Counseling for Low Self-Esteem
Suffering from Low Self-Esteem? Counseling Can Help you Build and Boost Confidence
Do you struggle to accept positive feedback or compliments from others?
Are you preoccupied with what you believe to be your weaknesses and shortcomings?
Do you frequently compare yourself to others – and usually find that they’re “better” than you in some way?
Self-esteem is defined as a person’s evaluation of their own worth or personal value. Individuals with low-self-esteem lack confidence and often feel bad about themselves in a number of ways. They may feel unlovable, socially awkward, or incompetent. They may be hypersensitive to rejection or disapproval from others – even if no rejection is actually occurring. As their own harshest critic, individuals with low self-esteem are also more likely to avoid social interactions and react cynically, defensively, or aggressively to others. This is especially true if they are under the impression that people dislike them.
As low self-esteem develops and progresses, it may become impossible for an individual to believe that someone sees them positively. Having low self-esteem can decrease the quality of nearly every aspect of someone’s life; from interpersonal interactions, to love life, to professional development and career aspirations, nothing is left unaffected.
Causes & Symptoms of Low Self-esteem
Self-esteem, whether high and low, forms over a lifetime. Low self-esteem can be the result of a number of contributing causes, including:
- Criticism from parents or caregivers
- Bullying by peers
- Poor academic performance
- Stressful life events such as a breakup, divorce, or loss of employment
- Poor treatment or abuse from a partner
- Ongoing medical issues like physical disability or chronic pain
- Mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or body dysmorphic disorder.
If you are experiencing the following symptoms, it is likely that you are suffering from low self-esteem:
- Abnormal levels of hostility toward others
- Blaming others for your own mistakes or failures
- Chronic negative thoughts and attitude towards yourself
- Difficulty socializing with peers or social withdrawal
- Extreme sensitivity to criticism
- Feelings of being unlovable, unwanted, or worthless
- Frequently comparisons of yourself to others
- Inability to say “no” or vocalize your feelings and opinions
- Lack of motivation to pursue goals or challenges in fear of failure
Signs that Low-Self Esteem is Hurting your Quality of Life
Low self-esteem can reduce the quality of someone’s life in more ways than many realize. If any of the following are true for you, it may be time to reach out to a professional counselor to work on your low self-esteem:
- You are neglecting your own health or engaging in dangerous activities, such as heavy alcohol consumption.
- Engagement in self-harming behaviors or suicidal ideation
- Avoidance of social activities in fear of being judged, isolation
- Avoidance of new opportunities in fear of failure
- Lashing out or bullying others because of inner anger
- Tolerates poor or abusive behavior due to feelings of “deserving it” or being unlovable
In summary, when your low self-esteem begins to impact your physical and emotional health, your relationships with others or influences your actions or thoughts in a negative way, it is time to seek help.
How Can Counseling Help with Low Self-esteem?
Don’t lose hope: with patience and dedication, it is possible to greatly improve your low self-esteem. By working with a professional counselor on your self-esteem, you have the opportunity to reach many positive self-esteem milestones. You can:
- Create realistic goals for your future
- Discover your strengths and learn to frame your weaknesses in a healthy, realistic perspective
- Gain problem-solving skills
- Identify and unlearn behavioral and thought patterns that contribute to your low self-esteem.
- Identify the events and conditioning that led you to this point
- Learn self-care strategies
- Practice assertiveness
- Re-engage with life by learning how to face situations that scare you
Just as low self-esteem is not formed overnight, improving your self-esteem is a process that requires patience and dedication. While this may seem overwhelming, especially if you are also coping with mental health issues like depression and anxiety, investing the time and work needed to improve your self-esteem is an extremely worthy cause.
Begin Self-esteem Counseling in St. Petersburg, Florida
Your low self-esteem may feel all-consuming, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Take the initiative to begin counseling today so you can genuinely enjoy social situations, take the steps needed to reach your goals, and learn problem-solving, self-care, and assertiveness skills. Understand that having high self-esteem is not a sign of selfishness or arrogance, but is actually essential to living a happy, healthy life.
At McNulty Counseling & Wellness, we have counselors with experience treating teens, adults, and women in the area of low self-esteem who can guide you in your journey to feel better. Treatment for self-esteem issues can drastically change your life for the better. Give us a call today 727-344-9867 or fill out our online contact form and someone will reach out to you as soon as possible.