Self-esteem refers to a degree where one feels valuable, confident, and worthy of respect. Low self-esteem is associated with a feeling of doubt, inadequacy, and shame. It can affect your relationships and performance at the workplace. Unfortunately, most people who suffer from low self-esteem struggle with it from their childhood.

An overview of self-esteem

Self-esteem affects the way we talk or think when we’re around our peers. So, do you feel confident about your intelligence, appearance, personality, and abilities? If not, you need self esteem therapy. With high self-esteem, you should accept your strengths and limitations. But high self-esteem that doesn’t reflect exactly who you are is not healthy.

When you’re sick or you lose a job, your self-esteem may fluctuate. On the other hand, people with healthy self-esteem are bound to think positively about the future and how they can cope with life challenges. Apart from self-care, self-esteem affects how we communicate our needs, feelings, and thoughts. It determines how we behave in all facets of our lives.

The way we develop from our childhood determines our self-worth in the later years. But make no mistake – it can be affected by life experiences at home, school, or workplace. Think about it. Who was your role model in your childhood years? Did they contribute to who you are today?

Signs/symptoms of low self-esteem

People with low self-esteem spend most of the time criticizing themselves – they feel inferior. When these negative thoughts repeat themselves day-by-day, they can affect their relationships, careers, and self-care. If the mind is rooted in a negative thought, then you should expect far-reaching consequences.

When you have a lot of negativity in everything you do, you’ll always judge yourself as inferior. Generally, low-self-esteem comes in many forms. The common examples of a negative talk include:

  • Other people deserve happiness, not me
  • I can’t do enough at school to be successful in life
  • What if everyone at my workplace makes fun of me?
  • My supervisor doesn’t think I’m smart
  • I don’t like anything about myself

When you have low self-esteem, you don’t value your opinions or that of others. Instead, you focus on flaws and perceived weakness – this shouldn’t be the case. Also, a person with low self-esteem thinks that they are less attractive and not capable to perform specific functions. Some of the symptoms of low self-esteem include:

  • Fear of making mistakes
  • Feeling life is meaningless
  • Being in a relationship where love is not reciprocated
  • Fear to get intimate
  • Being afraid to make mistakes
  • Feeling inferior when you’re with others
  • Difficulty in sharing your opinions
  • Having the thoughts of `I can’t’ instead of `I can’

The effects of low self –esteem

When your life is full of self-criticism, you can’t do anything reasonable in life due to fear of criticism or judgment. You’ll always feel angry or sad when things don’t go your way. Even worse, you may engage in some destructive behaviors like drugs or alcohol abuse. When you’re worried about the opinion of others, you may fear taking risks thinking that something is bound to fail.

Low self-esteem can also affect your social life. It may create the feeling that you’re not worthy to fall in love. If you’re not careful, you can bully others to compensate for the insecurity. Besides the fear of isolation, you can stay away from your social circles to avoid creating a negative image.

How can you deal with low self-esteem?

Our changing believes and behavior can wreak havoc our self-worth. If you’ve been struggling with self-esteem issues since you were young, then it’s time you seek therapy. Left untreated, you could harm yourself or developmental problems. If you’re in a relationship and one of the partners enters therapy, the relationship will change for better.

A supportive therapist will help you realize your self-worth and acknowledge that you’re a person of value. When treating someone with self-worth issues, the best approach is to use cognitive behavioral therapy. This is a person-centered approach that seeks to monitor the feeling of negative thoughts, anxiety, and self-doubt. Unlike other forms of therapy, it allows you to take constructive action and make your life better.

How a counselor can help with low self-esteem?

If you have low self-esteem, you should recognize that your limits are self-imposed. A therapist will teach you how to embrace yourself and change negative thoughts. What’s more, he will help you understand how your history impacts who you are today and how you can challenge the limits you’ve set your way. During the counseling session, a therapist will help you create a list in order of the most important. From there, you can decide on the steps you can take to change the negative thoughts.

How to raise your self-esteem

Apart from professional support, there’re things you can do to improve your self-esteem. But what matters most is to ensure you don’t put too much pressure on yourself. While boosting your self-worth is a daunting process, there’re steps you can take to make the changes. To start with, you should reflect on your values and beliefs. Write down what you believe in and what others believe in you.

The next step is to challenge your inner critic. A self-esteem therapist will help you get rid of that inner voice that tells you `I can’t �. Finally, you should learn how to use positive affirmations like I’m capable of doing X, Y, Z, etc. Take a few steps outside your comfort zone and gather the information that can help you appreciate your self-worth. Don’t forget to celebrate when you win.

For those of us who are active on social media, we may develop a tendency of comparing ourselves with others. If you see this happening to you, you should remind yourself you’re only seeing the highlights of other people. But the fact that you’re struggling with low self-worth doesn’t mean that you should forget about your self-care. Lastly, learn to appreciate positive compliments. Instead of brushing compliments, say thank you.

Every time you feel down, you should lean on your support system. Perhaps the best approach is to reach out to friends and family for support. It’s also necessary that you appreciate that you’re not alone in life – many people care about you.

The journey to building your self-esteem takes time, so you must be patient. And because nothing is cast on stone, you’ll have the best opportunity to change your story. If you don’t know where to start, you should visit the TherapyTribe directory. You’ll find thousands of therapists waiting for you. Don’t be afraid to do a background check.