Low self esteem is an issue which most individuals face either knowingly or unknowingly,but the simple fact is that low self esteem could be destructive to the individuals daily life. Low self esteem can manifest in children,adolescents and adults alike .It directly depends on all factors that determines the individuals overall existence,these factors includes social influences,environment, physical factors, culture,family background e.t.c.
Low self esteem is a self destructive condition that keeps the individual from maximizing his/her inbuilt potentials. A person with low self esteem feels unworthy, incapable, and incompetent and hence the dreams and aspirations of such person is delayed and finally destroyed.
Thomas Carlyle said;
“Do not worry so much about your self esteem, worry more about your character and integrity “
But its very unfortunate that most individuals fail to worry about their integrity which encompasses the whole aspect of their lives but tend to focus more on how and what people think or say about them,listening to other peoples opinion reduces your self esteem.Low self esteem has been shown to be correlated with a number of negative outcomes such as depression and guess what happens when your are depressed?
Let’s look at the story of this young girl who felt depressed and had her self esteem reduced to nothing because she was abused horribly by her lecturer because she came late to his class,in her words she said ”
Honestly i can’t really fathom it.
I can’t believe i am going through depression already.My self esteem has been reduced to zero,do you know what he told me ,he said I am so ugly that if I know how ugly I am that I will never come late to any class so that people will not be seeing Me,that I should stop coming to school and even if I come I should hide in the midst of people so that no one will see me .I have lost it!I have lost my self esteem,I really hope and wish I was never born.”Did you learn anything from the above ?
The low self esteem of this young girl emanated from emotional abuse,but guess what?
Do not ever allow anybody to make you think less of yourself. Never allow someone’s opinion become your reality,allow your own opinion to guide you. Individuals with low self esteem tend to exaggerate event as being negative. For instance they tend to interpret noncritical comment as being critical. They are prone to experiencing social anxiety and low level of interpersonal confidence. They feel awkward. Conspicuous and unable to adequately express themselves when interacting with others.
Low Self Esteem in Children
children are equally victims of low self esteem ,this low self esteem in children results mostly from lack of familial affection and love as well as physical punishments especially when they are being bullied. Children do better when they feel loved ,so if the parental love is not enough then their self esteem dwindles.Low self esteem in children affects their academic,moral and social performance. The child keeps getting low grades in school or is always withdrawn shy and lacks self confidence.
Low Self Esteem in Adolescents
Low self esteem diminishes as one approaches adolescence mostly in girls,this is as a result of increased awareness of their body parts emanating from so many suggestions on how a girl should look like as the body of the female child is a subject of admiration. Young girls who feel or maybe subjected to ridicule about their body parts are prone to having low self esteem .low self esteem in male adolescents results from proof of masculinity which appears to be evident from their body parts so males who have rather feminine looks are victims of low self esteem. Low self esteem in adolescents could lead to the following;
- Poor academic performance
- Teen pregnancy
- Earlier sexual activity
- Criminal behaviors
Low Self Esteem in Adults
A full grown adults could still be battling with low self esteem. This low self esteem in adults results from either accumulated low self esteem from adolescence ,negative thinking,inability to love and appreciate oneself.This presents as;
- Negative view of life
- Perfectionist attitude
- Fear of taking risks
- Always blaming others
- Cannot trust others
- Poor family background
- Fear of being ridiculed
- Lack of vision
- No goals in life
- Lacks determination.
Causes of low self esteem
- Negative thinking
- Body image
- Poor family background.
- Negative peer
Individuals who in one way or the other passed through either abuse or trauma are mostly affected by low self esteem. It could be either social abuse,moral,physical abuse or financial or economic abuse.
2. Negative thinking
Negative thinking is the inability of an individual to view and analyses situations in a positive way.They tend to see every situation as being negative. For instance when they write exams or partake in other endeavors in life they don’t aspire to excel rather the already categorized themselves to fail. Bob Gass said;
“if you’ve always been negative don’t expect to change overnight. But make a start from now on ,if you can’t think positively don’t think at all.
3. Body image
This is one of the causes of low self esteem especially in young boys and girls.They are mostly concerned about their body image especially in girls where there seems to be a certain description of how a girl should look like,so being conscious about their body image these young girls tends to become an object of mockery when they are either deformed or not as pretty as others.Hence low self sets in,mind you that as an adolescent girl,research have proven that these girls tends to have sexual affairs with their male counterparts which they later regret.
4.Poor family background
These results from a family devoid of enough parental love and affection. For instance a family in which the father or the mother is a drug addict ,a prostitute,or both the father and mother are chronic cheaters,you find out that there will be lack of parental love and training given to to the children in that family which will subject the children to low self esteem.
5. Negative peer
During growing up,peer influence is a major determinant of self esteem, if an individual have positive peer group then he is bound to have high self esteem but on the contrary negative peer group will influence the individual into having low self esteem.
How to Improve Your Low Self Esteem
Feelings of low self esteem often build up over a lifetime and letting go of your ingrained feelings and behaviors is not an easy tasks.It may take time,a lot of effort,determination and even at times requires a professional counseling, but I just hope these few positive thinking techniques will go a long way in helping out of low self esteem.
- Positive thinking
- Accept your mistakes and work on not repeating them
- Do not be a perfectionist
- Always celebrate your accomplishments
- Do the the right thing
- Avoid comparing yourself to others.
1. Positive thinking
To raise your low self esteem you really need to change the way you think about yourself. You need to tell yourself that you are the best among all creatures of God.Think positively about yourself .You just have to tell yourself I can and I will make it.
2. Accept your mistakes
Everybody makes mistakes and fails ,the winners are just the ones that keeps getting back up again. Boss Gass said;
“The only way to be a loser is to fail and quit;or fail and not learn from it ;or fail and not look beyond it;or fail and let it define you as a failure “
so when you make mistakes accept them and work on them not to repeat them again.
3. Do not be a perfectionist
Most people have low self esteem because they keep on striving towards perfection forgetting that perfection is not needed to achieve greater things.Because they always want to be perfect in all life endeavors therefore such individual fails to try new things and end up reducing their self esteem. The key is try new things even when you don’t do them perfectly,explore so many areas of life and learn from it.
4. Always celebrate your accomplishments
Low self esteem makes it unable for you to celebrate yourself and your accomplishments; but guess what you really need to beat that inner voice telling you that you didn’t achieve much by celebrating the little you achieved.Success is a ladder, you climb from bottom to the uppermost part and not the other way round.So celebrate yourself today and improve your self esteem.
5. Avoid comparing yourself to others
The comparison of yourself to others kills yourself esteem faster than any bacteria. You are unique in your own way so do not think like this ;
- My colleague is more pretty.
- My classmate is more intelligent.
- She has a nice stature compared to me.
- Her lips are more sexy than mine.Do this and you end up finding faults in yourself. Instead why don’t you think this way.
- I am pretty in my own way.
- My physical a is good enough.
- I am sexy enough.
Improve your self esteem and don’t ever compare yourself with any other person. You are your own motivator and whatever you tell yourself about you guides your Acton’s.
After applying all these strategies all in a bid to improve your self esteem and you think this isn’t helping matter which I doubt !!!!but just in case.Then you need to meet a counselor and he/she will help you out more.