Dear Diary: Dealing with Low Self Esteem

We’ve all been in situations in the past where we felt inadequate, or couldn’t seem to stop critiquing our own actions. We may see our friends leading happy, confident lives, and feel jealous that things aren’t that easy for us. These are all hallmarks of low self esteem.

At its core, low self esteem is a biased viewpoint that we hold against ourselves. It’s a little voice that tells us we are not as good as the people around us. There are a few ways that you can combat low self esteem in your daily life. Take a look at the list below, and see if you can incorporate some of these helpful strategies into your everyday routine.

How does low self esteem develop?

One could say that self esteem is created when we take what we have heard people say about us and internalize it. It is one aspect of the way we view ourselves. Our self esteem generally develops at a very young age. The viewpoints of our parents, teachers, and friends all inform our self esteem because we hear what they say about us before we’re able to differentiate it from the truth.

By the time we are old enough to realize that what others say about us isn’t always 100% true, we’ve already internalized it. When a person’s internal voice is a negative force in their life, we call that low self esteem.

Suzanne Tucker / Shutterstock;

What situations lead to the development of low self esteem? 

There are key experiences that we have early on in life that inform our self esteem. These experiences are things like making friends, interacting with authority, and other stressful situations. They are hardships that are meant to test us, and the way that we respond to them helps determine our self esteem.

If you are faced again and again with strife or trouble, you may begin to feel like the only connecting factor is you, which causes you to see yourself in a negative light.

Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

What does it feel like?

Having low self esteem is a horrible feeling. It’s as if every negative thing people have said about you gets repeated in your head over and over. You say things to yourself that you would never dream of saying to a loved one or friend because you don’t realize how damaging it truly is.

The longer you live your life with low self esteem, the harder it is to remedy because you become accustomed to living with a biased perspective, which means that you may be more willing to jump to conclusions if it affirms a negative belief about yourself. / Shutterstock
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