Self-esteem is the degree to which we feel confident, consider ourselves valuable, and respect ourselves, and this can affect our well-being. Low self-esteem is associated with self-doubt, self-criticism, social isolation, suppressed anger, and shame. Low self-esteem is also a symptom of several mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression.
It takes as much effort to believe you have low self esteem as it does to believe you have high self esteem. When experiencing low self esteem you need to change your beliefs about yourself.
Self-esteem is learned in childhood, and certain experiences may interfere with its development, such as being subject to criticism or abuse from parents and caretakers; missing out on experiences that would foster a sense of confidence and purpose; receiving little or no positive reinforcement for accomplishments; being stigmatized for unusual appearance or behaviors, or for one’s race, class, or social identity; or having a learning disability or physical impairment.
In adulthood, even a well-developed self-esteem can be challenged by sudden life changes or perceived failures, such as losing a job or changing jobs, ending an intimate relationship, having legal or financial troubles, struggling with addiction or substance abuse, having children with emotional troubles, physical health concerns, or a host of other events that might cause us to question our worth or value. Therapy can help put such events in perspective and enhance strengths to increase resilience, social support, and hope.