Low Self-esteem and Rising Above It
Low self esteem is a crippling plague that affects more unknowing individuals than most people realize. It could be your boss, your friend, your partner and it could even be you; people with low self-confidence are rampant in today's society, living their seemingly normal lives while quietly dying inside from self-loathing and dissatisfaction with life.
Self-esteem, in its shortest definition, is a person's judgment of himself. It can also be referred to as how much a person respects himself as well as the value that he places upon himself.
The most common symptoms of low self esteem include:
- They often experience guilt and constant self-deprecation and sensitivity to criticism.
- Individuals with little self-confidence are often those who tend to dwell on their failures.
- These people devalue their successes and are in a relentless pursuit for approval, acceptance and reassurance from others.
- Other common symptoms of low self-respect include inferiority, submissiveness and inability to create and trust one's own decisions; people who possess low self-confidence tend to rely too much on others when it comes to making valuable choices not only because they doubt themselves but also because they seek to flee the consequences of making the wrong decisions for fear that they may be incapable of handling it.
- People who have poor self-respect are often those who manifest self-destructive behavior and indulge in addictive habits from alcohol addiction to drug dependence to binge eating; they resort to such activities with the purpose of escaping their unhappiness by attaining instant gratification which is unfortunately only temporary.
One may wonder, isn't it normal to doubt oneself from time to time? Does wanting to be loved and accepted by others necessarily mean that one has low self-confidence?. The fact is that everyone occasionally experiences having feelings of inadequacies be it with their physical appearance or their abilities; the truth is, one would be lying if he says that he never once dared to compare himself with another person.
Lack of faith in oneself becomes a problem when it begins to affect a person's function in the society and when it hinders one from achieving their goals in life, experiencing happiness and forming normal healthy relationships with other people.
The causes of low self-love can be quite extensive; it could be:
- a tough childhood
- an abusive relationship
- failures in the past
- a lack of support system
The root of low self-confidence may be a result of one's environment or a traumatic experience that one may directly or indirectly be aware of; regardless of the case, it is important to know that all of the lows in a person's life, including low self-confidence, is controlled only by oneself.
The first step into rising above poor self-appreciation is to realize that there is no other person that can make one feel badly about himself except for himself.
- One needs to take on a more positive view in things and achieve a completely different mindset.
- Easier said than done?. The first task can be made significantly lighter by accepting that changes do not happen overnight and that one does not live in a perfect world and thus, doesn't need to be perfect either
- One needs to stop overestimating other people and envying their success and start acknowledging and rewarding oneself for one's accomplishments, no matter how small.
- Part of the solution is to also let go of the past; one needs to remember that the only reason why a bad feeling or memory is still there is only because one is thinking about it, hence, one has to commit to a fresh start, setting one's eyes forward and not turning back.
- Lastly, it is important to remind oneself that one can actually handpick their own friends; surrounding oneself with optimistic companions who genuinely care for them and getting rid of negative-thinkers in one's social circles is one of the best things that a person can do for himself.
Low self-esteem is a contagious, chronic, debilitating condition that's worse than any physical disease as it attacks a person to his very core and bring about irreversible damages to his quality of life; the ability to rise above it will enable one to experience the privilege that all people are equally born with, and that's the right to happiness and freedom.