Self-Esteem. It’s a nebulous term that is often used, but most of us would have difficulty describing what it means and what good self-esteem looks like. In the modern world, this is a particularly difficult topic for the digitally connected community, especially children and teens. Some might identify self-worth with the feelings they get when someone likes a post or comments on an image they post. Maybe they associate their strong online presence among friends and peers as self-esteem. In most cases, these are confused and complicated and have little basis in actual self-esteem, which comes from within.
Did You Know?
Low-Self Esteem is more than just a simple case of feeling poorly about oneself once in a while. Instead, it is a disorder of thought where someone sees themselves as being incompetent, inadequate, and unlovable regardless of any outside reinforcement. This kind of feeling is pervasive and can get into every aspect of a person’s heart and mind and can lead to behavior that is self-defeating and based on false assumptions.
How To Identify Low Self-Esteem
There are warning signs that can identify when you or someone you know is suffering from low self-esteem, and acting on it can quite literally save a life. If someone you know is continuously undermining their success and accomplishments by being excessively critical of themselves, primarily when this manifests as comparisons to others, they may be suffering from low self-esteem. This is particularly evident in cases where these statements are demonstrably false, and the individual themselves admits they would never make those same comments to someone else.
What Causes Self-Esteem Challenges
In most cases, these behaviors and thought-patterns are learned during childhood and can stem from abuse from those who were supposed to care about them. This kind of abuse can be blatant and physical, or it can be subtle and involve the use of degrading language and a failure to recognize accomplishments. It’s not unusual for it to be the result of being treated as odd or strange for behaviors that set them apart as an individual or don’t conform to societal norms. Adults aren’t immune to developing low self-esteem, especially when faced with challenges involving the loss of work, a collapse of personal relationships, or even concerns about their health and appearance.
Therapy Can Help!
Therapy has been proven to be an effective treatment for low self-esteem and can aid patients of all ages in eliminating negative patterns of thought, learning to love themselves, and granting themselves permission to feel good about their accomplishments. Just being able to recognize an achievement and gaining a sense of success from it is something that can be difficult for these patients, but psychotherapy can provide the tools that make it possible for them to do so. Psychotherapy for low self-esteem centers around improving cognitive-behavior and are solution-focused. For some patients, animal-assisted therapy can be beneficial. Working with your therapist will reveal the right treatment patterns for your case of low self-esteem, and bring back the ability to love and be proud of yourself.