Self-esteem is a healthy state of mind, whereby we value the person we are and the activities that we do; we cherish and positively view ourselves as normal and capable. It confers a good self-image and allows to lead a happy life, free from self-blame and hate or feeling of anger and frustration about who we are. However, if the opposite happens, it can lead to fatal cases of inability to forgive oneself and a lack of self-confidence. Low self-esteem is therefore unhealthy both for the body and mind as we are to see the reasons here.
What causes low self-esteem?
Various sources give wide-ranging reasons why people have low self-esteem but the most common can be, when we compare ourselves to others and downgrade ourselves. Hating our own body due to many reasons can lead to self-denigration. It is when we fail to understand the complexity of nature and our world; where things do not happen all times the way we want.
The clinical psychologist Dr. Lars Madsen reveals that it can be from our early childhood caused by ongoing stressful life or events where our contribution to resolve issues is insignificant or impossible.
The succession of unfavourable life events such as financial issues, relationship breakdowns, unfair or abusive treatment by others (bullying) can be contributing factors. A doubtful mind where keeping wrong mantras in our mind such as: “I can’t do it” or “I will never overcome this” will eventually evolve in labelling ourselves as incapable beings, and so we remain.
What can be the consequences of low self-esteem?
If unchecked, low self-esteem can lead to mental health disorder, a change in our normal way of relating to others, societal withdrawal, state of anxiety and depression. It can also lead to self-destructive moves such as unhealthy cosmetic surgery, drug abuse (taken to escape stress and fear), self-defence mechanisms to nonexistent dangers, unhealthy eating disorders which in most cases come with its own costs.
Such self-denigration compels us to seek outside ourselves for esteem and force others to treat us the way we believe we deserve. In most cases, it has led to abuse of power or authority, imposing on others our acceptance.
This feeling of low self-esteem can lead people to enforce codes of conduct to be shown to them. This is common for leaders and those in high positions; they will install excessive discipline measures and sanctions when they feel they are not respected or valued as they feel it ought to. They tend to believe they deserve more than how being treated. Lynne Forrest says that “we blame, justify, exaggerate, and manipulate, all in an effort to hide our perceived worthlessness”, and I have seen people turning into aggressive beings to impose their identity. Over spending monies to amass material things, obsessively can be a sign of inner unquenched desire to be better.
When it comes to relationship, low self-esteem in both men and women can lead to move from one partner to the other, searching who will validate them, not love them, and once they find him or her, they get too much emotionally attached to him or her and aggressive when there is a clear indication of relationship break up.
Towards eliminating low self-esteem
Dr. Kevin Solomons states that “it’s not external events that have the most profound effect on our self-esteem. It is how we view our own life and life’s events”. Therefore, since the therapy seems to be from within, the step number one is to know our own problem (be aware of our state of low self-esteem) and work towards improving it. Experts suggest the need to look after our body but care less on how it looks as we can’t change it.
Getting to know the meaning, purpose and goals of our life, the need for a connection to something greater than ourselves, embarking on creative activities, the need for intimacy and connection to others (good and sound friendship), cultivate inner sense of control reflex, developing a positive thinking, mind physical health by mere body exercise and most importantly, mindfulness and mindset coaching through meditation which science has made to be the easiest and most effective way to digest any mind’s related issues. It consists of letting the mind focus on one thing at a time, maximize and prioritize concentration and relaxation. It inherently helps one boost self-confidence, love, compassion and ability to comprehend the complexity of the world especially when we learn to let go that which we cling on, that does not matter at the moment to just remain happy and content of who we are and what we are doing at the moment.