Self esteem is the inner measure of being confident, valuable, and worthy of respect. People with high self-esteem often feel good about themselves and their progress through life. People with low self-esteem often feel shame and self-doubt. They often spend lots of time criticizing themselves. Low self-esteem is a symptom of several mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.

Low self-esteem often parades under different behavioural and subconscious behavioural patterns, such as masking own insecurity with procrastination or perfectionism, acting out on inferiority issues with antisocial behaviours, victimhood and self pity derived from feelings of helplessness. Internally, poor self-regard often manifests as negative self-criticism, which can be seen by person as affect and create further mental pathology, such as depression, social anxieties paranoia.

Some people may do self-destructive behaviours such as abusing substances or neglecting hygiene. Self-doubt can interfere with productivity at work or school. A person may worry so much about others’ opinions that they don’t focus on the task at hand. They may avoid taking risks or making goals out of a certainty they will fail. A person with low self-esteem may lack resilience in the face of a challenge.

Self-esteem issues can also impact one’s social life. Someone with low self-esteem may believe they are unworthy of love. They may try to “earn” the love of others and accept negative treatment such as bulling, abuse or criticize others to compensate for their own insecurities.

A therapist can help one address the emotions underlying low self-esteem, feel better about your selfand develop a healthy relationship with oneself. Raising your own self-esteem means that you will learn to appreciate your self, respect self and feel good about who you are. Through thinking more positively and realistically about yourself you can develop your talents and abilities, trust and believe in yourself.