What exactly is low self-esteem?

Low self-esteem refers to people who have an overall poor opinion of themselves. Low self-esteem can comprise of a wide range of factors, such as your sense of identity, self-confidence, and feelings of not knowing where you belong, or even if you are worthy of being loved.

Low self-esteem is not classified as a mental illness, but it can affect your motivation to go after the things you want in life, as well as your ability to develop good relationships. Having a poor opinion of yourself results in often thinking negatively of yourself, and may be inclined to judge yourself harshly, which has an overall bad impact on your life and well-being.

Some common signs of low self-esteem include:

  • Lack of confidence: Thoughts are always in your mind that you are fat, ugly, hopeless, and can’t do anything right.  A belief that people are insincere when they give you compliments.
  • Worry and self-doubt: Even after making a decision which you have carefully considered, people who have low self-worth often worry that they have made the wrong choice. They doubt their own opinions so much that they would rather put their own decisions aside, and take the advice of someone else.
  • Fear of failure: People who fear making mistakes may look for ways to hide feelings of inadequacy, make excuses for the failure, and blame external factors, never themselves.
  • Anxiety and emotional distress: Low self-esteem may even play a role in the development of some mental health conditions such as depression.
  • Eating disorders: Some folk with a poor self-image, will look for comfort by eating too much, while others might eat too little as a form of punishment for perceived incompetence.

Approval seeking

In order to gain approval from others, people who don’t feel good about themselves, may overdo it trying to please others. This is another common symptom of low self-esteem, commonly known as people-pleasing. This symptom often involves neglecting your own needs by saying yes to things you actually do not want to do. You firmly believe that saying no may result in guilty feelings that you are not sure how to cope with, and can lead to anxiety and frustration.

The link between sex and low self-esteem

The difficulty is that if you are not feeling confident about yourself, you may find it harder to say no to sex and end up having sex when you do not really want to. This is a poor decision, as it will not be possible to enjoy the encounter as you should. Studies have shown that this a disturbing aspect of low self-esteem, and may lead to a relationship breakdown, and vindication of your thoughts that you have no value as a person.

Building up your self-esteem and confidence

Experts agree that the best way to restore your confidence is by means of counselling by a therapist who is experienced in helping people to renew the mind, eliminate negative thoughts, and restore lost esteem and confidence.

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