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ESTEEM 101 Part 2

June 5, 2013
Low Esteem Day

Low Esteem Day

The damaging impact of negative self-esteem is very intense as well as quite extensive. In cases that go without help, the results can literally be paralyzing, crippling a person’s ability to move forward in their life.

There are various problems that negative esteem causes an individual. Each one of these issues interferes with personal growth and progress if it is not identified and worked on. When the problems co-exists and become rooted deeply in a person’s belief system and everyday behaviors, that person becomes so wrapped up in the negativity that they become stuck and any forward motion becomes impossible.

SELF-HATE: The first damaging problem is self hate. This occurs when the internal messaging/dialogue becomes a constant critic to everything. The critical, hateful voice needs to be silenced and the best way to do this is to constantly repeat positive self-affirmations that contradict the inner critic. It is also imperative that self-forgiveness take the place of self-blame. The negative self-beliefs must be challenged and replaced by more realistic ones. It is very likely that the totally negative view was passed on from parents. It is time to rewrite the old script by realizing the likelihood of being totally wrong or totally bad is not based in reality.

PERFECTIONISM: This is one of the most damaging problems of low self-esteem. When this aspect is full-blown, there is a feeling of being a constant failure because no matter how impressive of accomplished a person’s achievements are, they don’t ever feel quite good enough. In order to combat perfectionism, it is necessary to set realistic goals before striving for them. It helps to remember how imperfect life generally is and to be able to avoid taking any failure personally. Failing at something does not mean that person is a failure. It is also important to stop sweating the small stuff and stop nitpicking and becoming unable to see the bigger, greater picture.

POOR BODY IMAGE: There is also a strong link between low self-esteem and poor body image. So staying healthy through nutritious eating behaviors and regular exercise is super important. Overall, caring for your appearance is extremely important. It is good practice to set a goal to do three positive things for the way you look. Definitely avoid comparing yourself to others and keep focusing on your strengths.

SENSE OF WORTHLESSNESS: Many people with esteem issues have a deep-rooted sense of worthlessness. When we admire someone, we appreciate their strengths. This does not translate into believing they are more worthy as human beings that we are. The best way to combat this problem is to act as if we buy into our value, even before we actually do. By projecting an image of a person worthy of respect, we will begin to believe that is who we truly are.

Ziggy on Esteem

Ziggy on Esteem

OVERSENSITIVITY: People who have low self-esteem tend to experience a lot of pain because they don’t desensitize themselves to criticism and comments directed at them. Learn to listen fully without predicting what you think someone is going to say so you can accurately evaluate what was said and how you feel about it. That way if the criticism is unfair, learn to be able to say you don’t agree. If there are elements of truth in it, constructive criticism can provide opportunity to make positive changes. Also avoid replaying the comments that upset you over again and again in your head.

ANXIETY AND FEAR: Low self esteem produces fear and a sense of being powerless to change anything in your world. The best way to resist fear and anxiety is to challenge the negative believes you have. There is a wonderful tool known as a fear pyramid. You draw a pyramid and put your smallest fears at the bottom of the pyramid and you biggest fear at the top. As you work your way up the pyramid by facing your fears, your confidence grows.

ANGER: Low self-esteem can distort your ability to express anger. This is due to repressed hurt that comes from believing that your thoughts and feelings aren’t important to others. Learning how to impress how you feel when you have the feeling is a great way to avoid letting the anger build up and spill over. Also deep breathing, walking away and other anger management tools can help. Learn how to be realistic with your commitments because over-committing makes it more difficult to cope, causing an overload of negative feelings.

PEOPLE PLEASING: While this sounds as if it may not be a bad thing to try and please people, the motive and resulting feelings are what makes this a problem. When people have low self-esteem, they feel as if they have to please others in order for them to be liked, loved and respected. Then, because they feel trapped in this people pleasing role, they end up resentful and angry. Remembering that a person’s worth does not depend on the approval of others, is crucial in combating this. It is healthy to put yourself first once in a while, and to set limits with others. Once you begin to place limits on what you will and won’t do and stick to them, the feelings of being used will lessen and so will resentment.

Overcoming low self-esteem is no easy task, but by following these methods for each problem associated with poor esteem, you will find you can break free a bit at a time.

ABOUT ME

I’m a licensed clinical social worker and have worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. I combine professional experience in the mental health field along with my love of writing to provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. I hope my down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life is easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

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2 Comments
  1. Today, I went to the beach front with my children.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.

    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
    LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  2. I seriously love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme.
    Did you develop this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create my very own site and would like to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Appreciate it!

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