I think I’m ugly and unattractive. Other people are more intelligent, talented and interesting than me. Most people wouldn’t want to spend any time with me because of these things.
Everyone holds opinions about the type of person that they are. These opinions are at the heart of self-esteem and they affect how you feel about and value yourself. Self-esteem is not static and fixed; your beliefs about yourself can change throughout your life as a result of circumstance and experience.
If you have low self-esteem these beliefs will often be negative. You may focus on what you feel are your weaknesses, and mistakes that you have made. If you have high self-esteem, you will generally see yourself in a positive light.
You might find that life events such as losing your job, ending a relationship or being bereaved give your confidence a huge knock, but high self-esteem can act as a buffer to absorb these knocks and help you bounce back.
Your beliefs make the difference between high and low self-esteem. It is important to realise that these are only opinions, they are not facts. Low self-esteem alone is not a recognised mental health problem, but if you have low self-esteem it will have an effect on your mental health.
Holding negative beliefs about yourself lowers your resilience and ability to cope with the stresses of life. This can place you at a higher risk of developing mental health problems such as eating disorders, depression or social phobia, which are closely related to your mood and self-belief.
Low self-esteem can be triggered or made worse by existing mental health problems, such as a panic disorder or schizophrenia. You may find that the pressure of other symptoms and the stigma associated with mental health problems impacts on the way you see yourself.
What causes low self-esteem?
It is not possible to point to one cause of low self-esteem for everyone, because each of us follows a different path through life. The formation of your core beliefs about yourself is a complex process.
Your own inborn nature or temperament will play a role, but your experiences and relationships with the people around you also have an important part to play.
Negative experiences in childhood are often particularly damaging to self-esteem. In your early years your personality and sense of self is being formed, and harmful experiences can leave you feeling that you are not valued or important. You have not had a chance to build up any resilience, so this negative view can become the one that you believe about yourself.
Significant negative experiences in adult life can also shake core beliefs and cause them to change. This will normally happen over time and you might not realise at first that your self-esteem is being lowered. Experiences that commonly impact on people’s beliefs include:
*Being subject to abuse – sexual, emotional or physical, and the loss of control associated with this.
*Having your physical and emotional needs neglected in childhood.
*Failing to meet the expectations of your parents.
*Feeling like the ‘odd one out’ at school.
*Coming from a community which often experiences prejudice, such as being an asylum seeker, or being poor but living in a wealthy neighbourhood.
*Peer pressure to conform to social norms which you don’t agree with.
*Bullying or excessive pressures at work
*Physical ill-health – its impact on your quality of life and activities you can do.
*Facing redundancy or being unemployed.
*Social isolation and loneliness.
The way you feel about experiences such as these will depend on lots of other factors, but negative core beliefs about your intelligence, appearance and abilities will often be formed,When something happens that reminds you of these significant experiences, you expect the worst and are likely to react badly. Your low expectations are likely to be at the back of your mind all the time. Low self esteem is bad and have a lot of consequences on you. It prevents you from living a life of fulfilllment and joy as you always feel inadequate which in turn makes you depressed at all times. You should not allow what ever experience become your doom or destiny. And you should not allow a present situation or predicament maim you for life. No condition is permanent. Join me tomorrow as I give you more insight on this topic especially its consequences. Thank GOD its friday. Xoxo!