Self-esteem is how you feel and privately think about yourself. It’s not necessarily an accurate view of who you really are or how others perceive you. There are many wonderful individuals who consistently underestimate what they have to offer the world. It is these individuals who present for counselling with low self-esteem. While we all experience some level of self-doubt, low self-esteem can limit our opportunities for personal happiness & success.
Hard on yourself, highly self-critical, your own worst enemy
Overly concerned about what others think, giving too much weight to their opinions
Intimidated easily by others
Extra sensitive to constructive or perceived criticism
A perfectionist, never quite satisfied with how you are doing
Reluctant to try new things, because you fear embarrassment or failure
Dismiss or minimize positive feedback from others because you do not believe it
Quickly accept negative feedback as true without properly evaluating the message
Allow others to treat you poorly, staying in unhealthy relationships
“Settle” thinking you do not deserve any better (e.g. job, relationship)
Find it difficult to be assertive, fearing judgment or rejection
Sometimes think, “If people really knew me, they would not like/ respect me as much as they do”.
Limit how much personal information you share, even with your closest friends
Low self-esteem can interfere with our ability to be assertive (not recognizing the value of our own voice), increase our anxiety (fear of humiliation, failure, rejection), and can lead to depression. Some of the strategies to help you move in the right direction include: recognize & value your strengths & accomplishments, assess whether your perception matches the facts and feedback from trusted others, and explore what it is that you do not like about you and ask if you would judge someone else as harshly. You may also want to explore the origin of your low self-esteem, as well as variables (negative self-talk, unhealthy relationships/ situations) that may be reinforcing your low self-esteem.
For more information or to book a counselling session, contact Heather Sutherland.