How Poor Self-Esteem Impacts On Us
Everyone uses these words at times, usually when they experience a challenging or stressful situation. However, if you often think about yourself in these terms, then you might have a problem with low self-esteem.
It is important to know that low self-esteem is a common problem for many people and you are not alone. Low self-esteem can occur as part of a current problem (such as depression) or as a result of other problems (such as chronic illness, relationship problems) or it can be a problem in itself. Either way the good news is that you can take steps towards developing more healthy self-esteem.
So What is Self-Esteem ?
How Poor Self-Esteem Impacts On Us
Negative Emotions. A person with low self-esteem might often feel sad, depressed, anxious, guilty, ashamed, frustrated or angry.
Frequent Self-Criticism. A person with low self- esteem probably says a lot of negative things about themselves. They might criticise themselves, their actions, and abilities or joke about themselves in a very negative way. They might put themselves down, doubt themselves, or blame themselves when things go wrong.
Ignoring Positive Qualities. When compliments are given to them, they might brush such comments aside or say that “it was all luck” or “it wasn’t that big a deal.” Instead, they might focus on what they didn’t do or the mistakes they made.
Impact on Work/Study. A person with low self esteem might consistently achieve less than they are able to because they believe they are less capable than they are. They might work extremely hard and push themselves to do more because they believe they need to make up for, or cover up, their lack of skill. They might find it hard to believe any good results they get are due to their own abilities or positive qualities.
Relationship Problems. In personal relationships, people with low self-esteem might become upset or distressed by any criticism or disapproval, or bend over backwards to please other. They may also be extremely shy or self-consciousness or even avoid or withdraw from intimacy or social contact.
Recreation and Leisure. People with low self-esteem might not engage in many leisure or recreational activities, avoiding situations where they could be judged or evaluated in some way, such as sports, dancing, art and craft classes.
Personal Self-Care. People who do not value themselves may not bother with personal care. On the other hand, they might try to hide any inadequacies by not allowing themselves to be seen by others unless they look absolutely perfect.
Common Faces of Low Self-Esteem Which People Experiencing Low Self-Esteem May Wear.
2. The Rebel: Acts like the opinions or good will of others, especially people who are important, or powerful, don't matter. Lives with constant anger about not feeling good enough. Continuously needs to prove that others' judgments and criticisms don't hurt which may lead to problems like blaming others excessively, breaking rules or laws, or opposing authority.
3. The Victim: Acts helpless and unable to cope with the world and waits for someone to come to the rescue. Uses self-pity or indifference as a shield against fear of taking responsibility for changing his or her life. Looks repeatedly to others for guidance, which can lead to such problems as unassertiveness, underachievement, and excessive reliance on others in relationships.
Where does Self- Esteem Develop ?
Childhood experiences that may lead to low self-esteem include:
• Being harshly criticized
• Being physically, sexually, or emotionally abused
• Being ignored, ridiculed, or teased
• Being expected to be perfect all the time.
Steps to Improved Self-Esteem
The first important step in improving self-esteem is to begin to challenge the negative messages of the critical inner voice.
Rebutting your critical inner voice is an important first step but it is not enough. Practicing self-compassion means treating yourself with the same empathy you would show others. If a friend were having a hard time you'd be likely to be extra caring and supportive. You deserve the same treatment.
Recognize your humanness.
As humans we all make mistakes and we are all impacted by external factors that we can't control. Recognizing that mistakes are an inevitable part of being human helps us to be more compassionate with ourselves and others.
Be mindful of your emotions.
If you do feel upset about a situation try to allow yourself to experience that emotion in a balanced way without suppressing it, or getting completely swept up in the feeling.
If you can remember that emotions come and go, and eventually pass, it will help you to not become overwhelmed by your feelings.
Get Help from Others
Talk to a Counsellor. Counselling sessions frequently address issues like low self-esteem and help people to gain a stronger sense of self. Working with a counsellor can help you become more assertive, confident, and self-aware.
At Clarity Counselling we focus on helping people develop self compassion so that they can develop more realistic, achievable goals for themselves and treat themselves with the same kindness and encouragement they would offer others.