Low Self-Esteem: How To Be More Confident (Self-Esteem Definition)

by Zara Mohammed, Lifestyle Columnist

Published in Lifestyle on 17th April, 2019

Low Self Esteem - What is it?

If you are a person with a low self-esteem you are probably lacking in self-confidence. Perhaps you beat yourself up because you don't feel you are good enough, or you don't believe you're capable. Maybe you make bad choices because you don't value yourself like other people do.

self esteem

If you don't feel as attractive as other people, your insecurities may be having a negative impact on your life, meaning that you are not able to live up to your full potential.

In extreme cases these feelings can lead to more serious issues like eating disorders, destructive behavioural patterns, depression, and suicidal thoughts. They have also been linked to personality disorders.

Common Characteristics of People with Low Self-Esteem:

  • Feeling unloved or unwanted
  • Feeling awkward or incompetent
  • Feeling self conscious or insecure
  • Not putting yourself first
  • Feeling unattractive
  • Negative thoughts
  • Feeling low
  • Low expectations of and for yourself
  • Find it difficult to take a compliment
  • Finding it difficult to socialise

If you feel any of these things on a regular basis and it is affecting your life, your relationships or your career, you should seek professional help. A good first step is to visit your GP and explain to them what you are experiencing.

They will be able to put you on the road to getting the extra help you might need.

What Causes Low Self-Esteem?

Low self-esteem is often caused by triggered emotions, which are deeply set into the subconscious, and can stem from early experiences in childhood or adolescence that have made you feel worthless, unloved, abandoned or insecure.

The feelings you experience are not always based on real things in the present moment, but may be fabricated in your sensitive imagination, linking to powerful negative emotions that you have experienced previously in your life.

low self esteem

For example, you may feel that your partner doesn't love or want you enough, and this may not be the case, but your emotions are being triggered by the way you interpret the present situation and how you link that information back to how you have felt in the past in similar situations.

A low self-esteem can be linked to all kinds of things. Here are some examples to show where a low self-esteem could potentially stem from.

  • Parental Negligence (inadequate support, guidance, love, devaluation)
  • Negative Peers (lack of respect, pressure, bullying, devaluation)
  • Trauma (physical, emotional or sexual abuse, triggering shame or guilt)
  • Body Image (a significant contributor to problems with self-esteem)
  • Small Fish, Big Pond (Feeling powerless, worthless or ineffective)
  • Unrealistic Goals (pressure, high expectations, fear of failure)
  • Previous Bad Choices (pattern of bad decision-making)
  • Negative Thought Patterns (A habit that leads to feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness)

What You Can Do To Improve Your Self Esteem

It may not always feel like it, but there is always something you can do to change the way that you feel or make your life more manageable, even if you think that this is just a part of who you are.

Sometimes you may need the support of your friends and family, some people may need the professional help of a therapist to aid them in changing their thought processes and behaviour patterns.

If you feel that your problem is too difficult for you to approach resolving on your own, there is no shame in reaching out for help. Talking about what you are experiencing, and listening to things from other people's perspectives can be a game-changer.

If you want to change the way that you feel about yourself, congratulations, because you have already taken the first step - and that is to start educating yourself.

self esteem improve

The more information you have about what you are going through the easier it will be for you to understand where your thoughts, feelings and behaviours are coming from, and how to control or adapt them.

The next step is to figure out whether you feel you need professional help, or who in your life there is that you can reach out to for support.

Here is a list of some people that may be able to offer you some support, or help you to find the courage to make changes in your life:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Colleagues
  • Your Boss
  • Your GP
  • Your Priest or other Religious Guidance Figure
  • Youtube, Blogs, Online Forums
  • Helplines

Talking about how you feel to someone who is able to properly listen and offer helpful advice is the most effective way to help you overcome your low self-esteem. It is important however, to choose the right person.

Deal With How You Feel By Keeping a Journal

Recording your thoughts and feelings can be a useful way to remove negative thoughts from your head and stop them from escalating into destructive behaviour.

Journaling also gives you the opportunity to reflect on what you have written and start to think more objectively and positively about what you might be going through.

Create a habit to use your journal in two ways. Firstly allow yourself to vent and use your journal as a brain dump. It's healthy to have an outlet to express yourself in the moment, and if you don't have anyone to talk to, journaling is the next best thing.

self esteem

But then make sure that once you have calmed down or detached yourself from the present situation that you go back to your journal and reflect on what you have written in a constructive way.

Try to think of solutions and be proactive, as these are the types of behaviours that will empower you to take control over how you think and how you react to your emotions.

Empowering Tips To Help You Improve Your Confidence

There are countless small things that you can do to help increase your self-confidence, and these small things can add up to make a big difference in your life. Here are a few ideas. Take a look and see if there is something that you might like to try today!

Talk To Yourself

Did you know that talking to yourself can make you smarter, improve your memory, help you to focus, and even help you to perform better? I know it sounds a bit odd, and you may even feel a bit odd if you try it, but just think of it as self-therapy and do it when there is nobody around to hear you.

A great time to talk to yourself is during an activity, like while you are washing the dishes, having a bath, or walking. You can pretend you are talking to someone if that feels more natural, like God or a dead relative.

I like to talk to my dog because she's a great listener. Don't forget to keep your conversation on a positive note, because the way you talk to yourself influences your neurobiological response to the topic you are talking about, which is why affirmations can be so effective.

Face Your Fears

When you overcome something that has been holding you back it is empowering and will give you even more courage to do other things that you may never have thought you would do.

It's a bit like a chain reaction. So start with something small and then move onto to the things that really challenge you.

self esteem fears

When you look fear in the eye and are able to hardly bat an eyelid, you may start to think a little differently of yourself, and so will all the people around you. Who knows, you could even become someone's role model in life... now that would be a self-esteem booster.

Think Positively

I know that sometimes this is easier said than done, but I promise you that the more you do it the easier it will become.

And this is because you will be training your brain to respond in a positive, proactive, and constructive way. Once you start thinking positively, all of your fears and problems will soon become welcome challenges and adventures.

The next time you doubt yourself, try to imagine what the positive outcome could be. And the next time something awful happens, don't worry about who is to blame, just look for the silver lining. There is always a silver lining.

Pamper Yourself On A Regular Basis

The more you make time to treat yourself like royalty, the more you will realise how beautiful you are. You are worth it, and you can show yourself that by indulging in things that make you feel good, often!

Be Kind, Generous & Show Empathy To Others

When you do things to help others it automatically makes you feel good about yourself because you are displaying the strengths of your personality.

And when people show their appreciation you will feel an inner glow - that is your self-esteem, it is making you feel more confident and happy about yourself. Try to consciously do something for someone else every single day, and you will start feeling your confidence soar in no time.

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