Self-esteem is how you see yourself. Everyone experiences low self-esteem at times throughout life. Low self-esteem causes you to be unhappy with yourself and your life. When you have healthy self-esteem, you are content with life and value your achievements.
Low self-esteem can contribute to developing general and social anxiety disorders. This can put you at risk of experiencing high levels of anxiety which will only make you feel worse about yourself. And when anxiety and low self-esteem interact with each other, it will only continue the negative cycle.
Living with low self-esteem can create anxiety and make you feel like you are alone which just reinforces the negative way you see yourself and the world.
Causes of Low Self-esteem
What causes low self-esteem is different for everyone. Do you know why you feel this way? The experiences from childhood and as you grow older can affect your self-esteem, such as:
- A difficult childhood where parents or teachers were overly critical of you.
- Sexual, emotional or physical abuse.
- Being poorly treated by a partner, carer or parent such as being part of an abusive relationship.
- A mental health disorder such as social anxiety disorder or general anxiety disorder.
- Not doing well at school which results in a loss of confidence.
- Unable to meet the impossibly high or unrealistic standards of others.
- A continually stressful life event such as money worries or a relationship breakdown.
- Medical problems that are ongoing, including a physical disability or chronic pain.
- Constant ridicule from your peers.
- Teasing or bullying at some stage in your life.
People with healthy self-esteem grow up feeling respected, accepted, heard and loved. They have a good self-image. But of course many people who live through a challenging childhood have good self-esteem and vice versa. People with loving parents and a good childhood can develop problems with their self-image. But you do not have to live this way or with the anxiety it causes. You can rebuild your self-esteem for a better life.
How Low Self-esteem can Affect You
When you have low self-esteem, you may:
- Be overly critical of yourself.
- See yourself in a negative light and have ongoing feelings of anxiety, shame, sadness, guilt, anger or depression because of the constant criticism.
- Fear of others judging you. This can cause you to not take part in activities that include other people because you fear others will judge you. You may feel stressed and self-conscious around people and always look for signs that they do not like you.
- Believe that the only reason you achieve anything is because you are lucky and have trouble taking credit for the hard work you do.
- Not believe you have any positive qualities.
- Not be very resilient as you find it difficult to cope with challenging life events as you already believe you are hopeless.
- Judge yourself as being inferior to others.
- Have problems in your relationships such as tolerating unreasonable behaviour from partners, family and friends. This can be because you believe you are not worth loving. On the other hand, your low self-esteem may turn you into an angry person who is a bully.
- Use negative self-talk that criticises and blames you for everything.
- Self-harm such as developing an eating disorder, drug or alcohol habit, or thinking about suicide.
- Not believing someone when they give you a compliment.
- Fear trying to achieve success at anything because you do not think you are good enough pr deserve it.
- Use negative words such as ugly, fat or stupid to describe yourself.
- Become a perfectionist to make up for what you see being your inferiority.
- Blame yourself for every little thing that goes wrong without taking into account outside influences that you have no control over.
- Not caring about looking after yourself and neglecting your health and other things in your life.
Build your Self-esteem to Lower your Anxiety Levels
If you have low self-esteem, there are things you can do to turn it around. You can make small changes over time that will improve the way you see yourself. This can boost your self-esteem and help manage the symptoms of social anxiety.
Avoid Living in the Past
Just because you make a mistake does not mean it dooms you to a life of failures. Remember many successful people fail many times before they become successful. The key is to keep trying and to use a mistake or failure as a lesson. See past your mistakes. Ask yourself, what can you learn from the situation. Avoid living in the past or trying to predict the future and thinking things will always go badly for you. Learn from the past and live in the present.
Say No Instead of Yes
Too often people with low self-esteem say yes to a request when they really want to say no. Do you do this?
The problem with this is it can make you anxious, depressed, resentful and angry. It is important to do what makes you happy. Saying no should not damage true friendships so do not be afraid to say no if you want to. It will help build your self-esteem as it can make you feel you have more control of your life.
Everyone feels anxious or afraid from time to time. Do you let these feelings stop you doing things? Someone with a healthy self-esteem does not allow nervousness or anxiety stop them doing what they want to do or from challenging themselves.
Set weekly goals. This could be to go to a social event or joining a yoga class. When you achieve your goals it will give your self-esteem a boost.
Do you forgive people for their mistakes? Yes? So why do you have trouble forgiving yourself for past mistakes? It is time to start. Wipe the slate clean. Understand you can never be perfect (and neither is anyone else) and you will still make mistakes moving forward. You will still have negative emotions but instead of letting them overwhelm you, accept them for what they are and do something you enjoy to let them go.
Stand up to Your Inner Voice
Start a new habit of noticing when you begin talking to yourself in a negative way. Every time you start criticising yourself, stop. Instead look for evidence that this is or is not true. When you have trouble being objective, ask a friend for advice. Soon you will realise your negative self-talk is baseless.
Quick Tips to Help Build Self-esteem
Here are some quick tips to help build your self-esteem:
- Avoid living in the past. Instead focus on the here and now. There is nothing to gain from reliving the negative events and traumas of the past.
- Take time out to have fun. Make an effort to schedule weekly activities that you enjoy.
- Turn your negatives into positives. Think about this. How do you treat your friends? Do you treat them the same way you treat yourself? No? Do you treat them better than you treat yourself? Yes? Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you give your friends. Do not be hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Shrug it off, look for the lesson to learn and continue moving forward.
- Instead of brushing off or dismissing compliments, acknowledge your achievements. You worked hard to reach a goal or to achieve something, so do not pretend it was just luck or ignore it.
- Repeat positive messages to yourself on a daily basis. Get hold of a set of inspirational cards. Pick one at the start of each day and carry its message around with you all day.
- Avoid comparing yourself to others. It is not fair. It is time to recognise that everyone is different and that is highly valuable in of itself. Learn to accept yourself for who you are. If there is anything you do not like, commit to working on changing it.
- Appreciate your good points. Every time a negative thought about yourself pops into your head, remind yourself of your good points. Write a list of all your positive points (for example, kind, helpful, caring parent, considerate road user) and keep it on your phone. If you cannot think of any good points about yourself, ask someone you trust to help you.
- Be assertive when it comes to your needs. You have a right to your feelings, beliefs, wants and opinions. No one will know what these are if you do not communicate these in an honest, direct way.
- Get some sort of exercise daily. It is a natural tonic for many ailments. Exercise gives your brain a boost, alleviates anxiety and depression, and helps you feel good about yourself. Start by going for short walks every day and then you may join a yoga or dance class, go to the gym or a swim to mix it up.
- It is not easy to change negative thoughts and behaviours to being more positive. Keep a journal to help you map out how you are going.
Practice these suggestions daily to help you stop worrying. Start living in the present. Accept that you cannot change the past or see into the future.
Blissiree Pty Ltd
Building your self-esteem can be difficult. It affects all parts of your life and your relationships. When you are used to thinking of yourself in a negative light it causes anxiety. This can become a habit you naturally default to, so it can become a hard habit to break. But you cannot build your self-esteem if you do not seek help.
Your self-esteem can hit its lowest point when all you see is negativity around you which increases your anxiety levels. If you do not prioritise treatment, your self-esteem will continue to spiral out of control. Until you do something to help change the way you see yourself and the world, anxiety and low self-esteem will continue to negatively impact your life.
The Blissiree Pty Ltd is pioneering a new technique. A natural treatment that may help you cope with the symptoms and triggers of anxiety and build your confidence. It only requires for you to relax. Highly trained facilitators help you learn to recognise the triggers and turn them around so you see yourself and the world in a different light. This may help you take back control of your life. And you may notice an improvement after the first session. With some simple changes to your life, a new perspective and with practice, you may boost your self-esteem.
If your self-esteem is low and your anxiety is out of control, it is time to turn it around. Time to do something positive. Seek help. Take back control. You do not have to go through it alone. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can start taking good care of your mental health. And get back to enjoying life.
If low self-esteem causes you to struggle with everyday life, reach out to our professionals. When you are not coping, contact us. We can talk to you about how to get your life back on track. But if you reach a crisis point, call us immediately. We are here to support you.
We can work with you over the phone, via Skype or in our Spas. Book in today for my special introductory offer for just $49 (private health rebates apply) so you learn to control what worries you for better confidence. We aim to help you cope with any mental health challenges and the anxiety that affects your life. Our facilitators may alleviate the effects of low self-esteem so you see yourself in a better light and start enjoying life again.
Let me Help Alleviate the Effects of Low Self-esteem
My Emotional Empowerment Program has helped many people for more than a decade. My aim is to help manage and cope with excessive anxiety that goes hand in hand with low self-esteem so you may start to feel better. This may give you a new hope for the future. A future filled with happiness, peace and contentment in weeks not years.
Book a free 25-minute telehealth consultation with Blissiree Pty Ltd founder, Terri Bowman. Or discover a seamless way that may help you manage your emotional and mental health by becoming a member. It will give you access to more than 75 audio programs that may help you to live an inspired life.
What are you waiting for? Try us now. You have nothing to lose.