Low self esteem

Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.

-August Wilson

Having healthy self-esteem makes you see yourself and life in a positive light. Relationships with others are important for self-esteem. The beliefs you have about yourself are often reflections of others’ messages to you. While many of us lack confidence or love for ourselves sometimes or the other, ones having low self-esteem lack confidence and love for themselves most of the time. It’s like having a voice inside your head telling you – you are the problem, you are unlovable, and you can’t make mistakes. Charles H. Cooley gave the term looking glass self. Which is how we think others perceive us, which in no way is the true reflection of ourselves. Having a distorted self-view makes your perception of how others view also distorted.

Poor self-esteem can have a profound impact on a person’s thoughts, emotions, and feelings. Some people with low self-esteem talk negatively about themselves. They even try to keep others pleased not wanting any negative evaluation. Being confident in one’s skills allows one to trust and rely on self to deal with situations.

People with low self-esteem often have an external locus of control believing they have little to no control over their lives. It is related to the fact they assume of having little ability to make changes in themselves or the world.   Negative Social comparison, being incompetent to ask for assistance, and facing trouble accepting positive feedback. They avoid challenges or give up easily. Their fear of failure is easily seen in behavior like hiding feelings of inadequacy. They have fragile self that can be easily wounded.

Self–sabotage is a common defense mechanism for finding obstacles to prevent success.

Low self-esteem is related to several mental health issues like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, social anxiety disorder, substance abuse, etc. low self-esteem makes it difficult to achieve goals and form healthy relationships. Suicidal thinking and engaging in behavior helps preserve limited self-worth. They even let themselves be trapped in toxic relationships because of the idea “I am not lovable” or” I need to earn others’ love”.

The self develops through both genetic predisposition and environment. As humans, we play so many roles in our daily life like a student or an employee and each new role comes with its challenges.  We initially feel conscious and soon start acting in the theatre of life absorbing it in the self. Others around us often dictate the standards by which we define ourselves. Social comparison often demises the self as we experience an increase in status or affluence we start comparing upwards. The comparison becomes upward with those who are doing better. Having neglecting parents and negative peers wounds the fragile self -with the constant nick nagging, forcing you to do things you aren’t comfortable doing or by not valuing your thoughts and inputs. Trauma also makes one believe that they did something wrong to deserve the horrific events.

Low self-esteem can have a toll on your emotional, social and behavioral well-being. Steps need to be taken to help overcome the feeling of worthlessness. Spending a little time every day focusing on positive and hopeful thoughts. Look for the things you are good at, times when you overcame some difficult situation at and feel proud about it. Work on reminding yourself about how you matter. Be kind to yourself investing in your care isn’t indulgence it’s a necessary reward for your physical and mental well-being. Self–compassion is very important. Treat yourself how you’ll be treating a friend in the same situation. Each time you have negative thoughts hold and notice their origin.

It is important to let go of the idea that you need to be perfect or you are the problem. Accept yourself for who you are today.

Share struggles with someone who can offer positive regard bit a friend, family member, or therapist.

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