Low Self-Esteem

It’s been said that people with high self-esteem focus on growth and improvement, whereas people with low self-esteem focus on not making mistakes in life. That’s because when you suffer from low self-esteem, you feel like you can’t do anything right and that you’re always “messing up” in some way. 


There are many reasons why people struggle with low self esteem. Often times it can go as far back as childhood. From parents always finding fault in things you did; from being bullied at school and not feeling as though you had a caring figure to protect you; or from struggling academically in school and not having anyone notice or help you. Low self -esteem can also hit people who previously had a high level of confidence in themselves. By suddenly losing a job, a romantic relationship or having financial troubles, it’s common for people to question their worth or value. Whatever the reasons, it can make your life harder and less fulfilling.


  • Difficulty accepting compliments

  • Speaking or thinking poorly about yourself

  • Reluctance to take on challenges or new things

  • Having low regard for your interpersonal, professional, or academic abilities

  • Difficulty putting yourself first in any situation

  • Social isolation

  • Anger and shame

  • Constant comparison to others

  • Belief that your thoughts and beliefs are reality

  • Minimization of accomplishments

  • Judging yourself harshly

  • Fear that your true self isn’t interesting

  • Sensitivity to criticism


In order to start gaining your self-esteem back, you need to understand its origin. Even though it must feel like having these negative and self-loathing thoughts will always be with you, it is absolutely possible to change them. You weren’t born with these thoughts of unworthiness and “not enough-ness”, which means that they came from somewhere and once you figure out where, the real work can begin, so as to eliminate them.


Here’s an example to better explain that concept. When you go to the doctor with a sore throat, isn’t it a lot easier and quicker for them to treat you when they know what the sore throat is stemming from? Is it just from a cold or is it from strep throat? Do you just need time and rest or do you need penicillin?


It’s the same thing here. If your thoughts are telling you that you’re not good enough, we want to know why that is. Did you grow up as a child in a home where you were told that about yourself and those thoughts were just engrained into you or did you begin to have these thoughts after a rejection of some kind in your teen years?


Both of these scenarios are traumatic and life changing, but the way we will approach them will be different because they’re different. The more information we have to identify the root cause of these thoughts, the more successful we will be in eliminating them.


Through various techniques, such as deep exploration, release work, “the empty chair” process, homework assignments, changing your self-talk, identifying some of your core beliefs and starting the process of deciding which, if any, of these beliefs currently serve you, you will learn how to finally let things go and see yourself for who you truly are; not for who you have always thought you were. 

You wonder why everyone else seems to have it all together, when every step you take feels like a struggle. You worry that you’re not performing well enough at work. You’re afraid to apply for a better job because you can’t imagine that anyone would want to hire you.

You avoid going on any dates because you’re certain no one will find you attractive or interesting. You might even spend a lot of time on social media, despite feeling terrible afterwards because it seems like everyone has a better, more fulfilling social life than you.


You feel angry because things just seem to come harder for you.

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For any questions you have, you can reach me here:

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Stephanie Weston, LCSW

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