satir

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Louise Hay
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Increase self-esteem: the 5 freedoms of Virginia Satir

Last update: Augusts 20, 2020

Valuing, appreciating and treating each other with affection should not be secondary aspects in our daily life, but should be an integral part and habits in our days. Putting yourself first is essential if we are to increase self-esteem and achieve emotional and social well-being. 

Only when we treat ourselves with respect and dignity are we able to express our full potential and build healthy and strong bonds with others. Self-knowledge is the key to connecting deeply with others. But how to find this key? What can we do to start loving ourselves?



The 5 freedoms of Virginia Satir there they will certainly help. It is a series of powerful statements made to initiate a personal development process that aims to increase self-esteem. Let's see them in more detail.

"See all difficulties as opportunities to create something new, learn and grow based on the creative way you respond."

-Virginia Satir-

The freedoms of Virginia Satir to increase self-esteem

The freedom to be

"The freedom to see and feel what is, instead of what should be, was or will be."

This first freedom of Virginia Satir is connected to theimportance of being authentic e live in the present, instead of getting lost in the depths of the past, the future currents or the backstories of idealization and external projections.

Our mind can take us along many paths; some enslave us through guilt and waste our time, others create fictional realities that trap us because they simply show us what we want to see. It depends we choose where to direct our gaze and how to advance.



The secret is to establish a deep connection with ourselves. If we do this, the ghosts of the past will disappear, as will fears of the future and ideals. Only in this way can we focus on the present to flow and be ourselves, free from filters, masks and distractions.

The freedom to say what you feel and think

"The freedom to say what you feel and feel, instead of what you should."

In most cases, we fear that our words and thoughts are inappropriate, that they do not get the approval of others, or that they harm others. For this reason, we end up expressing less than half of what we feel and think.

In this way we dress up and instead create relationships authentic, we build unstable links and false modesty. It is a double betrayal, first of all towards ourselves due to the rejection towards our person, and then towards others from whom we hide who we really are. Let's not forget that we can also choose not to say anything, as long as it is a personal decision and not imposed from the outside or to meet the expectations of others.

There is nothing wrong with expressing your feelings and beliefsas long as it is done with respect and emotional responsibility. In fact it is the best thing we can do if we want others to know us and accept us for who we are and if we want to create real bonds.

The freedom to try

"The freedom to feel what you feel, instead of what it takes."


Among Virginia Satir's freedoms to increase self-esteem, perhaps this is the one that is most difficult for us, since no one has taught us how to recognize what we feel. First of all we must remember that each of our emotions is valid, we don't have to repress them or block any of them, otherwise we will not delve into the wonderful art of knowing oneself.


When we understand that we are free to live and experience each of the emotions we can feel, we have to train ourselves to decipher emotional language. Because, for example, sometimes sadness is hidden behind fear or anger. The important thing is to listen to yourself, focus on how you feel to know yourself and your emotions, and therefore be able to manage them.

The emotional world present in each of us is a map that helps us discover who we are, but also others. Because if we don't know how others feel, we can hardly respond adequately to them in the relationship we have established and vice versa.

The freedom to ask

"The freedom to ask for what you want, instead of always waiting for a permit."


We cannot wait for opportunities and people to knock on our door, we cannot adapt to everything that happens or doesn't happen. We have the freedom to choose and ask. 

Often people with low self-esteem, as a result of their insecurity, act only after obtaining permission. It is as if they cannot decide for themselves why someone has deprived them of that right. And even though somebody probably made them feel this way in their childhood, it is never too late to wake up and raise your voice to make yourself visible.

When we know who we are, what we feel and how to express it, the next big step will be to express what you want. So go out on your quest and take risks.

The freedom to take risks

"The freedom to take risks on yourself, instead of just being" safe "and not rocking the boat around you."

Virginia Satir's latest freedoms to boost self-esteem is about risks, get out of that comfort zone that sometimes, despite being uncomfortable, acts as a refuge.


If we want to grow, if we want to progress, the only possible option is to act and, of course, take responsibility for the consequences of our actions. Only then can we absorb what happened and learn a lesson from it. Until we abandon this feeling of security and face uncertainty face to face, it is impossible for us to keep getting to know each other.

Virginia Satir's 5 freedoms are a hymn to self-love. Five statements that invite us to reflect on how much we must appreciate ourselves and be authentic with others.

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