Do you suffer from low self-esteem and wonder about the source of your feelings of inadequacy? There are many potential sources of low self-esteem. It has been said that we spend the last 60 years of life recovering from the first 18. In many cases, the first 18 years of life give our self-esteem a beating. Adults aren’t immune from self-esteem issues either.
Increasing your self-esteem will enrich your life in countless ways. Your social life, finances, and happiness can all grow.
Determine the cause of your self-esteem challenges:
- Peers. This is especially true during the school-age years, but can apply to adults as well. It’s natural to want to be respected and liked by one’s peers. Bullying, teasing, and other social-related issues can result in a loss of self-esteem.
- Family. Some parents just aren’t nice people. Unsupportive, critical parents or other family members can harm a child’s self-esteem. This can be then be carried into adulthood. If your parents were less than spectacular, remember that you’re not alone.
- Previous mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, but some people forgive themselves more easily than others. The past is over. Look forward to new experiences.
- Negative recurring thoughts. Negative thought patterns over years and decades can create a negative self-image. That’s why it’s so important to say positive things to yourself. Avoid underestimating the power of your thoughts.
- Failure. Whether you failed to win the big game or land the big client, any perceived failure can result in a loss of confidence and self-esteem. Reframe how you view failure. Learn from your undesirable results. Only get upset with yourself if you continue to fail in the same manner. Change your approach if it isn’t working.
- Unreasonable goals. Goals that are too big lead to failure. Ensure that your goals are challenging, but within reason for you. Getting too carried away increases the likelihood of a negative outcome and poor self-esteem.
- Body Image. Society judges people based on appearances. You might be doing the same to yourself. Strive to move your body toward a healthy ideal, but accept that everyone is shaped differently and change can take time. Females are more likely to suffer from body image issues, but males can also face challenges.
- Trauma. Trauma can take many forms: sexual, physical, or emotional. Any of these can result in low self-esteem. If you’re suffering from the results of traumatic experiences, getting professional help can be a wise decision.
- Poor academic performance. School has a social component, but it’s supposed to be about the academics. Poor grades can be viewed as failing the purpose of attending school in the first place. Ensure that your child has the academic support they need to be successful.
- Media. Media puts forth images of success and beauty that are out of reach for the average person. It doesn’t help that many of those images are manufactured and inaccurate. Holding yourself to an unreasonable standard causes you to feel bad about yourself. If you must compare yourself to someone, use a reasonable frame of reference.
Low self-esteem is a common issue. Understanding the cause of your low opinion of yourself can help to determine the solution. Everyone deals with low self-esteem days. But suffering from low self-esteem over a long period of time can lead to depression. Examine your past and find the source of your negative self-image.
Develop a plan for changing your feelings about yourself. Focus on the positive and let go of the past.