What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves.
When we have healthy self-esteem, we tend to feel positive about ourselves and about life in general. It makes us able to deal with life’s ups and downs better.
When our self-esteem is low, we tend to see ourselves and our life in a more negative and critical light. We also feel less able to take on the challenges life throws at us.
What causes low self-esteem?
Low self-esteem often begins in childhood. Teachers, friends, siblings, parents, and even the media send us messages about ourselves, both positive and negative. For some reason, the message that you are not good enough is the one that stays with you.
Perhaps you found it difficult to live up to other people’s expectations of you, or to your own expectations.
Stress and difficult life events, such as serious illness or a bereavement, can have a negative effect on self-esteem.
Personality can also play a part. Some people are just more prone to negative thinking, while others set impossibly high standards for themselves.
How does low self-esteem affect us?
If you have low self-esteem or confidence, you may hide yourself away from social situations, stop trying new things and avoid things you find challenging.
Living with low self-esteem can harm your mental health, leading to problems like depression and anxiety.