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Have you started experiencing a lower level of confidence? Do you feel you are nothing compared to others? Do you think you need to please others to make them happy? Do you put others' happiness above yours and think you are not worthy of love and respect? Do you think there's nothing to like about yourself? If yes, then you might be having low self-esteem. To know more about low self-esteem let's understand what self-esteem is.

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is defined as the measure of self-worth, self-value, and a person's favorable or unfavorable attitude towards self. It refers to the outlook of a person towards self, the measure of the appreciation and approval he/she has and how much he/she likes himself/herself. It states that a person values his/her opinions, feelings, thoughts and interests and a belief that they deserve to be loved.

The impact of self esteem is not only on your perception about yourself but it also affects your motivation that helps you in achieving your goals in life and your ability to develop healthy, affectionate and supportive relationships with yourself and others.

What is self-esteem

What is low self-esteem?

Self-esteem plays an important role in our life and that's the reason when a person has low self-esteem it affects his/her different aspects of life.

Low self-esteem is a state in which people don't value their beliefs and feelings, they have a constant need of validation from others, they feel they are not enough and they degrade themselves by comparing with others. They start to believe that they are not worthy of love. They talk negatively about themselves and try to please others with their words or actions. They assume that others don't like them because they are damaged or they don't have anything that people may like.

What is low self-esteem

Do you suffer from low self-esteem?

Let's check out the causes, signs and symptoms of low self-esteem and think if you are suffering from low self-esteem.

Recognizing Low Self-Esteem

To recognise whether you are suffering from low self-esteem, you have to understand the causes, signs and symptoms of it. Let's start with the various root causes that can lead to low self-esteem, following with the signs and symptoms a person can exhibit if he/she has low self-esteem and the different effects of it in a person's life.

Recognizing Low Self-Esteem

Causes of Low Self-esteem:

  • Environmental factors such as stressful and overly demanding situations, adverse life events, influence of social media that creates a pressure to look and act like celebrities.
  • Psychological factors such as poor academic performance in school, failure to meet parent's or other people’s expectations, relationship breakdowns, financial problems, inability to fit in with peer groups, trauma.
  • Childhood experiences such as problems in academics, punishment, abuse, trauma or neglect from parents or caretakers and having disoriented family and emotionally distant parents.
  • Getting insufficient warmth, inadequate affection, praise, love, or encouragement from family and friends.
  • Medical (e.g. physical impairment) or mental health conditions (anxiety, depression etc.)

What are causes of Low Self-esteem

Signs and Symptoms of Low Self-esteem:

  • Negatively comparing oneself to others
  • Problem in decision making
  • Social withdrawal
  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Problem in putting own needs first
  • Being harsh on oneself
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Problem in putting your own needs first
  • Being harsh and tough on yourself
  • Problem in accepting compliments
  • Constant worry about something
  • Self-doubt
  • Trouble in asking for needs and rights
  • Negative Self Talks
  • Fear of failure
  • Difficulty in setting boundaries
  • People pleasing behavior
  • Feeling of hopelessness
  • Negative outlook of future

Effects of Low Self-esteem:

  • Eating disorder and other food related issues
  • Depression
  • Social anxiety
  • Codependency
  • Self destructive behavior such as Self-harm
  • Anxiety
  • Loneliness
  • Harming others such as bullying, cheating etc. (either to get their love or to push them away)
  • Increased vulnerability to drug or alcohol abuse
  • Impaired academic or job performance
  • Inability to develop romantic relationships
  • Inability to form healthy friendships
  • Emotional distress
  • Panic disorder
  • Internet addiction

How does Low Self-esteem affect us?

Low self-esteem not only affects our personal life but our professional life as well. It creates a sense of unworthiness in a person that results in a barrier between a negative perception about them and how he/she should actually feel and treat oneself. A person might develop low self-esteem after he/she starts suffering from a physical or mental health issue or it could be the other way around as well. People with low self-esteem often crave validation for their emotions, feelings, behavior and actions from others. They become very sensitive to the words and actions of others.

What are the effect of Low Self-esteem

What keeps Low Self-esteem going?

  • Not letting go of negative people
  • Negative self talks
  • Asking for validation from others
  • Punishing yourself for mistakes
  • Belittling yourself
  • Comparing yourself with others
  • Pleasing others to make them happy
  • Not focusing on your happiness, self-care and self-love.

Best Tips to increase Low Self-esteem

Tips to increase Low Self-esteem:

  • Focus of self-care
  • Use positive self-talks and positive affirmations while talking to yourself.
  • Stop comparing yourself with others.
  • Don't talk negatively to yourself.
  • Accept and forgive yourself for your mistakes
  • Try to be physically active
  • Learn and grow from your mistakes
  • Do what makes you happy
  • Surround yourself with positive and supportive people.
  • Stop being a people pleaser.

Treatments for Low Self-esteem:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy which is the combination of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy used to identify the maladaptive and automatic negative or unrealistic thoughts, emotions, behavior and response patterns and reconstruct them into a desirable pattern of realistic thoughts, emotions, behavior and responses. It helps to understand the relationship between our thoughts and behavior.

Best Treatments for Low Self-esteem in India

Competitive Memory Training (COMET)

Competitive memory training (COMET) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy which is rooted from Brewin's contra-conditioning principle. It aims to alter a person's pre-existing negative, dysfunctional, unrealistic emotional network and strengthen a new positive emotional network of a person that involves thoughts, feelings, facial expressions, bodily postures and, self-verbalisation.

Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

Compassion Focused Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on promoting mental and emotional healing by developing compassion for themselves and other people. It consists of different techniques such as mindfulness, appreciation exercises and compassion focused imagery exercises.

Types of Psychotherapies for Self-Esteem:

Best Mindfulness Based Therapy in India

Ways to fix Low Self-esteem:

  • Pay attention to automatic negative thoughts, recognise cognitive distortion, challenge it and replace it with more positive thoughts.
  • Learn to say 'no'
  • Accept that you are worthy of love and respect from yourself and others as the way you are.
  • Show kindness to yourself
  • Learn to be assertive
  • Reflect on your thoughts, beliefs and values
  • Learn to accept compliments
  • Focus on building positive and healthy relationships

Medical Treatments for Low Self-esteem:

There's no specific medication for low self-esteem. Psychiatrists prescribe a combination of different classes of medicines depending on the severity. Also, medication is preferred if low self-esteem is combined with social phobia, social anxiety etc. Taking medications on your own is not preferable unless a psychiatrist or a doctor prescribes it. Don't take the risk of taking medicine without consulting it with a doctor or a psychiatrist.

Top Medical Treatments for Low Self-esteem

Other techniques to improve Low Self-esteem:

  • Challenge your negative thoughts
  • Maintain a gratitude journal
  • Engage in activities that makes you happy
  • Focus on things you are good at
  • Celebrate your small and big accomplishments
  • Remember it's okay to make mistakes
  • Engage yourself in physical activities or exercise

Where can I find the best online low self-esteem counselling experts?

If you are concerned about your low self-esteem and want to boost your self-esteem then you are at the right place. Counsellors at OnlineCounselling4U are master's degree/M.Phil degree holders who are trained in counselling skills, psychotherapies and psychological interventions. You can find counsellors who deal with low self-esteem, low self-confidence along with other psychological issues such as anxiety, depression etc. as well. You can choose counselors who speak your language. There are numerous counsellors who speak different languages such as English, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Oriya, Assamese etc. You can sit at your comfort zone and avail the opportunity to talk to a counsellor from your comfort zone.

best online low self-esteem counselling experts

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FAQS for Low Self-esteem Problems

How can a counsellor help for low self-esteem?

A counsellor is a trained mental health professional who uses psychotherapies and psychological interventions/techniques that are useful in increasing your self esteem. He/she can help you gain insight about the root cause of your low self-esteem and to regain your self-esteem. A counsellor can help you with sleep hygiene, stress management and psycho-education which will help you improve your self-esteem and confidence as well.

How to Find Help for Low Self-Esteem?

If you want help to increase your self-esteem and want to live your life like everybody else then don't hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional/counsellor. A mental health professional/Counsellor will not only help you to boost your self esteem but will also help you to resolve the reason behind your low self-esteem. Asking for help is a brave step that you can take.

Can low self-esteem create a huge impact on life?

Yes, if a person has low self-esteem it not only impacts their personal life but in every aspect of their life whether it is academics or professional. Low self-esteem creates a sense of unworthiness in a person that can result in overthinking, constant worry, negative thinking patterns, anxiety or even depression. The person starts to find it difficult to love and prioritize themself.

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"you are searching for the magic key that will unlock the door to the source of power, and yet you have the key in your own hands, and you may make use of it the moment you learn to control your thoughts." ~ Napoleon Hill