Help for Low Confidence and Low Self-Esteem
What is ‘low self-esteem?’
As human beings we can all feel a bit low from time to time and have days where we ‘beat ourselves up’ for various reasons. Low self-esteem however is an on-going state, characterised principally by having a poor opinion of yourself, judging your actions unfavourably and assigning yourself little worth or value.
What are the signs of low self-esteem?
- Negative beliefs about yourself and a constant focus on your weaknesses and flaws
- Self-criticism, self-blame and self-doubt
- Difficulty asserting your opinions, avoidance of challenges and opportunities
- Poor body posture and avoidance of eye contact
- Reduced emotional states – sadness, anxiety, guilt, shame, frustration and anger
- Uncomfortable body sensations such as fatigue, low-energy or chronic tension
- Difficulty giving yourself credit for your achievements or only believing that good results are the outcome of others’ skills and strengths
- Difficulty with relationships – acute self-consciousness, oversensitivity of criticism and disapproval, excessive eagerness to please
- Activity avoidance, especially where there is risk of being judged
- Feeling of being undeserving of rewards, treats or chances to relax and enjoy yourself
- Neglect of your general health and self-care
- Excessive drinking, smoking or drug use
Isn’t this just the way I am? Why do I need help?
Despite what many people think, low self-esteem is not a personality trait. Negative early life experiences create the foundation for general conclusions we have about ourselves, becoming a faulty navigation guide we use to operate our lives. Our quality of life, relationships, achievements, life goals and health can all end up neglected or dismissed, often long-term, due to low self-esteem. We become increasingly withdrawn as we have less and less confidence and more and more difficulty facing normal tasks and interactions. We may also feel fear, resentment, anger, sadness, depression or anxiety on a daily basis. Here are some early experiences which commonly contribute to low self-esteem:
- Systematic punishment, neglect or abuse
- Failing to meet parental standards
- Failing to meet peer group standards
- Being on the receiving end of other people’s stress or distress
- An absence of nurturing things like praise, affection and warmth
- Being the ‘odd one out’ at home or at school
How can counselling and psychotherapy help me?
At Fresh Mind Therapy, we give you the tools you need to overcome negative judgements about yourself and improve your confidence. Our treatment uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which focuses on helping you recognise the connection between repetitive internal thoughts and subsequent behaviours. Through supportive and sometimes practical therapy sessions, you will learn to challenge the negative interpretation of yourself and improve your self-image in these ways:
- Develop a more balanced perception of yourself in which you appreciate all sides of you rather than simply focusing on the negatives
- Learn to celebrate your achievements and re-evaluate perceived failures
- Increase your self-confidence and efficiency – if you have a less restricted view of your abilities, skills and strengths, your self-respect will grow
- Know your true value
- Become accepting and appreciative of who you are, warts and all!
Get in touch here to discuss how we can help you move gain confidence and move forward