Much of my life has centered on finding a new way to live. Even in childhood I was looking for a different path, a way to escape a life that felt cold and unaccepting. Those early experiences were profound in forming the adult I grew to be, and I still struggle with overcoming long-ago lessons learned.
We know how easily affected we are by our environment -- our skin tans with sunlight, our taste buds activate when we see food, and so on. Our sense of self, too, is highly susceptible to environmental cues (both external and internal environments). In essence, what we experience as our self and, by extension, self-esteem, is a powerful depiction generated by our brain.