Low Self Esteem
Updated: Mar 20, 2021
Have you ever wondered why everyone else seems to have it all together, when every step you take feels like a struggle?
Have you ever worried that you weren’t performing well enough at work?
Have you ever been afraid to apply for a better job because you couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to hire you?
Have you ever avoided going on any dates because you were certain no one would find you attractive or interesting?
Have you ever spent lots of time on social media, despite feeling badly about yourself afterwards?
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 it can go as far back as childhood – from parents always finding fault in things you did to being bullied at school and not feeling as though you had a caring figure to protect you to 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 –suddenly losing a job, a romantic relationship or having financial troubles make it 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
To start gaining back your self-esteem, you need to understand its origin. Even though it can feel like 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,” –they came from somewhere, and once you figure out where, the work of eliminating them can begin.
When you go to the doctor with a sore throat, isn’t treatment more effective when they know what is causing the sore throat? Is it strep throat or just a cold? Do you need penicillin or just time and rest?
Self-esteem works the same way. If your thoughts are telling you you’re not good enough, we want to know why that is. Was that message ingrained from childhood, or did you begin to have these thoughts after a rejection of some kind in your teen years?
Both scenarios are traumatic and life changing, but the approach to addressing them will be different because the origins are different. The more information there is for identifying the root cause of these thoughts, the more successful you can be in eliminating them.
Through 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 can learn how to finally let things go and see yourself for who you truly are –not for who you have always thought you were.