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Throughout our lives we meet a lot of people; some stay and others leave after a while. The relationships we create aren’t as stable as we think. The one constant relationship is the one with our own selves. We will always exist with our souls, bodies, and minds. This is why it’s crucial to take care of that relationship and make sure we’re being fair with handling our thoughts. Positivity towards the self should always be a priority and its absence causes low self-esteem.
“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.” ―August Wilson
The American Psychological Association defines self-esteem as “the degree to which the qualities and characteristics contained in one’s self-concept are perceived to be positive.” It’s the self-image and the thoughts we constantly think about ourselves.
So what are the signs of low self-esteem and how can we work on it?
Signs and Effects of Low Self-Esteem
The Sheffield Hallam University explores how low self-esteem can affect thoughts, behavior, feelings, and the body. Low self-esteem will push you to blame yourself on the smallest issues, even if it isn’t your fault. You start being extremely self-critical and doubtful of what you’re doing. You find it difficult to speak up and prefer to hide your true potential. All this makes your body feeling credibly drained and tense.
Harvard Health recognizes that sometimes individuals have simultaneously high explicit self-esteem and a low one. We sometimes say phrases like “I look good today” but at the same while we’re unkind to ourselves and start finding flaws. This stems from insecurities and defensive denial. Thus, this kind of self-love is unstable and unreliable.
The appearance of Low Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem presents itself in many ways according to the Counseling and Mental Health Center at the University of Texas. Three of the main ones are:
- Imposter: Acting happy and successful but in reality, the individual fears failure and is always worried about what others think. They are always afraid of being exposed as a fraud (called the imposter syndrome)
- Rebel: They act like other people’s words do not matter to them, but the truth is the opposite. They seem powerful and cover that up with anger, even though it’s mostly directed inwards
- Victim: They act helpless and feel like they’re unable to cope with the world. Self-pity and indifference are used as a shield against fear
Causes of Low Self-Esteem
According to the National Health Services, low self-esteem begins in childhood. Parents, teachers, classmates, and siblings all influence how we see ourselves. Even in the case of a healthy childhood, negative and positive messages can be received from all these parties. In the case of trauma and PTSD, the self-esteem gets affected even more.
Stress, anxiety, and depression all play a huge role in how we see ourselves. If an individual is diagnosed with a mental disorder already, chances are that they’re struggling with their self-esteem too.
The Mind Organization explains that low self-esteem also comes from abuse, losing a job, physical health problems, and problems with money. Low self-esteem is not a mental health disorder on its own, but some of the experiences of low self-esteem can be signs of a mental health problem.
Low self-esteem Treatment and Counseling
It’s important to measure self-esteem and doing so requires a tool. The most widely used scale, according to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction is the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. It’s a tool that asks many questions and according to the responders’ answers, it calculates whether the self-esteem is low or not.
Everyone lacks confidence from time to time according to the Better Health Channel. However, low self-esteem is more permanent and damaging to overall mental health. The good news is that it can be built up back again. Talking to ourselves positively, even with the tiny details, is a huge step.
Mental Health America adds that it’s important not to compare ourselves to others. Comparison is a vicious trap —avoid at all costs. Moreover, dressing confidently, eating well, sleeping well, and doing things you enjoy while saying ‘no’ to your inner critic are keys to building your self-esteem back up.
At THE BALANCE Luxury Rehab Center, our priority is you. We work with you on your needs and overall betterment. We know that your body has been through many troubles and we recognize all the effort you’re willing to go through in order to be better. Using our holistic approach, we ensure that you are never struggling. The path towards better self-esteem may seem long, but we will always accompany you. In the end, you’ll feel more confident and you will be able to look at the mirror and love who you see.