Overcoming The Causes Of Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem can affect everything in your life. It can affect how you see yourself. It can affect your perception of how others see you. And it can affect what you do in life, or, as is more likely the case, what you don't do in life.

So, let's be honest. Having low self-esteem sucks, as it's not something any of us want. We want to feel confident in our skin. We want to feel confident around others. And we want to have the confidence to live our lives without limitations.

Thankfully, we don't have to live with low self-esteem forever. By getting to the root causes of why we lack confidence, we can usually take steps to overcome them. It's easier said than done, we know, but to boost the way we think about ourselves, we really do need to try.

Below, we list some of the root causes of low self-esteem. We also offer a few suggestions to overcome them. Have a read, and if you relate, do what you can to give yourself a more confident outlook in life. 

Cause #1: Feeling negative about the way we look

Hey, none of us are perfect, right? Even the celebs in the magazines we read have been digitally airbrushed to make them look their best. So, it doesn't matter if you aren't the epitome of heavenly beauty, although we're sure there are some aspects of you that are just fine. However, many of us make it matter, and this is partly because we compare ourselves to others and partly because we feel embarrassed about our imperfections. It might be an issue with reoccurring acne. It could be a broken smile because of gaps in our teeth. And there could be other aspects of ourselves that we don't like. 

So, what should you do if you relate to this point?

Well, you should stop comparing yourself to others for a start. Remember that everybody is different, so even though somebody else might have particular features that you wish you had, try to think of your best features instead of dwelling on what you don't have. Embrace your natural beauty and fear not how others look or what they think of you. 

Secondly, change what you can if you think it will help your self-confidence. Speak to your doctor about any skin problems you are having. Have comfortable dentures fitted if you are missing any teeth. And if there are any other cosmetic changes you could make for the benefit of yourself, and not for the benefit of others, then consider them. When you are able to look your best, you can feel your best, so do what you can if you are sure your confidence will be lifted as a consequence. 

Cause #2: Other people

People can be so unkind. They can say and do things to us that make us feel poorly about ourselves. A put down here and a snooty glare there can make us wither up inside and feel terrible. Of course, other people are not always the problem. Our low self-esteem can create false perceptions, so with oversensitivity, we can assume other people are belittling us. Sometimes, we also take offence when people don't like or respond to us. We assume that it is something we have done or said to turn them against us. Again, this perception is due to the oversensitivity that can be created by low self-esteem.

So, what should you do if you relate to this point?

Well, while it's easier said than done, we know, but try not to take the unkindness of others to heart. There might be people in your life who genuinely do make you feel bad about yourself, but you don't have to let their words or actions hurt you. In fact, it is they who have a problem, as their personalities clearly aren't A-grade! 

Secondly, know that it's okay for you to stand up for yourself. If somebody hurts you, tell them how you feel. Even if they don't make any attempt to apologise, you will feel better for saying something rather than nothing in retaliation.

You should also ditch those people who constantly put you down. Be it a so-called 'friend,' work colleague, or even a neighbour, spend as little time as you can with them. Instead, look for those people who will lift you up and make you feel good about yourself, and spend time with them.

And finally, remember that not everybody will get on with you. You can't please everybody, and you can't make them be your friends. It's a fact of life. So again, find the people you can draw close to, and don't worry about the rest. 

Cause #3: Past mistakes

Mistakes happen! As we said before, none of us are perfect. We can screw up in all kinds of ways, be that in our workplaces, our relationships, and in our attempts to try something new. When mistakes happen, we can start to feel like failures. We hesitate before taking those steps in life that could cause us to fail again. Because we then place limits on ourselves, we can compound those feelings of low self-esteem because we feel terrible about not having more confidence to be better. And we can also suffer from low confidence because of the guilt we feel, especially if our mistakes have impacted on another. 

So, what can you do if you relate to this point?

Well, action is better than inaction. Rather than let your failings defeat you, you should make attempts to try again. You could take educational and personal development courses to better yourself, as they might give you the confidence you need. You could also seek advice from others, as with their support, you might be able to overcome those aspects of your life that have caused you to make mistakes.

You should also make amends with others if your mistakes have hurt them. While they might be hesitant to trust you again, doing something to apologise is better than doing nothing. 

And finally, rather than dwell on your past mistakes, think about the things you have done well in life instead. By focussing on your good points, you might start to build your confidence levels, and have greater impetus to build on your positives. 

So, if you suffer from low self-esteem, consider what you might need to do to improve the way you feel. Consider our suggestions, and then look elsewhere online for other advice. You deserve to feel good about yourself, so confront those obstacles that are affecting your confidence levels, and do what you can to eliminate them.

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