Low self esteem can be described as when an Individual experiences a poor self-image, low value or self worth and a low opinion of yourself . Our self esteem can fluctuate frequently depending upon what we are exposed to such as environmental stressors or loss. This occurs as Individuals judgements and self-evaluations change due to their negative bias.
How to distinguish between high and low self esteem?
High self esteem is viewed as when a person is mentally flexible, confident, non-blaming and taking responsibility, having an awareness of personal strengths and displaying good problem solving skills. Moreover an Individual with high self esteem has the ability to say ‘no’ without fear of consequences due to having the courage to express themselves.
Low self esteem is when an Individual finds it difficult to speak up for themselves whilst being self critical, self-blaming and reference is made to themselves in a derogatory manner such as ‘I’m useless and stupid’. Individuals with low self esteem tend to struggle with saying no or sharing their opinions in a confident way. Finally low self esteem is characterized by being a people pleaser and these evaluations can lead to anxiety, worry, depression, guilt and anger.
What can you do to boost your self esteem?
- Identify your positive qualities and achievements daily and record them in a monitoring diary. This strategy will enhance your self acceptance and shift your attention away from your weaknesses which we all have.
- Identify recurring self-critical thoughts such as ‘I am a failure’ and take on the role of a detective by generating counter evidence and alternative beliefs such as ‘I don’t always fail as I succeeded with gaining a new contract ‘. This strategy will enhance you mood and protect you from developing a low mood.
- Identify anxious predictions such as ‘no one will talk to me ‘ and act against this by dropping your safety behaviours such as avoidance and speaking to people which will reduce your anxiety and undermine the anxious prediction.
- Be kind to yourself by being compassionate and taking courage as this challenges the inner critic. Consider how you would respond to a friend that was self critical as this will build a compassionate mindset.
- Engage with positive value -driven behaviours and do what you enjoy. Do one small thing for yourself daily that will enhance your sense of pleasure and achievement.
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