What is low self-esteem?
Low self-esteem happens when we don’t put any value on ourselves as individuals in anything we do. It relates to how significant, capable, or worthy we feel and is sometimes seen as the void between what we think about ourselves and how we would ideally like to be. These negative feelings may have developed over time and can make your life seem hopeless, worthless, or like you’re being held back.
Because it’s natural to compare our lives with others around us, it can feel like everything they do is more exciting or interesting, or they seem to do more and do it better. This outlook only highlights your insecurities and is unlikely to be true, but it can affect your confidence, thinking others are living a better life than you.
With different levels of self-esteem, you might have a healthy and positive sense of yourself and your life. Alternatively, you can feel like you’re not good enough, inadequate, or underachieving by only seeing yourself negatively and overlooking your achievements and what makes you unique.
What causes low self-esteem?
Our level of self-esteem is often thought to start in childhood. But it can be caused by different things throughout our lives at any age – childhood experiences, family, relationships, work, or just life itself – or certain people who can make you feel inadequate. Low self-esteem is also common in later life and can be caused by ill health, disability, grief, anxiety, or depression.
With a wide range of positive and negative messages aimed at you, it can be the negative messaging – whether through face-to-face interactions or online social media – that stays with you over time. These negative beliefs can influence your own personality and will affect how you feel about yourself.
If you’re suffering from low self-esteem, you might find yourself:
- Judging or criticising yourself harshly
- Feeling indecisive and afraid of making a wrong decision
- Feeling inferior or worthless
- Worrying about what others think about you
- Trying to please others above yourself
- Feeling defensive, irritable, or sensitive to criticism
- Having difficulty accepting compliments
- Carrying a lot of shame or guilt about things you’ve said or done
How can counselling help with self-esteem?
Then, by looking at how this affects your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, your counsellor can help you focus on what you’d like to change and find ways to put those changes into practice.
Low self-esteem counselling and psychotherapy
At Devon Therapy Services, our experienced counsellors and psychotherapists have the skills to help you recognise the unhelpful patterns or behaviours you have. If you live in Exeter or Torquay, contact our team today and we can help you realise the value of your own self-worth.
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