8 Signs of Low Self Esteem video
When we don't develop a concrete sense of self-worth, we can end up with problems that follow us through the years. Low self-esteem can cause great inconvenience when it comes to wanting to achieve what we want , and many times it can prevent us from reaching the potential that we really have to offer; This article will try to address the main causes of low self-esteem , as well as the solutions to get over ourselves.
Having a negative opinion of oneself has a detrimental impact on the various areas of a person's life: academic and sports performance, the achievement of personal and work goals, emotional, relational and social life can be affected by the loss self esteem .
Where does our self-esteem come from?
The opinion, body image or judgment we have of ourselves is formed in early childhood and is confirmed during adolescence.
In childhood, a child's mind is malleable and easily impressionable, and it is unable to discern what is right from what is wrong. You experience, interpret, and internalize events, and in relation to your specific experience and temperament, a concept can be formed as good or bad.
On the one hand, there are contextual factors, the environment in which they are educated and the role that parents play, and on the other hand there is their "choice" when reacting to what happens around them, this defines their identity. In addition to this, the age at which these experiences are experienced and the duration of these lead to different results in people who have grown up in similar situations.
10 causes of low self-esteem
The low self - esteem is undoubtedly determined by experience "strong" , such as punitive, lack of recognition, neglect and emotional neglect regarding the primary needs of the child as well as physical, psychological and emotional needs, experiences of abandonment and loneliness. These are some of the main causes of low self-esteem:
1. Lack of affection
When a child grows up in a family context lacking in love and affectionate gestures, when these are cold, intolerant, punitive, with an inability to comfort, recognize and satisfy the emotional and physical needs of the child.
Those who experience an early sense of abandonment and lack will learn not to trust, as adults, to form an avoidant type of attachment for fear of experiencing abandonment again. These experiences in which warmth and empathy are lacking lead to difficulties in relationships, insecurity, introversion, and avoiding "intimate" relationships.
2. Too critical
A child raised in an upbringing devoid of recognition, where criticism and constant lack of courage are prioritized , will become convinced that he is incapable and will not develop confidence in himself and his abilities.
The constant focus on his shortcomings, and indirectly convincing him that he is not capable instead of recognizing him for his abilities and personal qualities, will lead him to doubt himself: he will learn to move always doubting himself, and he will not know more than awkwardly coping with others, showing low self-esteem and self-insecurity.
Some parents may have expectations of their child already during pregnancy. When the child does not represent what the father or mother imagined, the child may warn, even indirectly, that she cannot make her parents happy, it will be seen as a disappointment and she will feel rejected.
This also happens when parents try to influence their child to become their extension, a means to achieve their personal goals. To earn family love, it is common for the unconscious decision to be to please them at the expense of themselves and their desires to feel accepted and loved.
Even comparison with others, especially older siblings who have obviously already developed better skills and competencies, can make a child feel "inferior" and lose self-confidence, which results in low self-esteem .
Each child has his own developmental time and predisposition for some areas of interest rather than others (emphasizing diversity through comparison makes no sense in adulthood, much less in the developmental stage).
5. Physical appearance
Adolescence is the time for physical changes and confrontation with peers. Some children develop earlier than others and in a more harmonious way, while for others change is slower and is experienced with pain or dissatisfaction.
It can be difficult to accept your own physical change, to recognize yourself in the body, especially when a defined structure has not yet been assumed. There are guys who feel "different", "ugly" and for this reason they cannot integrate, they do not like themselves or feel attractive.
This experience determines a deep feeling of inferiority that adds to the instability of the mood typical of age. The effects are isolation, relegation to our own world made of negative thoughts about ourselves.
6. Episodes of bullying and social exclusion
During growth, the group of friends, integration with classmates and belonging to a sports group or any other educational class is important for the identification and development of social skills .
However, it is known that the group may include some by affinity and exclude others. It is often the game of "playing bad" to vent anger at the frustration of age. This means that for some the integration process does not take place, and the adolescent feels like an unwanted " black sheep".
Even harassment by bullies affects the formation of an idea about ourselves. Classmates can be experienced with anxiety, stress, and a real form of depression that goes largely unnoticed by others.
7. Experiences of abuse
Abuse against a child, both physical and mental, always leads the minor to think that he has done something wrong, even if he does not understand what it was, and therefore he gives himself the idea of deserving what happens to him. At a young age, abuse is perpetrated by people who are part of your close circle of trusted people: parents, family friends, relatives (uncles, cousins), neighbors and, less often, strangers.
8. Social and economic disadvantage
Growing up in an economically disadvantaged family can lead to developing an inferiority complex; In some cases, it may also determine the need to seek external factors to compensate for their shortcomings and achieve important positions in society or the idea of being a person on the sidelines, of little value, with no way out, which translates into low self-esteem .
9. Bankruptcy, unemployment, loss of a job
The problems in the workplace lead to discouragement and bouts of depression , both those who are committed to success at work, identifying the work as an important area for personal fulfillment, and for those who feel the responsibility of having They have to take care of the family and, when they are unemployed or see their business fail, they feel incapable and failed.
It can be very discouraging to find yourself faced with unemployment, business failure, degradation, and precariousness. Those who doubt their worth in the face of such stressful events lead to questioning their role in life more generally. The feeling of failure can paralyze the person who, in immobility, can find confirmation of his insufficiency in the role of head of the family that even increases his low self-esteem .
Having recurring and chronic health problems that eliminate serenity and limit freedom of movement also plays a very important role in our self-esteem.
The feelings that can be conceived are: sadness, anger, feeling of injustice, shame. This has an impact on the sense of personal security. Living with people in poor health, especially children who have been hospitalized for a long time, life becomes an uncertainty, where stability is almost absent.
Even the self-esteem of siblings of children with disabilities or chronic diseases can be affected if they feel secondary to their parents, even if they do so unconsciously.
After these experiences, which can even be combined with each other, people develop a pattern of behavior that underlies poor self-esteem.
How is low self-esteem manifested?
The signs of low self-esteem can manifest in different ways, some signs can occur in combination with other disorders or conditions of the individual. As a general rule, the symptoms of poor self-esteem are reflected in the following ways:
- They lack social skills and avoid interacting with others, especially those in "trusting" situations.
- They have sensitivity to criticism and an inability to distinguish between negative judgment and constructive observation.
- They are defensive and barely reveal what they think for fear of being rejected and criticized, or lack assertiveness.
- The style of thinking is hyperanalytic and they live it all with concern.
- They do not trust others and their abilities, they suffer from anticipatory and performance anxiety.
- Being often on guard, they can suffer physical symptoms such as fatigue, headache, neck pain, shoulder pain, and insomnia due to a hyper-controlled, contracted and always rigid posture.
- They often feel worthless, unloved, incompetent; In intimate relationships, they are cautious and seek continued confirmation from the partner. Relationships are destined to fail because they are badly lived due to excessive insecurity and difficulty in trusting.
- They adapt to situations to please people with the idea that this is the only way to keep them close and welcome.
- They have a poor image of their body and their own ways, so they are prone to eating disorders: such as anorexia, bulimia, compulsive eating (binge eating).
It is always advisable to seek professional help when you have the feeling that the situation is out of your control and is preventing the person from living peacefully and confidently in life.
How to improve self-esteem in a practical way?
There are different habits that we can train to improve and achieve high self-esteem , especially in the most difficult days:
1. Put your "inner judge" in his place
We all have an " inner voice " with which we judge and judge ourselves; Usually this voice persuades us that to be on the "right track" we must follow a standard of perfection that is unattainable, but we believe that this way we can gain approval and acceptance from others.
However, this same judge, by demanding us, can also make us feel frustrated and useless. A good starting point to increase self-esteem is to identify what the "inner critic" voice expects, the ideal behind it, and replace it with a more adequate and more humane demand, closer to reality, closer to us. This harmful self-talk consists of destructive thoughts such as:
- You are lazy and careless, it's time to go to work;
- You are not good at all, someone does much better and you will be fired.
- Look at your friends / colleagues / colleagues, you are at a disadvantage compared to them;
There are ways to minimize the critical voice and replace it with more helpful thoughts and reject these negative ideas. For example, when you recognize that you are criticizing, you can mentally "shout" a sentence to stop what you are saying: " stop " or " No, no, no... it's not like that! ".
You can also use a phrase or word to remind yourself that these rumors in your head are not real, but they are certainly destructive if you give them space and weight. The goal is to move negative thoughts toward something constructive .
2. Motivate yourself
To weaken the inner critic or inner judge , make sure not to condition yourself further, try to constantly motivate yourself by writing in a journal the beneficial effects you get and the successes you can achieve, using positive self-talk. For example, you can write the situation you were in, what you were saying to yourself in a negative way, and the word or phrase that gave you encouragement.
Make a daily list of situations in which, instead of being discouraged, you have given yourself encouragement and increased self-confidence. Review the steps you are doing every day. If you find that you are losing motivation, to improve and get back on track, ask yourself if what you are doing is what you really want to do or get.
3. Stop and take time to give yourself a positive touch
You can adopt a new healthy habit every night for a month to stop for a few minutes, take a deep breath, and acknowledge 3 positive things about yourself. The question you should ask yourself is the following: "What did I learn today? You can record the recognitions you make in a diary, on your PC or on your mobile phone.
If at any point you experience depression, you can reread the notes you recorded: listening to a friend, being nice to someone, and being able to complete a task. Writing will allow you to keep track of your abilities. This is important because the critical mind tends to use a "filter" to read the reality of the facts: it highlights the aspects that confirm the negative view we have of ourselves and we devalue or forget the positive aspects that disconcert it.
4. Do what you think is right for you
Don't feel guilty if you have decided to do or not do something. Stop pleasing others if that is not what you want to do. Do what makes you feel good instead of judging yourself or feeling guilty if it makes you feel sorry. You are also important as a person, and your decisions are personal, which has to do with what you want, not with what makes you look good with other people.
5. Let go of perfectionism
Don't pretend to be perfect, this is an impossible request to fulfill because no human being is. If you follow this path, you will probably become paralyzed when you realize that you cannot satisfy this "claim" and you will begin to postpone choices and actions without obtaining any results.
Seeking perfection is the best way to avoid acting. Instead, try to find satisfaction in what you can do, as well as the desired results. If you compare yourself to an ideal, your motivation will be less than your self-esteem. Get rid of the idea of ideal performance and act freely in the best possible way.
Know who you really are
Knowing yourself is the key to unlocking all happiness and self-confidence in the universe. You may feel depressed because you don't realize how much you have to offer. Spend quality time with yourself and explore new activities and points of view that help you expand your perception of yourself.
When our self-esteem takes a hit, it can be easy for us to internalize all the blame and punish ourselves far beyond all that we deserved. Learning how we have changed over the years is a matter of trial and error. It is how we become what we want to be.
Take a quiet moment to get to know yourself and you can find a way to become the person you always wanted to be. Finding our confidence again is not 'easy, but it is enriching.
Overcoming low self-esteem is a gradual process of restructuring that is not always easy, but you always have the possibility of having the support of a psychotherapist to facilitate this process.
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