Dealing with Low Self Esteem

men's mental health

We have all at one point struggled with feelings of inadequacy, not measuring up, and not feeling good enough. Social media has exacerbated mental health resulting to unrealistic comparisons resulting to depression. For some, suicidal thoughts are triggered. How do we bridge the gap for ourselves and our loved ones to encourage a love and appreciation for yourself? Self-esteem transcends liking yourself and moves to the level of knowing you deserve love and value your thoughts, feelings, opinions, interests, and goals.

Nobody is born with low self-esteem. It develops as a result of the experiences we have throughout our lives. Among these are poor performance at school, rejection, poor upbringing, ‘shortcomings’ in physical attributes like ‘small’ penile size, short stature and extremities in body size, and ongoing stressful life events such as financial troubles. Whatever the cause, low self-confidence interferes with one’s ability to enjoy life to its fullness.

Besides living a dissatisfied life, inadequate self-regard can be detrimental to your health, personal and professional relationships. More effects include:

  1. Putting up with an abusive relationship because you feel that no one will love you better
  2. People using you because you fail to establish boundaries or even stand up for what you believe in
  3. Settling for less either at the workplace or in relationships
  4. Disliking your own company
  5. Acting desperate
  6. Poor career development
  7. Lack of control can result in addiction
  8. Failure to be intentional with your relationships if you are living a superficial life
  9. Self-sabotaging
  10. Lack of identity as you are ever following trends to fit in
  11. Low body image

It may be easy to identify an individual struggling with low self-worth as they tend to portray the following signs:

  1. Social withdrawal
  2. Negative talk about yourself
  3. Struggle to express yourself when in need
  4. Social comparisons where you consider yourself underserving
  5. Worry and self-doubt even after making a decision
  6. Trouble accepting compliments since you have set harsh judgments on yourself
  7. Ever people-pleasing; hardly will one say No
  8. Fear of failure prompting you to avoid challenges or give up without trying
  9. Oversensitivity to criticism. It reinforces your flaws and confirms your inability to do anything
  10. Feeding disorders such as anorexia and constantly trying out new diets

Therefore, we should look out for the signs and offer help where we can. Additionally, since esteem issues affect our quality of life, the individual must take up the following strategies to overcome this situation.

Overcoming low self-worth

  1. Develop strong, disciplined, healthy mental habits
  2. Stop listening to your inner critic who says you are not enough
  3. Practice self-compassion; treat yourself as you would your friend
  4. Stop comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone better and more beautiful than you
  5. Live according to your principles
  6. Engage in meaningful activities that will bring satisfaction, like acts of kindness
  7. Learn to speak positive declarations to yourself. Also, note down and meditate on compliments directed to you by others
  8. Celebrate your wins no matter how small they may be
  9. If you tend to ruminate over your mistakes, forgive yourself
  10. Consider improving yourself by acquiring some skills
  11. Spend time with those who appreciate you and make you feel good
  12. Identifying troubling conditions and seek help if need be
  13. Keep a gratitude journal
  14. Remember that we are imperfect, and we all make mistakes

Self-esteem plays a critical role in our ability to pursue goals, feel good about who we are, and develop functional relationships. Once in a while, we may struggle with this. However, our constant reminder ought to be that we are enough. If you forget, remember that you are beautiful, powerful, loved, more than enough, and you deserve better. Let that be your daily mantra.

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