Self-esteem is the overall opinion you have of yourself, and there are various factors that shape and influence how you perceive yourself. These include:
- Your own thoughts
- How others react to you
- Illness, disability or injury
- Culture or religion
- Role and status in society
- Messages seen in the media
- Experiences you have at home, work and out in the community
Whether or not you have a healthy perception of yourself often stems from childhood experiences. Luckily, your daily thoughts have the most substantial impact on your self-esteem and you have the ability to adjust the negative thoughts that cause low self-esteem.
Everyone has those days when they feel especially down, or good, about themselves. This is normal. The repetition of these attitudes can cause self-esteem to fluctuate over time, but it is more how you perceive yourself overall. It does not change overnight. If you have low self-esteem, you may have little faith in your abilities and fear potential failure. Low self-esteem causes individuals to believe that everyone around them is more capable than they are, and focus only on their weaknesses while ignoring their strengths. A healthy self-esteem on the other hand, will allow for people to see themselves as they really are. They accept and feel confident in their abilities, but also recognize their humanness. We all make mistakes, and those with a healthy self-esteem do not unfairly criticize themselves when they slip up.
What are the effects of low self-esteem?
Low self-esteem can lead to:
How can I improve my self-esteem?
There are countless advantages in having a healthy self-esteem, and you are not helpless in finding these for yourself. Give the following steps a try:
- Challenge the negative thoughts that result in low self-esteem. Don’t be so harsh on yourself and try not to make assumptions, or illogical leaps.
- Show yourself compassion. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes or do not do as well as you were anticipating. You are only human.
- Seek help from others. Friends and family are a great source of support. Teachers, coaches and advisors are there to help you as well.
If you are struggling to overcome low self-esteem and its consequences, our compassionate counselors can help you explore your feelings and improve your self-esteem. Give us a call at (320) 223-0503.