What is it?
Self-esteem is how you think and feel about yourself as a person. Those with high self-esteem believe that they are adequate, strong, and worthy of a good life, while those with low self-esteem feel inadequate and worthless. Low self-esteem is associated with self-doubt, self-criticism, social isolation, suppressed anger, and shame. It is also a symptom of several mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression.
What causes low self-esteem?
Often, our childhood experiences contribute to low self-esteem. These experiences may include being harshly criticized, being abused (physically, sexually, or emotionally), getting bullied or teased, and having the expectation of being perfect all of the time from important figures in your life. In adulthood, self-esteem can also be challenged by sudden life changes or perceived failures, such as losing a job or ending a relationship. Working to improve your self-esteem and positive self-awareness takes time and effort and requires courage and honesty to confront aspects of yourself that you are unhappy with. However, it is a meaningful task, and you are worth it. It is important to reach out for help if you are experiencing the symptoms listed below:
Symptoms of Low Self-Esteem:
• Frequent fear and anxiety
• Feeling inadequate and unloved
• Lack of assertiveness
• Lack of self-confidence
• Obsessive-compulsive or addictive behaviors
• Poor boundaries
• Being drawn to destructive relationships
• The tendency to self-sabotage
• Sexual dysfunction
• Unreasonable expectations or perfectionism