Low Self Esteem: Its Signs, Causes, and How to Heal

low self esteemLow self esteem is very much like a physical handicap. It makes us not want to get out of bed to explore new situations, we feel physical symptoms, and we can become withdrawn from those we care about and that care about us.  Unlike some other handicaps, however, low self esteem can be managed, and you can turn your life around into the way that you want it to be.  The best way to treat low self esteem is to first recognize its signs, and then to pin point and eliminate its causes.  So let’s take a look at some of its signs and causes so that you can move on to raise yourself up from your lowest moments.

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Signs of Low Self Esteem

Signs of low self esteem are not flaws, nor are they anything that will remain permanent.  If you are exhibiting any of these signs, it is important to remember that they are simply reactions to pain or emotional discomfort that you are feeling.  People who have low self esteem are generally:

  • Indecisive: They are unable to make decision and will freeze when having to make a choice.  Most of the time this is because they are simply afraid of hurting others or themselves.
  • Fake:  Not in a bad way, but people with self esteem are afraid and ashamed of showing their true colors because they are under the impression that they are not good enough for the world.
  • Denying of praise:  When praised, individuals with low self esteem will argue against any praise, take praise as an insult, or be deflective towards kind words.
  • Give up easily:  People with low self esteem always believe that they will fail, so they give up before they even give themselves a long enough chance to try.
  • Cannot live in the present:  They tend to stay stuck on the past or continually look towards the future and develop illusions in their minds.
  • Aim low:  In such a way that they will always predict their own failure, so they will set low expectations for themselves in effort to not disappoint.
  • Compare:  Individuals with low self esteem love to compare themselves to others – especially in unfair ways.  They do this to try to make the point that they are always lesser than someone else.

Causes of Low Self Esteem

While it is different for each individual, here are a few prime situations that can cause feelings of low self esteem to manifest and grow in a person.  By recognizing these, it will be easier to eliminate the causes and move on towards methods of improving self esteem.

  • Criticizing Authority Figures:  If you grew up being constantly told that you were not good enough, or being compared to others, then how were you supposed to develop your own personality and see yourself in a positive light.  When we are constantly criticized or disapproved of, then it can be tough to develop and feel comfortable in your own skin.
  • Uninvolved Caregivers:  It is tough to motivate yourself and feel good about yourself when you are younger if the people who are supposed to take care of you and give you support and love are simply not present.  If your parents or family members did not notice or acknowledge your achievements, then it is easy to feel unimportant or unacknowledged.
  • Bullying: It is not uncommon to be bullied at one point of another when growing up, but it is not common to be able to retreat to a home or parents who will help you up from situations such as bullying and take steps to ensure that you are safe.  If you were bullied and felt lost or abandoned, then it is easy to feel hopeless or emotionally damaged.
  • Fighting Parents:  If you grew up in a household with authority figures or parents who openly argued and fought with each other, then it is likely that you yourself absorbed these negative emotions.  Having people who you are supposed to look up to in constant conflict can lead to feelings of constant fear, guilt, and abandonment that will result in a tainted or disrupted adulthood.
  • Academic Struggles:  It can be easy to develop a low self esteem if you feel like you do not understand something.  If you feel scared to ask for help, then this cycle can continue and you can drop farther and farther behind in your studies.  All of this can result in a low self esteem of not being able to utilize others and ask for help when you need it.
  • Trauma:  Trauma such as sexual, physical, or emotional abuse are the most common and strong causes of low self esteem.  People who experience these unfortunate occurrences can feel like they are to blame and suppress any emotions without knowing how to talk effectively to others about their problems.

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How to Overcome Low Self Esteem

Despite its strong symptoms and emotionally debilitating causes, low self esteem can be reversed!  Here are some great things you can try at home or in an online course with others to fight those feelings that are weighing you down:

  1. Stop Negativity:  Again, your harshest critic is going to be yourself.  And if you suffer from low self esteem, it is important that you are aware of any negative self thought and stop it.  Everyone makes mistakes, and we all suffer from failures.  The best thing that we can do is to not beat ourselves up about it, but instead, learn from our experiences and failure.
  2. Stop Comparing:  Every person is unique, and most people who have low self esteem can easily fall into the trap of comparing themselves to others.  Remember that everyone is living their own lives and there are qualities in yourself that are unique to anyone else’s’.
  3. Respect Yourself:  You have to love yourself before anyone else can love and respect you properly.  No matter how you look or what stage of life you are in, it is important to accept who you are both physically and mentally.

Improve Your Attitude for Yourself

Low self esteem is exhausting and crippling, but as we will remind you again, it is not uncommon.  Learn how to recognize its symptoms in yourself and accept some of its causes that you might be dealing with.  By eliminating these other facts, and trying out a course on how to achieve optimum self esteem for life, you will be on your way to a healthy and balanced lifestyle.