Low self-esteem in adults can be a very limiting factor to their enjoyment of life and can also hold a person back from succeeding in all areas of their life.
A person can develop a low opinion of themselves in a few different ways, but it is often due to their upbringing or a relationship. Abuse can trigger low self-esteem because the abuser often puts down the victim as part of asserting their emotional control over them.
When you look into the mirror, what do you see? Do you struggle to look past your failings? Do you consistently feel like you don’t measure up when compared to others? Are you preoccupied by concerns that, if other people really knew you, they most certainly would not like you? Self-esteem issues can turn you from a vibrant, happy, productive member of society into a bitter, self-loathing pessimist. Your self-esteem affects everything you do because it determines what you think you can do. And, of course, people are much more likely to succeed when they think they can do something! Three Seas offers comprehensive counselling for people struggling with an array of self-esteem issues. WE can help you finally feel good about the person you see looking back when you glance in the mirror.
It’s easy to write self-esteem off as a trivial matter, but a positive self-image is anything but. Self-esteem touches virtually every component of our lives. Why? Because people who have faith in their own abilities are more likely to persist in the face of difficulty. And of course, the willingness to keep going increases your chances of success and boosts your confidence in yourself.
For children self-esteem is even more important. Positive self-esteem is correlated with everything from a reduced risk of using drugs to a better chance at graduating high school. Positive self-esteem may even help you live longer! Sadly, people with low self-esteem often think they don’t’ deserve to feel any better, but this is simply untrue. Everyone deserves to feel good about himself or herself, and the right counselling intervention can help you adopt a healthier approach to your self-image.
What is Healthy Self-Esteem?
Some clients come into our offices worried that increasing their self-esteem will turn them into narcissistic megalomaniacs. But healthy self-esteem is about self-acceptance, not self-aggrandisement. People with healthy self-esteem believe that they have inherent worth. They’re confident that with hard work they can accomplish their goals, but they’re also not delusional about their abilities. When they experience setbacks, they may be disappointed, but they rely on themselves to get back to the drawing board and work harder and smarter next time.
In other words, healthy self-esteem isn’t about thinking you’re the best at everything. Instead, it’s about accepting yourself, practicing self-reliance, and resilience in the face of setbacks. While low self-esteem makes life worse and offers you nothing of value, healthy self-esteem enables you to thrive even in difficult circumstances.
Signs of Self-Esteem Issues
One of the cruel ironies of low self-esteem is that many people with self-esteem problems actually believe they deserve to feel badly about themselves! But feeling badly about yourself only harms you; no one deserves this suffering. Some signs you may be struggling with low self-esteem include:
- A chronic sense of shame, guilt, or embarrassment
- Believing that you deserve for bad things to happen to you
- Difficulty accepting help
- Poor body image
- Suicidal thoughts and feelings
- Isolation and loneliness
- Difficulty accepting criticism
- Difficulty making or keeping friendships
- Lying to cover up your failings
- Believing that you do not have the power to make your life better
- You feel envious of others
- You think your life is worse than just about everyone else’s
- You think everyone else is better at most things than you are
How Therapy Helps
Low self-esteem is often the product of a lifetime of pain. From failed relationships to childhood bullying, myriad factors can convince you that you’re simply unworthy. Oftentimes the negative thoughts you repeat to yourself, the false narratives of failure you contemplate over and over, and your willingness to believe the bad things other people say about you play a role.
At Three Seas Counselling, we unpack these false negative beliefs. We know everyone has value, and we diligently work to help you uncover your own value. We offer you healthy coping skills, tools for addressing automatic negative self-talk, and the safety of a non judgmental space where you can share freely. You don’t have to suffer with low self-esteem forever. Indeed, you may find your life totally transformed after just a few counselling sessions.
Symptoms of low self-esteem which you may recognise in yourself or others include, but are not limited to:
- Self-deprecation and not putting yourself first
- Socially withdrawing
- Trouble accepting compliments
- Feeling anxious
- A drop in self-confidence.
- Dwelling on the negative in oneself
- Exaggerated concern for other people’s opinions
- Treating yourself poorly
- Worrying that you have treated others badly
- Avoiding challenges
- Lack of trust in your own opinion
- Expecting a bad life for yourself
You can’t make someone believe they are better by duress. Professional counselling from a psychologist is one of the only ways to break through this negative thought process and often rigidly held belief system.