Self-esteem refers to how we view and think about ourselves. It is also about the value that we place on ourselves as a person. Problems with low self-esteem can arise when we hold a generally negative overall opinion of ourselves and judge ourselves in a negative way.
People with low self-esteem usually have a longstanding negative belief about themselves as a person. Do you believe that you are not good enough, worthless, un-lovable or a failure? If you think about yourself in this way then you may benefit from working with a Clinical Psychologist like me to find a way of overcoming this harsh way of viewing yourself.
The truth is that although you may have held a very negative belief about yourself for many years, beliefs are just that. They are not facts.
Difficulties with low self-esteem are not uncommon. It is also important to remember that you are not alone and that you can get help to tackle this distressing problem. You may also wonder why this problem may have arisen in the first place. We know that people may suffer from low self-esteem as a problem in its own right or it may have arisen as part of another difficulty you are struggling with – such as depression or a chronic illness. The good news is that you can get help to develop healthy self-esteem, which will have a positive impact on many other areas of your life.
How do I know if I have Low Self-Esteem?
Have a look at these questions and see how often you answer ‘Yes, Definitely’ to them:
– I have a good opinion of myself.
– I am kind and encouraging towards myself, rather than self-critical.
– I believe I am entitled to the good things in life.
– I like myself.
– I treat myself well and look after myself properly.
– My experience in life has taught me to value and appreciate myself.
– I feel I am entitled to other people’s time and attention.
If you struggle to answer these questions positively then you may well benefit from some psychological input to help you improve your self-esteem.
Low self-esteem can affect people in a number of ways. You may frequently criticise yourself, put yourself down or blame yourself when things go wrong.
You may struggle to accept compliments given to you or discount them in some way ‘anyone could have done that’. If you struggle with low self-esteem it is likely that your work will suffer also. You may avoid challenges and opportunities as you fear you will not be good enough. You may also feel compelled to work many hours on top of what is expected of you owing to your fear of not being good enough or ‘being found out’.
Relationship problems can also arise linked to difficulties with low self-esteem. For example, you may have difficulty saying no to others or even avoid social contact. You may avoid activities where you feel you may be judged in some way such as engaging in sporting activities. You may also believe that you do not deserve rewards or to relax and enjoy yourself.
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is an excellent treatment for anyone suffering from low self-esteem. It provides clients with the opportunity to explore how the problem developed and what factors are involved in keeping the problem going. Therapy is then focused on developing a healthier belief about yourself, so that you can value yourself for who you are.