A common assumption is that self-esteem and self-confidence are the same things. However, although self confidence is related to self esteem, they are not the same. Self-confident people may also suffer from low self-esteem, and this can be seen by the vast number of actors, celebrities and public figures that appear to be overflowing with self-confidence, yet totally lack self-esteem when away from the media or when they’re not performing. Unfortunately low self-esteem is extremely common in today’s society and individuals can often struggle to find their sense of worth in the world.
What is self-esteem?
Self esteem is commonly defined as how an individual “estimates” himself or herself. Those who find it hard to answer ‘yes’ to questions such as ‘do I like myself’ or ‘do I deserve to be happy’ are often suffering from a lack of self esteem. Most people do experience low self-esteem at some point in their life, if they lose their job for example, but they also experience high self-esteem at other points, such as when they successfully complete a challenge. Those who do not bounce back from low levels of self-esteem and constantly think negatively about themselves may be suffering from chronic low self-esteem.
Signs of low self-esteem
- Feeling hopeless or depressed
- Feeling bored with life
- Having no motivation
- Thinking there’s nothing to look forward to
- Thinking negatively about yourself
- Feeling tired a lot of the time
- Feeling like a failure
- Wishing your life was better.
Causes of low self esteem
There are a number of factors thought to influence levels of self-esteem:
- Our own natural personality can affect our self-esteem, as can the messages we receive from others around us about how we should act and feel.
- Our family and our early years are strong influences on how our self esteem developed.
- How an individual develops their self-esteem through adolescence often has an impact on their future levels.
- Altering levels of self esteem has to be actively sought by the individual themselves and can’t be ‘given’ to them.
Help for low self esteem
Taking care of your physical health, reducing stress levels and exercising can all help towards building self-esteem? Sometimes keeping a diary to explore negative memories may help you to relate to how these are causing you distress now. Dance, music, creative writing and painting are also thought to increase our self-esteem, helping us to find a sense of empowerment.
Counselling and hypnotherapy are useful therapies for those suffering from low self-esteem. Hypnotherapy seeks to discover the root cause of low self-esteem and use the power of suggestion to create more positive thought patterns. Reprogramming your beliefs can lead to an increase in self-esteem and help you to overcome negative thinking patterns.