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Self-esteem is characterized by an individual’s perceptions and beliefs about their own value and sense of self-worth. Self-esteem is a significant concept in mental health. It can heavily influence individual choices and self-motivation. High self-esteem individuals are said to be more motivated, positive and strive toward goal achievement, whereas low self-esteem is commonly correlated with depressive and anxious traits. Low self-esteem individuals often do not regard themselves as worthy of positive outcomes or feel that they are not able to achieve their goals. However, it is not to say that one should have very high self-esteem because self-esteem at either extreme ends of the spectrum can be very unhealthy.

Some factors of low self-esteem

  • Tend to be more neurotic

  • Fear of failure

  • Lower self confidence

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  • Higher levels of anxiety

  • Low sense of self-worth

  • Feelings of shame and self-doubt

  • Tendency to focus on one’s weaknesses

  • Tendency to believe that others are better than yourself

  • Focus more on negative feedback and trouble recognizing positive feedback

  • Reluctance to trust your own opinions

  • Low self-expectations

  • Emphasizing on the negatives

Some factors of high self-esteem

  • A more positive outlook

  • More willing to take on challenges

  • More motivated

  • Better ability to express one’s needs

  • Better ability to understand, accept and to work on one’s overall strengths and weakness

  • Better ability to accept and work on criticism

  •  More confident in one’s own opinions, interests and beliefs

  • Are more capable in making their own decisions

  • Are more in control of their present (do not let the past control their present)

  • Are better able to separate unhealthy emotions from practical situations and communication with others

Many individuals do come to therapy to work and improve on their self-esteem. They will learn how to develop better self-appreciation and identifying the role that different emotions play in life (such as anger, guilt, shame and fear etc); and to better understand the source of these emotions instead of allowing these emotions to overpower them. Low self-esteem individuals will also work on core values to shape their own identities so as not to “follow the followers” and to learn how to be comfortable in making their own decisions. This enables them to work on themselves, to not fear rejection, feel more confident and to develop a healthier self-esteem.

If you struggle with self-esteem issues, you are not alone; this is very common amongst many and you can definitely start working on your self-esteem today.

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