Low self-esteem

Low Self-Esteem Counselling Therapy - Central London

It may seem like an oxymoron to talk about low self-esteem and successful professionals, but many people today are trapped in this situation. They have good jobs, good careers and even good relationships, at least that is how it appears to everyone else. Inside they constantly question what they are doing, send negative messages about all their decisions, and even fear having to express an opinion because they are worried they may make a mistake.

These are the people that are trying to deal with low self-esteem. Low self-esteem can translate into a range of behaviours that can include constantly apologizing for things outside of their control, inability to take even low-level risks, feelings of guilt and shame and constant second guessing everything that they do or say. These people may also lack the courage to stand up for themselves so they may find that they are constantly taking on new projects even though they are already overwhelmed.

The biggest issue for people with low self-esteem is they may not even realize they don't feel good about themselves. It can be dissatisfaction with the way they perform at work or school, the way they look or the way that they interact with others. For many people it spills over into all aspects of their lives and takes away any possibility of joy in their lives.

Signs of Low Self-EsteemSigns of Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem typically develops over time and from negative feedback from those people in your life that you value. This can start with negative or harsh parenting in the home and then become internalised so you literally become your own harshest critic.

Typically signs of low self-esteem include:

  • Withdrawal from interactions and social situations
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Hostility and aggression to others
  • Extreme reactions to criticism
  • Headaches
  • Digestive problems
  • Insomnia
  • Decrease in work or school performance
  • Feelings of defeat, hopelessness and worthlessness
  • Guilt and shame over issues outside of your control
  • Perfectionism
  • Pessimisim about the future
  • Resentment over others' achievements
  • Any failure seen as a permanent indication of the future
Improving Negative or Low Self-Esteem

For most individuals with low self-esteem, unreasonably high levels of success are seen as a marker of their ability to be accepted by the people around them. They often set unrealistic expectations as that marker and then when they fail, they start on a cycle of negativity.

The way to break this cycle is for the person with low self-esteem to change how they view success and how they view themselves in relation to the world around them. By shifting their sense of accomplishment and success from external markers or goals to internal or personal achievements, that negative failure and message cycle can be stopped and corrected.

Through counselling, exercises and practice people with low self-esteem can learn to value their own unique talents, skills and abilities and see them in a realistic and positive light. This will not only boost their self-esteem but also help them in their relationships and interactions with others around them.

Posted by: Philippe Jacquet