Cause of low self esteem

Are you looking for answers as to the cause of low self esteem you're experiencing. Before you can begin work on strengtening your sense of self and esteem, you need to be aware of the cause and reasons for how you're feeling. If you identify the cause as being a more long standing issue as opposed to a temporary loss of faith in yourself, then in all probability you will need to explore at a deeper level.

Whether your low self esteem is related to body image, underachievement or any other valid reason, low esteem self will have a significant impact on your ability to take action or to set and achieve realistic goals in your day to day life. Exploring the cause of low self esteem at a deeper level necessitate looking at your childhood experiences and the meaning these hold for you.

cause of high self esteem

As a child your level of esteem self was shaped by your interactions with 'authority figures' such as parents, teachers etc., The quality of those interactions will have dictated your quotient or level of self esteem. When you received positive feedback, praise and reward for your achievements, your self esteem quotient grew. As your esteem grew, so too did sense of self and your motivation to achieve more.

Similarly, when things did not go according to plan or you made mistakes, your authority figures responded with kindness, patience and understanding, offering words of encouragement, reassurance and even constructive criticisms on your conduct as appropriate. All these positive contributions helped you to learn and develop your coping skills and abilities. For example:

  • How to bounce back from disappointments
  • How to find solutions to obstacles you encountered
  • How to differentiate between the good results you received and the not so good ones
  • How to acknowledge and accept your mistakes
  • How to accept compliments
  • How to use your positive results to feed your motivation
  • How to maintain your positive sense of self and of wellbeing when things didn't go according to plan
  • How to set realistic and achievable goals
  • How to overcome setbacks by learning from your mistakes and using your knowledge to plan alternative strategies
  • While certain obstacles, situations or events could unbalance your world and from time to time be the cause of low self esteem, your level of healthy esteem would ensure your sense of security far outweighed any insecurities, thus keeping you constant.

    cause of low self esteem

    If on the other hand your experiences have been the opposite to the above, then in all probability, this is the likely cause of low self esteem. If you received negative criticisms and feedback on your efforts this would in turn hamper your development and your sense of self. Here are some of additional factors leading to or being the cause of low self esteem:

  • Being told you won't amount to much by teachers or parents
  • Being the object of ridicule by teacher/parents/peer group
  • Negative feedback and criticisms - even when you had tried your best
  • Being told you you always get things 'wrong'
  • Lack of positive reinforcements, - i.e. encouragement, support, praise, reward, compliments
  • Denial of opportunity to take responsibility for yourself and for your actions - e.g. making your own assessments, choices, decisions or using your judgment
  • All these experiences are contributory to the cause of low self esteem. And while they don't all have to be present, to be the cause of low self esteem, they are not only limiting but are disempowering of a child's future potential.

    Experiences which are the cause of low self esteem work on the basis that a child will internalise negative feedback, responses, their's and other people's perceptions of them, subsequently making it their reality. Accordingly, a child is more likely to progress through life with negative beliefs and perceptions about their level of ability, of low self worth and that they are indeed under achievers.

    sympthoms of low self esteem

    Here are some of the sympthoms of low self esteem, which are likely to be experienced in childhood and later on in life. There will be a tendency to:

  • Lower their sights, aim for and settle for less in the classroom, in their other networks and later on in life

  • Fulfill negative expectations of under achievement

    Experience difficulty in earning recognition and respect from others - i.e. peer group

  • Feelings of rejection, leading to the probability of conforming (under pressure) so as to be accepted

  • Embracing other people's unhealthy values, beliefs and conduct to curry favour with them to feel they belong

  • Attribute any achievement/success in their life to good luck

  • Experience feelings of inadequacy, self-loathing, shame, inferiority

  • Cause of low self esteem will also lead to low levels of self confidence

  • Experience feelings of depression

  • Limited in ability to create/find solutions
  • Being afraid to seek out guidance, help and advice

  • If you continue to receive the same negative feedback, over time you come to believe them and that other people hold the same views

  • You are more likely to convince yourself of your low self worth and value

  • You find it difficult to accept yourself

  • You will move away from opportunities to improve yourself

  • You're negative and pessimistic about yourself and your future potential

  • cause of low self esteem: fighting back

    As you've seen, you develop your self-concept and self-esteem very early in life, from positive reinforcements. This enables you to feel positive and good about yourself while at the same time ensuring you acquire a sense of importance and self worth. From this healthy position you become fully appreciative of your skills, talents, achievements and personal appearance. You have self-acceptance, which means you're able to accept your shortcomings and mistakes, in the full knowledge and realisation that from time to time you will experience setbacks, which are a natural part of your lifelong learning. With this investment in you, there is little chance of issues or every day life events and situations being the likely cause of low self esteem.

    Without this grounding however, it can be a very different experience when things don't go according to plan and you find yourself in crisis. The cause of low self esteem remain in the background and add weight to the present crisis. With your esteem low, self confidence is also affected and you're likely to experience those same feelings of inadequacy, of inferiority and of being helpless being at blame. In this state you're unlikely to want to make basic decisions or to even take measured risks out of fear you'll not succeed. This further reinforces your beliefs as to your inability to make and achieve positive change.

    Where are you now? When you identify the cause of low self esteem, you and you alone have the power to redress it. If you remain where you are, your past and present experiences will lead to a never ending cycle of self blame or even a punishing lack of self care, of self acceptance and of self love. All of which further help in sustaining the cause of low self esteem while limiting your self confidence in the process.

    Self Help Resource: cause of low self esteem

    You might be interested in further reading on some of the characteristics of Low Self Esteem.

    When you know the cause of low self esteem you can work to positively build it and strengthen your sense of self. You'll find further guidance on how to do this at: Building Low Self Esteem

    You may also find this self esteem activity, a very useful exercise. A good starting point would be a healthy self esteem

    "The will to do springs from the knowledge that we can do" (James Allen)

    The information on this site is purely of educational value and is not intended to replace your seeking medical advice. You must consult your doctor over all your health concerns.

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