Self-esteem is an essential tool all humans need in order to function.
Self-esteem is your emotional evaluation of how you feel about who you are, how much you like you and the approval of who you are. Your self-esteem is developed over time. Everyone in your life (parents, relatives, friends, coworkers, partners, teachers) and your life experiences (good or bad) have contributed to and affected your level of self-esteem.
These same contributing factors that develop your self-esteem can also be the root cause of low self-esteem. Low self-esteem doesn’t just happen. It’s normally a mixture of too much of this combined with too little of that, that ends up giving up a poor scorecard starting from childhood.
If you are suffering with low self-esteem, your experiences in toxic environments, abusive relationships along with abandonment played a huge part in measuring you level of worth.
Self-esteem is all about how you feel about who you are, and how comfortable you are in your own skin. Low self-esteem means you are giving yourself a low evaluation. The word “esteem” originates from the Latin aestimare” meaning ‘to estimate’ or “appraise’. You may be nursing some bad experiences such as abuse or abandonment.
Common Factors that Impact Self-esteem
Constant negative validation and punishment
Lack of praise, warmth and affection
Frequently being ignored, neglected or rejected
Ongoing physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse
Being bullied, harshly criticized, or teased
Your past experiences impact your life today. That critical harsh voice from your childhood still delivers messages to you of not being good enough. Low self-esteem can go unrecognized. Below is a list of seven faces of low self-esteem to look for.
Doubter - You have a pattern of regular uncertainty and judgment about yourself.
Potential issues: You deprive yourself of credit in fear of being arrogant or
bragging. Sometimes you don’t perform at your best because you doubt yourself.
Approval Seeker - You operate out of a fear of rejection and constantly look for
approval from friends, family and co-workers.
Potential issues: You are unable to self-validate. You put the opinions and feedback of others over your own. You have trouble recognizing your success and feeling good enough.
Shyness - You are typically unassertive in your behavior with others.
Potential issues: You have poor relationships and suffer with loneliness. You even self sabotage relationships to prevent closeness.
Victim - You blame yourself, often think everything is your fault.
Potential issues: You believe people are intentionally trying to hurt you, you feel powerless, and targeted for mistreatment.
Procrastinator - You have a tendency not to act. You become stuck and immobilized because you have a fear of failure.
Potential issues: You miss good opportunities, you miss deadlines, and damage your reputation.
Caregiver - You fulfill roles in your family dynamics that are
counter-productive and co-dependent.
Potential issues: Your needs go unmet and you put yourself last. You have a low level of narcissism and depend on being needed
Non-receiver - You are unable to make an honest assessment of your strengths, qualities, and good points; you find it difficult to accept compliments or recognition from others because you second guess the intentions of others.
Potential issues: You feel undeserving of good things yet envious and jealous of others. You turn down gifts. You blow off or become defensive when complimented and push people away.
Your self-esteem was developed in your early years but probably doesn’t serve you very well if you’re suffering with low self-esteem. But you build it up. On the other, not taking action to improve your self-esteem puts you at risk of building on those original bad experiences and compounding them. In the long run this will create more suffering and put you in a cycle of growing negativity that can lead to other self-destructive behaviors.