Dealing with low self esteem is a childhood learned developmental trait. Consequently, experiencing constant negative external factors, like criticism, abuse, no positive reinforcement, bullying and being stigmatized for being unusual due to behavior, race, gender or societal class, and the big one today social media shaming, all can interfere with the self-esteem development process.
As a child having experienced any of the negative factors, that person enters adulthood on the low end of the self-esteem continuum. If left unchecked or unrecognized, their life can start in a downward spiral and soon be out of control.
Even though self-esteem is a learned in childhood, it can change in adulthood if subjected to any of the other influencing factors, like losing a job, changing jobs, ending a relationship, having sudden financial issues or enduring any of several other life changes.
So throughout childhood, your self-esteem may have been high, but due to some occurrence as an adult, it caused it to spiral downward. Other factors could be staying with an abusive spouse, or something a “friend” said, or any number of things.
If a person is fragile enough emotionally or mentally, something that would normally be insignificant can have a detrimental impact upon that person’s self-esteem.
Dealing with low self-esteem and how to treat it. If you are tackling
this change on your own, start by focusing on your positive strengths.
To begin, start by listing 10 positive achievements. Next, list 10 positive personal qualities. If you have not done so yet, also sit down and list 10 of your negative beliefs and why you believe them to be true. Have you ever really sat down and analyzed them? Your results might be surprising.
The results from your analysis can give you some insight as to why your self-esteem is lower than it should be. It can also give you an avenue for dealing with low self-esteem once you see how your negative beliefs might not really be true at all, and how you can replace a negative belief with one that is positive. Just that one act can go a long way with dealing with low self esteem.
But trying to do it by yourself doesn’t always work for all people. Sometimes professional intervention is required. Just recognizing you need professional help is a huge step to getting better.
Professional help can range from counseling, either by yourself or as part of a group with a mental health professional facilitating the discussions to actual therapy sessions. If you go the therapist route, they can help with becoming more assertive, confident and self-aware.
They can also help you focus on activities that will give you the most sense of accomplishment and can help you establish more realistic and rewarding goals in life. Depending on the desired outcome, therapy can be solution-based or cognitive behavioral.
Dealing With Low Self Esteem #1 Solution-Based Therapy
With solution based, the therapy is focused on present and future circumstances and goals, rather than dwelling on the past since nothing can be done about that in the first place. The treatment usually involves having the patient establish their vision of the future and then help develop skills, resources and abilities needed to accomplish that vision or end goal.
Dealing With Low Self Esteem #2 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
With cognitive behavioral, the therapy helps the patient see the relationship between beliefs, thoughts and feeling, and how these affect their behavior and actions.
Through therapy sessions and homework in between, such as journaling, mindfulness, relaxation techniques, awareness exercises, and challenging rooted beliefs that one thought previously to be true, self-esteem is lifted to an acceptable level.
If you are dealing with low self esteem, don’t delay in getting help. Literally your quality of life can depend on it.
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