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Why do I have low self-esteem?


Do you think good thoughts about yourself?

When you think of yourself, do you focus more on your achievements and positive qualities or on things that you think of as "flaws" or things that you are ashamed of?

Self-esteem describes how we feel about and view ourselves. If you have high levels of self-esteem you likely view yourself in a positive light and are able to celebrate all of the amazing things about you. If you have low levels of self-esteem you are much more likely to think negative thoughts about yourself and view yourself in a negative light. Self-esteem also describes whether you are able to value yourself and whether you believe that you are deserving of love, respect and other good things in your life.

Signs that you may have low self-esteem could include:

- You find it difficult to make decisions or to assert yourself.

- You send a lot of time worrying about whether other people like you and how they may perceive you.

- You are very harsh on yourself and critical of yourself.

- You spend a lot of time thinking about and focusing on things you don't like about yourself.

- You don't dedicate much time to taking care of yourself or prioritising your needs e.g. you don't think you are worth the time it takes to cook a nourishing meal or to go to an exercise class.

- You may spend a lot of time feeling as though you aren't "good enough".

- You beat yourself up over any small mistake you make and find it difficult to move past this.

- You find it difficult to try new or difficult things.

If you have identified that you may have low self-esteem after reading the list above, you may be wondering why you have low self-esteem. A range of factors can influence how you feel about and view yourself and these factors can include:

- how you were raised and spoken to/ treated by your parents or caregivers;

- whether you have ever experience bullying, abuse or discrimination;

- whether you've had any issues whilst studying or at work, perhaps finding it hard to pass exams or to get/ remain employed;

- whether you have had any physical or mental health problems;

- if you have been very concerned about your weight or body image;

- if you have experienced relationship issues such as being in an abusive relationship or going through a divorce; or

- if you spend a lot of time on social media comparing yourself to other people.

There are several things that can drive low self-esteem and our levels of self-esteem can move up and down throughout our lives depending upon our circumstances and what we are going through. Through working with a therapist you can also boost and improve your levels of self-esteem. A few quick things you can do to start improving your self-esteem today can include:

- making a list of 5 to 10 things that you like about who you are as a person and sticking this list somewhere visible, so that you start to focus on these aspects of who you are;

- catching yourself when you are being very harsh on yourself and critical of yourself and then asking yourself how you would talk to a loved one who you cared about in this situation; and

- taking the time to honour your needs e.g. taking the time to get enough sleep, prepare meals for yourself and to relax/rest when you are tired, to start showing yourself that you are worthy of being taken care of and treated well.

If you would like some support to improve your self-esteem levels, please get in touch with us at to book in a free consultation.

“Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you believe about yourself. We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem. We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth.” Iyanla Vanzant


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