The truth about low self-esteem

Do you know someone who has a low opinion of himself? Perhaps someone who consistently thinks she is an under-performer and not worthy of praise or compliments? It could be that person is suffering from low self-esteem. Simply put, your level of self-esteem is how you think about yourself, how you see yourself.

Some people have an inflated image of their reality. Then there are those who have a good grip on who they are, and their range of abilities and self-worth. Unfortunately, there are also those people who suffer from a debilitating condition involving their self-beliefs that can actually lead to a shortened lifespan and physical health problems that arise from stress.

The Do's and Don'ts of Self-Esteem

I have created a FREE Checklist to allow you quickly determine what you should and should not be doing in order to maintain high self-esteem

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Just what is low self-esteem?

The definition of low self-esteem is simple – a feeling of unworthy, incapable and incompetent self-worth. These thoughts can lead to a dangerous cycle where continued negative self-beliefs begin to create an unconscious pattern of behavior that reinforces those thoughts in that person’s mind. They say to themselves, “See, my behavior is proof that I am incompetent. Therefore, I am right to believe that I am unworthy and incapable.” The beliefs get stronger, and the thought-pattern continues.

When you have a negative view of yourself, you often display the following signs:

  • You try to do everything perfectly
  • You are afraid to love others and believe that you do not deserve love
  • You blame others for your mistakes and faults
  • You have a consistently negative view of just about everything
  • You like to play it safe, scared to take risks, even small ones
  • You are very suspicious of others, even friends and family
  • You may prefer to let others make decisions, even important ones

What you should understand is that, in many cases, low self-esteem is learned behavior. That means your inadequate feelings of self-worth were taught to you by someone else or developed from your over generalising of a few negative events.

This is good news, because learned behavior can be changed by adopting new beliefs.

Often an authority figure, parent or caregiver can negatively impact a person’s self-belief. Since a child or teen looks up to that person, they feel they have let him down in some way. This leads to the behaviors we just mentioned, symptomatic of someone with low self-esteem.

Generalisation and over-generalisation occur when you take the results of a specific situation and attempt to apply them to your entire life. If a man with low self-esteem asks a woman out and she says ‘No’; the man may feel that no woman would be interested in him. A man with high self-esteem is more likely to realise that if one woman says ‘No’, that only means that particular woman is not interested.

The impact of low self-esteem

Low self-esteem impacts on every aspect of life. If you want to improve your life and stride confidently towards your goals; you must have some belief in your ability to succeed. As Henry Ford put it:

‘Whether you believe you can or you cannot; you are right’

Ford’s statement is every bit as true now as it was then. Growth and development require that you take steps into the unknown. When you step into the unknown, you cannot be certain that you will succeed. However, you can believe in your ability to learn, to cope with the difficulties and, to overcome the challenges that you may face along the way. It is your self-esteem that determines how much you believe in yourself. With high self-esteem, you will have an unshakeable belief in yourself and you will be more likely to persevere under pressure. With low self-esteem, you will have major doubts in your abilities and you will be more likely to wilt at the first sign of pressure.

What are some of the consequences of low self-esteem?

Your level of self-belief is extremely important, and often directly linked, to your overall health. People who think little of themselves frequently suffer the following consequences:

  • Easily discouraged
  • They have skin and hair conditions
  • Scared and anxious
  • Consistently find themselves in chaotic and even dangerous relationships
  • Very defensive
  • Drug and alcohol addiction
  • Suffer eating disorders
  • Weak cardiovascular and immune systems
  • Stress and anxiety leads to heart conditions
  • Promiscuous behavior with multiple partners
  • Inability in women to orgasm, and impotence in men
  • Failed relationships
  • Negative impact on family and friends
  • Inability in women to orgasm, and impotence in men
  • Failed relationships
  • Negative impact on family and friends

The consequences that arise from low self-esteem (LSE) do so because of 4 basic fears psychologists have noticed in individuals with LSE. They are a fear of…

  • … doing something they believe will confirm their low self-image.
  • … feeling depressed, desperate and humiliated once again.
  • … others recognizing their inabilities and inadequacies.
  • … losing what they already have, never being successful, and possibly leading to abandonment.

The Do's and Don'ts of Self-Esteem

I have created a FREE Checklist to allow you quickly determine what you should and should not be doing in order to maintain high self-esteem

Get your copy here

It’s ok not to feel ok

One of the biggest obstacles to dealing with low self-esteem is the stigma attached to it. Many people feel embarrassed or ashamed to admit that they lack confidence and self-belief. But, the reality is that at some stage everybody lacks confidence. It is only when we refuse to acknowledge and tackle our confidence issues that they start to escalate into low self-esteem and the serious consequences that come with it. There is no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed when you lack confidence. It is perfectly normal. In fact, admitting that you are lacking confidence is a great sign of strength as you are bringing the issue into the light where you can then do something to tackle it.

If you feel that you lack self-esteem, check out Unlock Your Self Esteem.

Conclusion

Low self-esteem is a major issue in many people’s lives. It is not a trivial issue. It can, and does, have serious effects on those who suffer with this problem. When you suffer with low self-esteem, it impacts on every aspect of your life. You will struggle to grow and develop as you will lack the confidence and self-belief required to overcome the new challenges that you will face. However, there is no need to be ashamed or embarrassed. Everybody lacks confidence from time to time; it is perfectly normal. If you have never done something before, you cannot possibly have 100% belief in yourself. However, if you consistently lack confidence and self-belief, you may well be experiencing low self-esteem. Don’t shy away from the issue. The very act of acknowledging the problem will help you to shed light on it. You will then be in a postion to tackle the issue head on. Overcoming low self-esteem takes a great deal of commitment and effort but the rewards you will experience are more than the worth it.