Low self-esteem and low self-worth.
Low self-esteem can get in the way of all sorts of things that most people take in their stride. It can cause social anxiety – we compare ourselves to others, and decide that we are not up to socialising. In time it becomes increasingly difficult to be around other people.
Lack of self-belief can cause general anxiety and lead to depression if it isn’t dealt with. Lack of confidence and low self-worth can stop us living up to our potential and can get in the way of us being who we want to be. We criticise ourselves and find it hard to move on if we make mistakes. We find it difficult to make decisions or tell people what we want. Simply put, low self-esteem makes us believe that we’re not good enough. Here is what Mind Uk say about self-esteem.
Some examples of how low self-esteem gets in the way are:
People pleasing. We try to please others just to get a thank you or an affirmation. This may help in the short term, but may lead to us being taken advantage of. We find it hard to say ‘no’ because we’re afraid of letting others down or being thought badly of. This leads to resentments against others and ourselves for letting it happen. This cycle, if it continues, lowers our self-belief even more.
Friendship issues. If we are constantly seeking approval from friends it can be quite wearing for them. Friends may drift away because we are too needy.
Poor employment. We may avoid applying for certain jobs because we don’t feel good enough, so we end up doing jobs that aren’t challenging us. We get paid less and so feel bad about ourselves. We are unlikely to put ourselves forward for promotion, and then begin to resent the company or the management. We then get angry with ourselves, which in turn leads to more unhappiness.
Bad relationships. We can find ourselves looking for too much affirmation from our partner, or even finding someone with lower self-esteem than ourselves just to make us feel better. Or we can be susceptible to abusive relationships, either through psychological control (remember we can be people pleasers) or physical abuse. We get stuck in these sorts of relationships because we genuinely think we are worthless and therefore somehow deserve it.
Alcohol and drug use. When we feel bad about ourselves and suffer from anxiety and low self-worth it can lead to drug use and excessive drinking, because we want to escape from how we feel. This, of course leads to more problems and compounds that feeling of uselessness. Most alcoholics and addicts have an overwhelming sense of not being good enough.
Depression. Because we are fed up and angry with ourselves, the way people treat us, and how we think other people see us, we are on a never-ending downward spiral. If left untreated, it can lead to suicidal thoughts - Click here for Samaritans website
Physical illness. When we feel bad, we stop looking after ourselves properly. Our immune systems weaken, which can lead to infections, viruses and other illnesses, not to mention the negative effects of drug or alcohol abuse if we have taken that route.
Why do we suffer from lack of confidence, self-belief or self-esteem?
Low self-esteem is usually related to some form of trauma - either mild or severe – that occurred either in our childhood, later on in life or is ongoing. Low self-esteem can be caused by abuse, racism, stress at work, physical health or disability, difficulty in education, money trouble (debt), worries about how you look, bullying, relationship issues such as divorce or separation and discrimination. This list can of course be extended but these are some examples of how your self- belief can be affected.
Counselling can help you,
Your low self-esteem will have root causes, and counselling can help you to get to the bottom of what they are. Together we will explore what has caused your lack of self-belief and help you to find ways of overcoming it. Then we will help you to really see your own self-worth and be able to value yourself without needing to seek approval from others so much.
Self-belief will help you see that you really are good enough, that you can like yourself and that you deserve to be happier. Having self-esteem means you can make better decisions and be more assertive about what you need. It will help you to see your own strengths, to work at weaknesses and to look after yourself. The aim of our counselling sessions is to work towards enabling you to become the person you want to be, to learn what your values really are, and to be able to live by them. I want to help you to be able to take on life with confidence, and without the need to hide how you feel.
Why not call me or click here to get in touch.