“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” — Louise L. Hay
Do you suffer from anxiety or depression? Do you often feel awkward and self-conscious in social settings? Are you constantly comparing yourself to others and finding you never measure up?
Self-esteem is a concept that speaks to how we feel about ourselves. When one has high self-esteem, they feel confident, centered, and worthy of love. People with low self-esteem often feel shame and self-doubt. They often feel critical of themselves and are unworthy of love or praise.
- Recognizing Low Self-Esteem – Individuals with low self-esteem typically cope with it using one of the following three models:
- Imposter Syndrome – These individuals project false confidence and use their accomplishments to mask their insecurities. We often find perfectionists and procrastinators in this group.
- Rebellion – These individuals pretend to not care about what others think of them. Feelings of inferiority may often come across as anger or blame. Some may act out by defying authority and even breaking the law.
- Victimhood – In this scenario, low self-esteem causes the person to feel helpless in the face of life’s challenges. They may play the role of the victim and rely on others.
Regardless of how low self-esteem manifests, the results are always the same:
- Depression and anxiety
- Lack of joy in life
- Anger, guilt, sadness
- A lack of resilience
- Eating issues
Treatment for Low Self-Esteem
The good news is, self-esteem is something that can be changed by changing your beliefs, behavior and how you think about yourself. Having said this, most people developed their self-esteem issues in childhood and have been living with low self-esteem for a very long time. For this reason, it is advised that they seek the guidance of a trained therapist.
Having a knowledgeable and supportive therapist in your corner can help you develop a healthier and more realistic sense of self. He or she will help you connect the dots in your life, discover where your low self-esteem came from and provide tools so you can absolve your negative beliefs and critical self-talk and replace them with self-love and self-compassion.
If you suffer from low self-esteem and would like to explore treatment options, please reach out to me.