Everything You Need To Know About Low Self Esteem
What is Self Esteem?
Definition of Self Esteem:
Self esteem can be defined as a person’s ability to judge his or her own identity and attach a value to it. The value a person puts to their identity will determine the persons self esteem and self worth.
High self esteem means you like yourself and you’re fairly confident. If your self esteem isn’t good then you’ll believe you’re not good enough or you’re inferior to others. Self esteem is an emotional energy that can guide you to accomplish great things and overcome obstacles. It helps you feel worthy and allows you to trust and believe in yourself.
People who suffer from low self esteem are generally overly sensitive. This means that they frequently get their feelings hurt, they are easily offended and will take things the wrong way most of the time. They are very reactive and tend to become angry or defensive, and are easily provoked.
Due to the fact that they are reactive, their moods will depend on what is going on around them and who is involved. Basically they are constantly looking for signs that others are rejecting or disapproving of them. They form their perception based on these thoughts and evaluations and then conclude that this is happening even when it is not. They tend to be overly self-aware and can appear insensitive to the feelings of others or can inaccurately look as though they are narcissistic.
Self Esteem Is Essential For A Quality Lifestyle Because It Determines:
- how you treat yourself
- how well you treat others
- the way you view the world
- how you feel and your moods
- believing in your capabilities
- accepting your strengths
- accepting your weaknesses
- setting and working towards realistic goals
- developing positive and rewarding relationships
As a human being we all have the capacity to be judgmental. Usually the harshest form of judgment is aimed towards ourselves. The self judgment is usually distorted in its ability to fairly critique our own self worth and self value. It allows people to accept or reject parts of their personality rather than appreciate and accept themselves for who they are as a whole person – faults and all.
Rejecting parts of yourself can lead to many complications in life including relationships, finances, friendships, health and career. When you’re self esteem is low it can change your behavior by creating a self protection barrier of defence including anger, depression, illness, perfectionism, lying or addictions.
Low Self Esteem Changes Peoples Behaviour. They Typically:
- Look for signals that people don’t like them
- Seem awkward and appear self conscious
- They assume they know what others are thinking about them
- Will do anything for anyone else
- Seek reassurance from friends
- Earn or buy their friendships
- Can appear cold or aloof
- Struggle to give eye contact or smile
- They unconsciously give the message to back off
- Feel inferior to others thus making it difficult for people to build relationships / friendships.
- Have a negative pessimistic disapproving view of themselves
- An inability to see beyond their weaknesses and problems
If you suffer from low self-esteem you will find your emotions fluctuate frequently and without warning. You may think someone is rejecting you and then feel hurt and withdrawn, or even angry. These beliefs are not facts they’re just your perception. Your perception leads to feelings of self doubt and inadequacies.
Low Self Esteem & Depression
Your feelings can change from feel confident, worthy, and self-assured to overanalysing yourself, what you’ve said or done and then beating yourself up over it, which causes feelings of depression. It becomes a relentless roller coaster of unexpected emotions and reactive behavior.
If you suffer with depression you will also experience low self esteem as a consequence. Depression is usually the end result of low self esteem, it isn’t the cause of it. When you suffer from low self esteem you will generally experience situation depression too. It’s the fuel that keeps the ongoing emotional cycle going.
The lows of depression make it tough to function and enjoy life like you once did. Depression is different from normal sadness. It engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep and have fun.
Feeling down from time to time is a normal for anybody. We all go through ups and downs in our mood. Some people describe depression as “living in a black hole”. Not everyone who feels depressed feels sadness. Some people feel lifeless, empty, angry, aggressive and restless.
For those who experience depression with feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness find it hard just to get through their day. It can feel overwhelming and overwhelm can lead to feeling nervous and anxious.
Low Self Esteem & Anxiety
The meaning of anxiety is creating feelings of fear, worry, panic attacks, uneasiness and dread. The main symptoms of an anxiety disorder are fears or constant thoughts that are distressing and interfere with daily living.
Other Symptoms Of Anxiety Include:
- Panic or anxiety attacks
- Physical reactions of trembling, sweating, faintness, rapid heartbeat, difficulties breathing or nausea
- Avoidance behavior such as going to extreme lengths to avoid a situation that they think could bring on anxiety or panic.
If these symptoms are left untreated, they can start to take over the person’s life can lead to social isolation, clinical depression and even suicide.
The Effects of Anxiety on Self-Esteem
- Physically, it can make your hands shake, heart race and face flush
- Emotionally, it can make you nervous, weary and even sad
- Mentally, it can cause you to think in circles, worry excessively and question your sanity
Anxiety is the foundation of low self esteem. Based on early life experiences, you develop a perspective of how you fit in the world: whether you’re adequate, loveable or worthy.
If your view of yourself is negative you will go through life fearful and anxious. You will experience feelings of disappointment and anticipate the worst in situations. You will also find it hard to relax. Until you improve your self esteem and change how you are measuring your self worth, this is life, as you’ll know it.
This kind of anxiety is extreme and can impact everything in your life including the ability to make good decisions and the ability to bounce back after disappointments. It will impact your energy levels and your desire to improve skill sets. You will find it hard to learn from your mistakes making it difficult to make better choices in the future.
Low self esteem triggers fear in people of disappointment and loneliness.
Disappointment & Low Self Esteem
Disappointment is a common emotion of those with low self- esteem. Disappointment arises when people have unusually high expectations of others and get let down when things don’t turnout as they expected.
People with low self esteem can have unreasonably high self- expectations, which can lead to perfectionism. They can create self expectations that are so high they’re too scared to even try and meet them. Their fear of failure is stops them reaching towards their goals.
Some people with low self-esteem are too disappointed and fearful to even bother trying anything new. They accept what life brings to them rather than trying to better themselves. They live their life in the comfort zone without stepping out to challenge themselves, not because they enjoy life in the comfort zone but because it is safe and familiar.
Low Self Esteem & Loneliness
It’s a basic human need to be with other people. Low self esteem causes a people to socially withdraw from others which adds fuel to the loneliness they already feel, even if it’s their choice to be alone. Having suffered from many emotionally charged and hurtful situations, they automatically feel a need to shield themselves from more such experiences and lose the sense of their own feelings. The fear of rejection holds them back.
They have denied their feelings for a long term because of self worth issue so they are often confused about how they feel about anything or anyone. Even if they are available with time they don’t feel they have anything to offer to anyone so they don’t engage or initiate contact. This keeps them safe but alone.
People with low self-esteem usually avoid social settings, isolate themselves and then have to cope with the loneliness. Fear is something that can be learned behaviour and it can be changed. It starts with your belief system. Whatever you believe is true for you. Are your beliefs helping to live a fulfilling and enjoyable life or are your beliefs holding you back? Your beliefs become the rules that you live by.
How Your Beliefs And Self Imposed Rules Impact Your Self Esteem
In your own mind you are the king or queen of your castle. Whatever you say, goes. You are the ruler and you’re 100% right in everything you think, feel, do and say. Each person in this world has his or her own values, beliefs, opinions, and rules. Just because you’re right in your world, it doesn’t mean you’re right in someone else’s.
Problems arise when you impose your rules, beliefs and values onto others and expectations on them. If you expect others to feel as you do, believe as you do, judge as you do etc., you will be disappointed. To increase your self esteem you need to accept others beliefs so you don’t feel disappointed and you can stop trying to control things outside of your control.
On the other hand, by trying to conform to other people’s model of the world you’re denying yourself of your independence, your freedom of thought and speech, your desires and ultimately your self esteem.
When you give up trying to comply with other people’s rules and expectations you’ll feel a sense of peace and any pressure to perform or conform will be gone. Once you’ve let go of the need to meet the rules of others, it’s time to redefine the rules in your world. It’s time to shape your values and beliefs so they’re working with you, giving you a sense of purpose, meaning and value.
Treatment for Low Self Esteem
Low Self Esteem & Hypnotherapy
Visualisation is a tool used by many professionals and competitive athletes to keep their mind focused on the outcome they want to achieve in life. Visualising is a process of using imagery and meditation to rehearse scenarios in your mind in great detail of what you want to achieve. You’re instructing your unconscious mind to find ways to bring those visions into your reality.
Decide what you want to achieve that would increase your self esteem and make you feel good about yourself. Do you want to look fitter, healthier? Do you want to win an award, get a promotion, go on a date, and meet a partner? Using visualisation practice scenarios over and over in your mind rehearsing what you want your reality to become. You will notice that your mood improves and you will feel more positive as a result.
Self Esteem – It deserves to be nurtured