Low Self Esteem
Low self esteem affects us in many ways. In order to better understand low self esteem, its consequences and its causes, we must first understand what self esteem is. Self Esteem is described as a psychological state that is based on a persons own evaluation of his or her worth. The concept deals with a person’s view on whether or not they are worthy of merit or praise. In short, your self-esteem describes the measure with which you like yourself.
The question ” What is low self esteem? ” can be answered by describing some of the traits that people with low self esteem display. Low Self Esteem is a term we use to describe people who do not think highly of themselves. People with low self-esteem have a low evaluation of their own self-worth. They do not feel good about who and what they are. This has the potential to create any number of problems for the individual that experiences the condition.
Low self-esteem can be described as simply “feeling bad about yourself.”
Common indicators of low self-esteem may include the following:
- Relying too heavily on others for decisions and direction
- Frequently feeling overwhelmed by common stresses of life
- Feeling physically inferior to others: appearance, fitness, height, strength, etc
- Frequent negative self-talk: “I’m not smart enough to do that.”
- Lack of motivation to act due to low faith in ones ability to meet challenges
- Hiding from problems, escape, drugs, alcohol, procrastination
- Excessive shyness, low assertiveness skills
- Self doubt, excessive self-consciousness, feeling inferior to others
- Overcompensation, acting like your are better than others to mask the truth
- Avoiding challenges and risks in life, fear of failure
Some other indicators of low self esteem are less obvious. These tendencies are outward and we tend to naturally associate them with more confident or over-confident personalities. The truth is that some of these indicators represent a form of acting out which is nothing more than simple overcompensation designed to hide the deeper and truer feelings of weakness or inferiority. They may include the following:
- General anger and a need for revenge
- Short fuse, prone to frequent irritation which escalates easily to outbursts
- Confrontational, easily threatened and responds aggressively
- Blaming problems on others
- Argumentative about irrelevant or insignificant matters
- Redirecting you anger upon others
- Expressing happiness about the misfortune of others
- Excessive sarcasm or cynicism
- Disregard for others, Inconsiderate
Low self-esteem affects a wide variety of people all over the world and in many different cultures. Although low self esteem is a common ailment and we all experience it at some point in our lives, there are many who would classify it as a disease or an illness. This has been debated but low self-esteem does meet several criteria that are used to define illnesses.
For instance, low self-esteem can be uncontrollable at times. Low self esteem manifests similar symptoms in many different people. In many cases, low self esteem also seems to stem from similar past experiences such as abuse. People with low self-esteem also seem to be prone to similar related health problems due to the added stresses that frequently accompany this condition. As with other illnesses, sometimes it is necessary to seek the help of medical professionals, psychologists or psychiatrists. Medicines have been prescribed to help people cope with many similar psychological issues and sometimes it is worth checking to make sure that your low self esteem is not a result of a more serious condition.
The Good News is that Low Self Esteem can Be Improved
Through diligent learning, and disciplined work, we can improve our self-esteem. When we work to build our self-esteem, we move back toward productive, successful, enjoyable lives. There are several things that we can practice every day to improve our self-esteem. Following are just a handful.
- Stop criticizing yourself. Punishing yourself for perceived failures only weakens your self-esteem over time.
- Work on achieving your goals. Every day, try to make some kind of progress toward at least one of your life’s goals. Be diligent and commit to doing this every day. This will build your confidence and get you closer to your dreams.
- Fill your mind with positive information. Read self-help books. Participate in confidence courses. Study the things that motivate you and return to them often.
- Make an effort. Always try to succeed and accomplish tasks and challenges. If you succeed, it will strengthen your self-esteem as well as your confidence. If you fail, it will not matter because you will know that you tried your best.
- Highlight your strengths and keep them in mind as often as possible. Use them to handle situations that you find troublesome.
- Identify your problem areas and bad habits. If you are prone to anger, learn to recognize it and force yourself to stop before it gets out of control. It takes practice to stop your bad habits but the positive results are immediate. Think of all the negative situations that you will avoid by not reacting negatively to your environment.
- Visualize your success every day. When you wake up, picture yourself achieving your goals and becoming the person that you want to be. This is your motivation to make an honest effort to get closer to this future reality each day.
- Affirmations. Remind yourself of you positive traits as often as you can. Speak them aloud. Be bold.
- Focus on forward progress. Never look back. The past is irrelevant. Seek your desires and pursue them every day.
- Lear how to stop taking yourself so seriously. Life does not always have to be so dire. Relax and enjoy yourself. Learn humility and laugh at yourself. We all make mistakes. Sometimes they are humorous.
- Just be yourself. You can adopt any traits that you wish but you cannot be someone else. Learn to accept yourself and all of your flaws. You can improve them. Your faults do not define you.
Keep these ideas close at hand, if you feel the need to improve your low self esteem. Self-esteem is a critical part of life. It affects the way we feel, the way we act and the way we interact with the world around us. If you have low self-esteem, it has the potential to negatively impact everything you think and feel. It can affect everything that you do in every aspect of your life. Moving through life with low self-esteem is like swimming with chains tied to your ankles.
Free your self from low self-esteem and your life will begin to improve in countless ways.
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