Low Self-esteem: Signs, Causes, Effects and Solutions: As humans, we are subject to a wide variety of changes and elements. Certain events occur that have an effect on our and others’ perceptions. Self-esteem is a term that refers to one’s perception of oneself. Frequently, this perception is subjective and unfounded in reality. Individuals have varying perspectives on others and the world around them, yet no opinion is more important than one’s own.
Depending on our self-perception, we may or may not hold ourselves to a high level or be confident enough to interact with others. Numerous causes might contribute to poor self-esteem in individuals.
It is a delicate subject that should be discussed by everyone in every aspect of life. As the adage goes, “the sooner, the better,” the subject is critical, all the more so when we consider the heinous consequences of low self esteem.
Low self-esteem can be attributed to a variety of factors.
Low self-esteem is not confined to any particular group of people, age group, or gender. It is a universal emotion that can be expressed at any stage of life. Before we discuss the causes of low self-esteem, let’s look at some examples of low self-esteem that will help illustrate the point.
Several signs of low self-esteem include:
self-doubt, excessive apologetics for things one should not apologize for, especially when one is not wrong; feeling unnecessarily ashamed or afraid when around peers; always wanting to please others in order to avoid conflict; downplaying your accomplishments because you believe you did not deserve what you have or are afraid of how others will react when you showcase your accomplishments; having a negative image of yourself.
There are additional unmentioned examples of low self-esteem, all of which are based on a faulty perception of what others think of you. It’s worth noting that low self-esteem can be a result of both environmental and psychological factors.
what factors contribute to low self-esteem?
1. Negative/Critical Parental Upbringing: I believe it was Stewart Stafford who stated that caregivers have a significant impact on how we view the world and, consequently, our self-esteem. This is true because our collective origins can be traced back to our families. If a youngster is brought up in a family where he or she is verbally abused on a frequent basis, such a child will not be confident in public.
Certain overly critical parents expect their children to be perfect in their chores, academics, and extracurricular activities. While this is inspiring on a broad level, it can be emotionally distressing for children who require further care and encouragement. When they grow up to be adults, they do not feel the need to be content with what they have.
They become engrossed with succeeding to the highest level in order to be accepted by society and if they don’t measure up, they are filled with self regret. Also when the parents do not give quality attention to the child it can lead the child to feel unloved and disregarded. The child will translate the feeling of loneliness and dejection to his/her perception of what the society is all about.
2. Cultural factors: When it comes to a family, the values and interests are largely the same and if not, there is still that bond. The society is a jumble of individuals from various families. If a segment of society shares a bond with another, it is because they have a tribal or racial tie.
Consider being the only one who is unique among a group of people who speak the same language or are of the same ethnic origin. In numerous instances, there is an ingrained sense of rejection, even though the facts do not warrant it.
It is even worse when a group of individuals treat a person discriminatorily on the basis of his or her religion, race, or sexual orientation. This can result in a lack of self-confidence or a constant attempt to placate the masses.
3. Negative Experiences: No two people are wired identically. Certain individuals easily heal from unfavorable past situations and move on. Others must bear the burden of what they have endured. For the latter category, the typical effect of such situations is low self-esteem.
Consider a child who has been sexually or physically abused on a repeated basis. It is not simple to forget the painful experience and regain confidence afterward. Among other things, you will discover in that youngster a sense of insecurity, an inability to socialize, and a fear of others who have not had such experiences.
If a child has been bullied at school or in the community, the child will remain extremely timid as an adult. It is frequently stated that our past experiences impact our perception of the present, which is why persons who have had negative experiences rarely hold themselves in high regard.
4. Superfluous comparisons: When there is constant internal conflict about whether one is good enough, this is one fact that should be verified. There is intense competition in many spheres of life, including business, politics, and entertainment. Individuals quickly assess their worth in relation to the accomplishments or failures of others.
Once a person becomes obsessed with whether he is as good as or better than the next person, his self-esteem begins to decline as he evaluates his accomplishments against the standards of others. This leaves individuals vulnerable in situations where they feel entirely defeated if they fall short. This is the beginning of self-doubt and low self-esteem.
The Consequences of Low Self-Esteem
Although poor self-esteem is a psychological issue, it should not be ignored or downplayed. The resulting effects may be moderate and easily overcome, or they may be severe and lifelong. The following are some of the negative consequences of poor self-esteem:
1. Difficult partnerships: Individuals with poor self-esteem are more prone to experience difficulties in their relationships. They are either uninterested in developing relationships with others or fearful of committing to one.
Certain individuals avoid engaging in discussion with others, effectively making them social outcasts. Others who enter it become trapped in a bubble and rapidly desire to exit the connection.
2. Vulnerability to social vices: One thing that persons with poor self-esteem have in common is that they seek alternatives to social interaction.
Once they think that they are not welcomed or liked, they join the wrong crowd and wind up using drugs, joining cults, or participating in criminal behavior.
3. Depression: This is a mental health illness that is defined as a biological breakdown of a person’s mental state. It has been established that this health condition has genetic characteristics. External circumstances can also contribute to depression.
It might make a person feel unimportant as a result of many health-related ideas. Occasionally, depression is an inward sense of self-worthlessness that is unrelated to anything or anyone. A person might be successful and depressed at the same time. The individual becomes resentful of himself/herself and withdraws from society out of unjustified fear of their opinions. When suicidal thoughts become uncontrollable, some individuals develop suicidal thoughts.
4. Disinterest in accomplishing your goals: Low self-esteem impairs an individual’s ability to pursue anything ambitious. For young people in schools, they are very apathetic towards academic works which in turn causes a decline in their performance.
For adults, they become so depressed that they settle for the least they can get without aiming to be better at what they do. So they end up becoming complacent and can quit their jobs at any time due of their existing situation.
5. Health issues: The human body has a physical anatomy and a psychological structure. These fundamental dual portions of the human body cohabit at a balance for the body to be healthy.
Those who have the challenge of low self esteem are compromising their psychological structure. This is because having poor self esteem can create worry and sadness, which has been found to impair the immune system so making the body susceptible to illness.
Solutions to Low Self-esteem
Self-esteem problems are not a medical diagnosis. Because it is a subjective assessment of oneself, the onus is on the individual to think more highly of himself or herself. While professional assistance is a reasonable recommendation, there are alternative choices available to someone with low self-esteem. They include the following:
1. Constantly speak positively about yourself.
Avoid using derogatory language about your appearance or what you did not accomplish. When you do not receive what you expect, have a hopeful attitude that it will come at the proper moment. In other words, maintain a cheerful attitude.
2. Remind yourself that perfection is a journey, not a destination.
This is the goal of the majority of individuals. They want perfection at all costs, and if they are unable to achieve the highest level of excellence in whatever they do, they regard themselves as worthless.
Always remember that making mistakes is natural and that with time, you will overcome them. Even if you are exceptional at what you do, there are always individuals working at a higher level that look up to you. Develop along the way and recognize that perfection takes time and that there is no end to learning.
3. Avoid making comparisons to others. You must understand that not everyone is identical.
You will be disappointed if you continue to compare who and what you are to others. Concentrate on what you want to accomplish and leave individuals out of the equation. Comparing oneself to another is a foolish exercise. Competition should be used to improve your performance, not to make the other appear less capable.
4. Always appreciate your accomplishments, no matter how small.
If you do not give yourself sufficient credit for your accomplishments, a bitter individual will enviously minimize your efforts and achievements.
Read also: 12 Ways to Boost Your Confidence in 2022
However, if you can constantly be grateful for the good work you accomplish on occasion, it will help boost your self-esteem significantly.
5. Maintain your confidence and faith in your ability.
Recognize that everyone is endowed with unique strengths but also has flaws. Simply because they are not visible does not indicate that the defects do not exist.
Confidence is not denial of reality, but rather a belief in your ability to do the task at hand. As your confidence grows as a result of forcing yourself to achieve better, you will find no excuse to avoid circumstances or people, regardless of how stubborn they are.
6. Do not be scared to express your disagreement with others’ viewpoints.
Develop the ability to defend your position regardless of how hard others attempt to refute it. If you disagree with what others are saying, defy popular opinion.
Due to the dynamic nature of humans, we are able to accommodate a variety of viewpoints depending on our level of conviction. It will distinguish you if you choose to really adhere to your beliefs. It may appear scary at first, but you will win the respect of others and yourself.
7. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals.
This is critical, as poor self-esteem is based on the bad vibes received from others. If you associate with people who are excessively critical of your appearance and every action, you will eventually develop depression.
It is ideal to surround yourself with individuals who are positive and can assist you with your struggles while also pointing out areas where you may improve. This balance will aid in your personal development and self-esteem improvement. Choose mates that will not shatter your ego or self-esteem but who will be respectful and candid with you.
In conclusion, self-esteem is a subjective perception that can be either high or low. It is critical for individuals to have a firm grasp on the causes and consequences of poor self-esteem. It should not be limited to persons from “unstable” backgrounds, but should apply to all members of a society. As previously said, it cannot be diagnosed by a physician. It is an intrinsic emotion that can strike anyone at any time. The sooner the trace is detected and resolved, the better.
Low self-esteem is a difficult issue due to its biological and psychological roots. It has resulted in the disintegration of relationships, sadness, and, more tragically, suicide. It is also critical for everyone to be conscious of how they approach others, recognizing that individuals are not all alike and can go too far in expressing their disapproval with the incorrect word. “Be your neighbor’s keeper,” as the proverb goes. Assist individuals who require mental health treatment, but let your words and deeds serve as a first aid kit for those who suffer from low self-esteem.