Self-esteem is your subjective evaluation of your own worth and personal beliefs. It is related to your personal beliefs about skills, abilities, and social relationships i.e.”beliefs you have about yourself”. You can gain a basic insight of yourself by trying to describe yourself. Is this description of yourself generally positive, balanced or negative?
When someone has a low self-esteem, they generally have a negative overall opinion of themselves or evaluate themselves negatively. Nobody is born with low self-esteem, it is something that is learned. It is the result of filtering opinions and comments overtime. Someone with a low self-esteem may think that they are weak, a loser, unattractive, worthless or stupid. We all criticise ourselves from time to time but when you continually hear some of these negative thoughts creeping into the back of our minds then you might have a problem with low self-esteem. The problem is that these beliefs are often taken as facts and people often have difficulties processing information that oppose these beliefs.
These deep rooted and negative views of self take a toll on us by making us doubt our abilities and limiting our self-confidence to try new things or complete tasks such as completing a job application or starting a new hobby. Overall, low self-esteem affects the way we live life the way we want by continually disqualifying the positive qualities we encounter. When a compliment is offered to someone with low self-esteem, they often brush it off and may attribute it to “luck” or focus on the negative aspect such as a particular mistake they made in that situation. Low self-esteem has a major impact on a person’s life and they may consistently achieve less than they are able to because of these negative beliefs of oneself. Low self-esteem can also be a problem that it put someone at risk of experiencing other problems such as depression.
A basic example of combating your low self-esteem is by promoting balanced evaluations of yourself. Overall, this means acknowledging the positive aspects of yourself. As mentioned previously that individuals with low self-esteem tend to only pay attention to negative things they say about themselves, these individuals often rarely pay attention to positive qualities they demonstrate. So, one way to balance it out and tip the scale more positively is recognising the positive qualities of self. This is very difficult to do at the beginning but with practice you can begin to notice the positive aspects of yourself. A great way to do this is by completing a ‘positive you’ journal (you can find these online or try creating one yourself). Each day try and think of a positive quality that you have demonstrated during the day with a specific example. For example, if you completed some house chores such as vacuuming, a positive quality to reflect this might be “organised” or “dedicated”. This type of training with time will help enable you to identify more realistic and positive aspects of self and help improve your overall self-esteem and the confidence you truly deserve! It takes time but this is one way to help you with managing low self-esteem. Believing in yourself and accepting yourself for who you are is an important factor in success, relationships, and happiness in life.
Keep in mind though that these negative beliefs may have commenced from a young age and therefore require extensive work before you can begin to change your overall evaluation of self. If you require further support, contact our staff to organise an appointment with our clinical psychologists at www.copecentre.org/book-an-appointment or call us on 92264726.