The one freedom we all have is to choose the attitude we take in any given situation, including how we think of ourselves. Everyone goes through moments of self-doubt. You’re not sure you’re good enough to get the dream job, get into a top school or university, or if you’re worthy enough to be with your perfect partner. Low self-esteem is an occasional part of human psychology, and some of it is perfectly natural. Beyond this norm, many people suffer from a more intense and chronic version of low self-esteem, that puts a major dent in one’s ability to get through the day, never mind constructing a happy, fulfilling, and meaningful life for themselves.

So many men, women, and children are affected by this epidemic of low self-esteem. Low self-esteem impacts on so many aspect of our lives, how we think about ourselves, how we allow ourselves to feel, the way we think about and react to nearly every life situation.

The basic definition of self-esteem – is the image we have of ourselves, for better or for worse. The worse one’s self-esteem, the lower the value they place on themselves as human beings. Psychology is big on observations, specifically, self-observations versus environmental observations. People with low self-esteem are constantly attacking themselves with self-critique, their self-observations overwhelm their ability to believe positively in themselves. Low self-esteem can also lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, as well as having a negative influence on daily life, reducing people’s quality of life.

If you were to take two minutes and write down a description of yourself, how you view yourself and what level of value you place on yourself, what you’re good at, what people like about you, what would you come up with?

Low self-esteem is seen to be caused by, or influenced by many different factors. Such as our very early life experiences in childhood, having parents who experience self-doubt/lack confidence, stressful life events, relationship problems, financial problems, being mistreated by others, and being bullied at school or in the workplace.

More generally speaking, life is full of challenges, and there are many stressors that can cause us to doubt ourselves, once doubt creeps in, or becomes perpetuated it can be very hard to dismiss, with negative automatic thoughts pervading our thinking “I’m no good at this” “nobody will like what I’m doing” “people think I’m boring/uninteresting.”

Low self-esteem can make us behave in self-destructive ways, we are more likely to tolerate mistreatment from others, cause harm to ourselves thinking we deserve it, use drugs, behave promiscuously, have problems with self-care, hurt others by bullying, and the latter can be an attempt to minimise the pain of our own worthlessness.

Rather than seeing external triggers or events as the most important, try to think of how you see yourself, without anyone’s external influence, not defining yourself based on what others think, but on what you actually ‘see’ and think. Your inner-belief can have a significant positive impact on your self-esteem. Believing in yourself can help you change the perception you have in yourself, which can lead to a better future. We will be providing a series of articles and resources on self-esteem. We will give you actual real life strategies that are scientifically proven, which you can apply if you wish, to help build this inner belief, reduce feelings of low self-esteem, and make you feel more confident.

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