When opening up a dictionary of psychology there are many terms which are interchangeable with the term low self-esteem.
A poor self image in the literature has the simple meaning that the picture a person holds about themselves, whether it is related to how they view their physical attributes (body self image), their success in mastering their environment (achievements, competence, intelligence) or their overall self-worth and value to society, is distorted in a negative way.
Living with low self-esteem can be really hard work. You might find yourself withdrawing from or totally avoiding certain social situations and people. Low self-esteem can lead on to anxiety, depression, loneliness and can contribute to difficulties in personal and intimate relationships.
Many of the causes of low self-esteem stem from our childhood experiences, perhaps being undermined by a parent, teacher or another authority figure, perhaps you were rarely praised or encouraged to try and experience new things which might have boosted your self confidence, or perhaps you never felt you were loved for who you were or that what ever you did was never ‘good enough’. .
When the opinions we have about ourselves and our overall evaluation of self worth is negative this correlates highly with low self-esteem.
Symptoms of low self-esteem might include:
- feeling worthless and unworthy of being around others or of contributing.
- feeling incompetent and unrealistic about your abilities
- feeling you are not loveable and feeling unloved
- being unrealistic about goals and your ability to achieve them
- feeling everything you do is never good enough
- being drawn into destructive relationships because that’s all you deserve
- fearful of change and your ability to cope with change
- distorted negative views of yourself and others.
Therapy can help you overcome your low self-esteem and help you build a brighter more fulfilling and confident future.