“Self-esteem” is your opinion of yourself. Having high self-esteem gives you hope and the confidence to move forward, along with giving you the acknowledgment of how to love yourself, where having low self-esteem is the opposite. It is the cause of feeling guilt and making yourself less worthy of simply anything and adopting all the negative thoughts you may have. Everyone lacks confidence occasionally, but people with low self-esteem are unhappy or unsatisfied with themselves most of the time. And it's okay to feel this way. There's no human existing on the planet who hasn't gone through low self-esteem. What matters is to overcome this feeling of negativity.
At some point, we all have faced this self-looting and maybe now it's your turn to face it and turn the page to write a new chapter about your life by starting over. I know it can and will be hard, but in the end, it'll be worth it. What if it's a way to make you stronger? Maybe it's meant for you to control your feelings and help you to move forward with more energy and fearlessness to face the world. You may take the world as a cruel place and think that you don't fit in this world with the people around you. Maybe they're more talented than you, stronger than you, or maybe they're something that you're not. So, what if you're not like them? It's not the rule of the world that you have to be perfect. Everyone is different in their personalities, including you. You're also more desperate than others. Only you know your true value and your true self. Low self-esteem has always been a hard contrivance to deal with, and it's obvious to tend to give up all your hopes at once. But I request one thing while you're reading this article: read it with an open mind. Don't impose self-limiting beliefs on yourself.
You might feel a little muddled at this point. So I am here to open your mind while helping you find out what damage it may cause and how to get over it and grow your self-love.
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is a positive or negative orientation toward oneself; an overall evaluation of one's worth or value. People are motivated to have high self-esteem, and having it indicates positive self-regard, not egotism. Besides, self-esteem, self-efficacy or mastery, and self-identity are important parts of the self-concept.
Liking ourselves, having high self-esteem is what we tend to obtain. It's crucial to any feeling of well-being. What's all then is just how unpredictable the allocation of esteem often turns out to be. There are people with modest jobs, unspectacular bodies, and unglamorous friends, but confidently, nevertheless, they claim to have a high level of self-esteem. They seem to like themselves, despite the absence of any vigorous signs of approval from the world at large. And then there are others, for whom, no amount of achievement, prestige, and financial security ever seems to do the trick. They anxiously just stare and criticize themselves, always feeling that they are underperformed and never quite trusting what they truly deserve to exist. Having sound levels of self-esteem, ultimately, it appears to have precious little to do without hitting any verifiable benchmarks. It seems connected with a stranger, more internal, more subjective kind of logic with factors immune to standard notions of achievement.
Now that you've learned about the meaning and difference between high and low self-esteem, so let's talk about something more concrete and how to get to the solution to it.
What causes self-loathing?
Low self-esteem is something that is seen by people around the globe, but it is most common among teenagers. Living in a world where social communication is the norm, makes it a little hard for people not to get addicted to it. I mean, I'm not complaining that it's bad, but everything has its limitations. As important as social media can be, it can also be a huge addiction and harmful to our mental health. Addiction isn't good and being addicted to social media is worse.
While you scroll through Instagram or Facebook, you may see many posts about models, your friends, or a person you know showing how perfect their lives are. While you're going through your phone, looking as if you could replace your lives with them or if your life could get any better. But here's a thing, people can pretend well. They can show how perfect they are, but when you go and have a glance at their real life, only then will you realize that your life is far better than theirs. We always admire the outside view, not even wanting to take a glance at the inside, and that's how we are. But comparing yourself with others is not how it works. Be kind and genuine towards others' happiness and be grateful for what you have now. But if you're willing to work for what you want, what to say that one day you will not be in the same position as they are now? Respect yourself, show gratitude, but don't blame yourself for the situation that you're in. Situations can get out of control sometimes and maybe sometimes are responsible for it, but it can't mean they can't get controlled. Just make the right choice and take control of your life, else let life control you.
Again, some of the many causes of low self-esteem may include:
- Mental illness, such as an anxiety disorder or depression.
- Poor academic performance in school, resulting in low self-esteem.
- Poor behavior from a parent, partner, or not good performance in a career.
- Medical illnesses, such as the chronic neck, obesity, or physical disability.
- Unhappy childhood with extremely critical parents.
Symptoms or characteristics of a low self-esteemed person:
A low-self-esteemed person is extremely crucial to themselves. They always downplay or ignore their positive qualities and always judge themselves to be inferior to their peers. They tend to describe themselves using negative words, i.e. ugly, fat, etc, and have a deep discussion that they are negative and always blame themselves for any issue. Always think that luck plays a great role in their lives and never take credit for it, and again blame themselves when anything goes wrong instead of taking into account other things over which they have no control, such as the actions of other people or other economic forces. And never believe the person who compliments them.
Standard of life with low self-esteem:
Having low self-esteem can reduce the quality of a person's life in many ways. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Self-harming behavior: In this case, people are more likely to harm themselves and others. They tend to take drugs or commit suicide as they think that these will give them relief from their depressing lives.
- Self-resilience: At this point, people find it hard to cope with a challenging life event because they already consider themselves hopeless.
- Lack of self-care: They care about themselves and their lives so little that they drink too much alcohol to get relief from their present stage of life by trying to solve the problem or not even trying to find the reason behind the problem.
- Fear of trying: They may doubt their abilities or worth and just hesitate to give it a chance.
- Fear of judgment: People are most likely to believe that they are what others think of themselves instead of even acknowledging what their true values are.
- Relationship problems: Low self-esteem may turn into being arrogant or even start quarrels or misbehave with others over the simplest issues, which lead them towards having poor relationships.
- Seek perfection: They always seek to be perfect in all respects and always push themselves over their limits of becoming someone else.
Like everything has a cure, escaping from low self-esteem and building self-esteem and self-love are also possible. Building self-esteem is highly relatable to how you behave to yourself and your surrounding things. Some steps may include:
- Talk positively to yourself: Talking positively to yourself can lead you to be motivated and think positively while removing any doubts from your mind. However, research has shown that people with positive self-talk may have mental skills which allow them to solve different critical problems, think differently and effectively.
- Make yourself your main priority: don't think or compare yourself with others. Let yourself know that you're capable of achieving anything that you desire.
- Forgive yourself: Don't blame yourself for the things that may go wrong in life. Believe in yourself and know everything does have a solution, you just need to find it.
- Change the way you think: Look at yourself confidently. Now, if you want to beat the devil inside you, then you have to consider yourself as your main priority and know you're worth everything.
- Use positive affirmations correctly: Positive affirmations like “I am going to be successful” are what should be used correctly. If you already have low self-esteem, then these kinds of words may overwhelm you. So, instead of using "have" or “must”, try saying, “I am going to be preserved until I succeed.”
- Listen to music: As helpful as music can be, it can lead you to feel less depressed and can help you clear your thoughts.
- Self-care: You have to acknowledge the fact that “health is wealth.” Self-care can cause a huge effect on your mental health. If you're truly aware of your health and take care of yourself properly, it can help you to feel control about yourself and helps in mental development.
- Learn to accept compliments: One of the trickiest things is to accept compliments when we don't feel quite confident, even though that is when we most need them. So try taking compliments and using them as fuel to lead yourself forward.
- Seek and share: Looking for help and sharing your feelings with someone can help a lot during these kinds of situations. Try talking and sharing your true feelings with a wise friend who can give you advice or even seeing a therapist can help as well.
A word of advice:
As we grow up, we are likely to face situations that are hard to manage. In this case, dealing with stress is inevitable. But most people end up having contempt. Here you have two options. Either you choose to face it and deal with it or you could just lose all of your self-confidence. Just like we need care, support, and protection, motivation, self-love, and belief are also necessary. The reason why I put the word 'believe' so much is that, without believing in yourself, you can never move forward. If you think that you're the only person who is going through low self-esteem, then you're wrong. Let's take for an example, what do you think that Elon Musk was going through while starting SpaceX? Was he feeling discouraged? Yes. Was he feeling low self-looking? Yes. But did he give up? No. It's hard to feel motivated all the time, especially after tons of trying to fit in. At some point, he felt unconfident, but the reason why he became one of the most successful businessmen in the world is that he believed in himself. He believed that he was capable of achieving success, and so he did. The belief led him away and made him try again and again until he became successful. You see, it's appropriate to feel low, but if you lose hope and think you are incapable of achieving a particular thing or success, then that's the biggest mistake you make. We make mistakes, and it's absolutely fine to make them. It just matters that you learn from them. But that doesn't mean you have to blame or hate yourself. That's why I encourage you to believe in yourself and you'll see things are going to be a lot better.