In our society, low self-esteem is a blight of modern times, which many people openly or secretly suffer from. It seems normal to have some doubts about your self-assessment. Paradoxically, we feel more reserved and less sympathetic towards people with very high self-esteem. Low self-esteem (often confused with modesty, submissiveness and conformism) has become part of a certain mentality and lifestyle, which we, as a society, have trouble giving up. And there are reasons for that.
In this article you will find out how to overcome low self esteem.
Low self-esteem affects the level of our satisfaction and reduces the quality of life in many areas. We feel we are bad parents, not good enough partners, hopeless employees or even, in the critical moments, worthless as people. People with low self-esteem continuously depreciate themselves. They lower their sense of self worth when they fail (which only confirms their belief that they are not able to succeed), whereas in the case of success, they put it down to external factors (e.g. luck, fate or the fact that the very task was not that difficult).
To discover how to overcome low self esteem, you should know that lack of faith in ourselves and our abilities makes our life guided by fear. We are under constant pressure, anxious about tomorrow, insecure at work and in relationships. We are subject to manipulation, very often not even having our own opinion. We expect the worst. With such attitude, it’s impossible to live life to the fullest. To make matters worse, realizing that makes us even more convinced of our helplessness.
How to overcome low self esteem?
First of all, identify the problem areas:
- Where is my low self-esteem most afflictive?
- When do I tend to demean and judge myself?
- How long have I felt that bad?
Low self-esteem comes from your self-assessment and fundamental beliefs about yourself and the world. Self-esteem is sensitive to circumstances. Therefore, how we perceive ourselves in many situations is conditioned by our previous experiences.
To find out how to overcome low self esteem, go back to your childhood. Perhaps you had the feeling that you were "different" at home, at school, not good enough for your parents or peers. Maybe you were reproached for getting B in maths (why isn’t it A?) or encouraged to compare up (John also got B? - assuming that John is a top student).
Think about the thoughts that go to your head when you experience a situation from the previously mentioned problem area.
What do they say about you? What do you feel?
Think about the principles that you follow in your life, the standards by which one’s value should be measured.
How much do you believe in them?
Dismiss the old beliefs and thoughts that are responsible for your low self-esteem. Expand your metacognitive awareness, in other words, experience thoughts ONLY as thoughts.
Look for alternatives
Try to find different thoughts to replace critical self-judgment.
Reformulating the meaning of childhood experiences and focusing on "here and now" will allow you to change your beliefs such as: I am worthless, unworthy, not deserving love; and replace them with a new one: I'm alright. It will give you answer on how to overcome low self esteem.
Low self-esteem produces a "cloud of black thoughts" which completely blocks the sun for the most part of our lives. When staying inside of this cloud, we do not even realize that it’s there. Only once you get out of it (gain perspective, open your mind), you will be able to see that this cloud is a collection of opinions, which you can argue or disagree with. Therefore, don’t just wait for tomorrow hoping for the things to change. Take responsibility for your life and look for solutions that could increase your life satisfaction.