Self-Esteem is the opinion that we have of ourselves. You may also refer to this as ‘Self-Confidence.’ The better our self-esteem, the better able we are when having to deal with the ups and downs of life. On the other hand, poor self-esteem can cause us to be overly critical of ourselves, making it hard to deal with day-to-day challenges and in some circumstances may lead to depression and/or anxiety.
What Causes Low Self-Esteem?
Low self-esteem often begins during childhood and follows the individual through to their adult life. There are many risk factors that contribute to the potential development of low self-esteem:
– Parenting styles: Constant yelling/shouting at your children (no matter their age) can lead to poor self-esteem and a lack of confidence as this often disempowers and belittles the child. Over time, this can lead to the child hiding who they really are as they fear that they are not good enough or will simply be shouted at for saying what is on their mind, or sharing their opinion and so on and so forth. Some other parenting styles that can impact on self-esteem are, injecting guilt on the child; for example if they have done something to upset you, saying things like ‘you have really broken my trust in you’, ‘you always disappoint me’, ‘I am not mad, I am disappointed’ – to get a guilty response from your child, can again lead them to never speaking up, especially in front of older people, people of authority or in large groups. Dwelling on past events can also have a negative impact on the child – Once a past event had been resolved, it should remain in the past, not be dragged back up whenever you want them to feel bad or to simply embarrass them in front of others.
– Teachers: How teachers treat children throughout their education is also very important. This too can have a negative impact on the child’s self confidence. If a teacher always uses a child as a ‘poor example’ to their classmates, this can severely impact their self-esteem, both in that moment and in the future. It can make them feel as though they are not good enough, which in turn can cause them to not want to participate in new or challenging things out of fear of being mocked. Comparing children’s development and achievements against one another is not a good way to encourage children to try harder but rather a fast track ticket to poor self confidence and a ‘might as well give-up’ mentality.
– The Media: This is a big one in this day and age. Media often portrays people living perfect lives, being successful, being happy, looking a particular way – which can lead to unrealistic life expectations as well as causing low self-esteem. On top of what the media portrays as being ‘perfect’, you also come across internet trolls! People who feel the need to post nasty, hateful comments on others posts, making fun of them for their bodies, their lifestyles, their personal lives, their day-to-day choices and much more! This can be very damaging to a person’s self-esteem.
These are just a few of the main examples that can lead to poor self-esteem, there are many other aspects that can play a part in this. Such as, stressful life events, serious illnesses or bereavement as well as your own personality!
Some people are prone towards negative ways of thinking and therefore life events, the things that people say and the way in which they are treated may have a greater impact on them than on others.
What Does Self-Esteem Mean to You?
‘Self-esteem , to me , is being the best version of yourself. Believing that you are enough and you can do anything that you set out to do!
Aimee (STU Founder)
‘Self-esteem, to me, is believing in yourself despite how many times you get told you can’t do something!’
MJ (STU Team)
‘Feeling confident in oneself even when the world gives us a hard time. And loving yourself no matter how you look or act.‘
Sofiabella (STU Co-founder)