Challenges to Self-Esteem
There are too many situations or experiences that could be a determining factor in self-esteem issues. Low self-esteem can result from violence or neglect, disapproving authority figures, perception of failing to meet standards or expectations, bullying, prejudices from social groups, trauma, and not feeling as though one fits with the rest of society.
Low self-esteem can negatively impact the various areas of a person’s life. Not only will someone with low self-esteem beat themselves up for every perceived or actual mistake they make, but they may allow others to do the same to them.
Low self-esteem can affect our relationships with others. It can distort our perceptions of our family, partner and friends, leading to unhealthy and dysfunctional relationships. You may feel that you are constantly losing people in your life. Low self-esteem can fuel arguments and jealousy or can make a person feel rejected all the time.
People with low self-esteem do not take any chances on new projects in case of an undesirable outcome. Opportunities go to waste, which could lead to a person feeling stuck all the time.
Through my practice, I often work with clients with self-esteem issues. To an extent or nature, most people experience low self-esteem at some stage in their lives. It is not a reflection of someone’s lack of resilience or strength to confront challenges. It is a negative view of themselves that accumulates over a lifetime. Every experience builds a layer upon layer that can strengthen our negative experiences and perspective of ourselves and the world. This means if our experiences continue to tell us that we are not good enough or we surround ourselves with bullies, there is a possibility that we will develop low self-esteem.
Unhelpful statements include “you’ll be fine, it’s just a stage you’re going through” or “just be positive, life isn’t that bad”, or “others have it worse off than you”.
It is statements like these that frustrate me. It ignores the person’s real experiences that have led them to develop low self-esteem in the first place. People can not simply be positive overnight or pretend things. People can pretend things are OK, but this is not sustainable. There are clearly issues that need to be addressed on a deeper level. Even constant reassurance that life will be OK is not generally enough to override a long-term history of low self-esteem.
While it is difficult to control what happens externally, we can control how we perceive the negative information and learn how to cope and respond better than we have in the past.
What is helpful?
PSYCH-K can help with gaining a stronger sense of self. People can learn all kinds of skills with PSYCH-K, such as being more assertive and confident. PSYCH-K can contribute to establishing self-belief, value and awareness. It can also assist by addressing the emotions that emerge from low self-esteem. By not internalising every piece of unhelpful information, you can learn to brush off negativity easier.
Believe you deserve more out of life and stop devaluing yourself. Instead of hoping low self-esteem will go away by itself, you need to acknowledge that it is a problem and then take the first step to seek support.
Stop being afraid of change. Sometimes people find comfort in staying how they are, even with low self-esteem. Fortunately, you can change your life. Once you are over the hump, it only gets easier. Putting in the effort at the beginning of any new process will have beneficial lifelong outcomes.
Stop worrying and caring what others think of you and start living your own life.
Stop struggling. Start living. Experience change.