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Common Causes of Low Self-Esteem and How to Deal With Them

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In today’s competitive world there are more and more people every day who are getting used to leading small secluded lives without any ambition. The reason for that kind of decision is not their lack of ambition but their determination that they don’t have what it takes to fulfil them.

That determination is not something we are born with but it is a rather long process of evaluation that will dictate all our choices in the future, based on the conclusion you are capable and worthy of doing. Although this can be self-evaluation, our value is usually built upon external factors and it can easily be misinterpreted. In order to recognise your value correctly and reach your full potential, you need to find causes of your low self-esteem and confront them.

Tell me about your mother

Childhood is the most sensitive part of our lives as a period where we form a picture of the world around us. And being the most sensitive it is the time when we’re most vulnerable and open to influences. It is natural that most of these influences in this early stage of our lives come from our parents or guardians. Besides the well-known misfortunes of not having a loving family that results in the lack of guidance and attention, there are a lot of cases where parents are just not ready to have kids but they still end up having one.

Unprepared parents do not know how to treat their kids correctly and thus are not able to provide them with the right care. And if those who are supposed to care the most for us don’t do so, we tend to reach the conclusion that we are just not worthy enough. In order to deal with this kind of deep-rooted low self-esteem, you may not have to literally lie on a psychoanalyst’s couch, but you will need to take a good, deeper look at your childhood because we usually try to suppress negative experiences from an early age.

Wrong, do it again

Sometimes parents have too great expectations or they are not really sure what they expect. Everything you do seems wrong and they are not hiding it. You get criticised no matter how hard you try which results in the lack of confidence that will follow you later in life.

Can’t you see Mummy’s busy?

It is hard to set new goals if nobody is paying attention to the ones you just accomplished. If your parents are preoccupied or just uninvolved from some other reason this can result in a feeling that you are unimportant.

Divided we fall

The conflict between the parents creates distrustful situations where children absorb negative emotions. Usually, children tend to believe that somehow they are responsible for the conflict and it can turn into a curse that will stick with them throughout their entire lives.

Into the brotherhood

As you can be highly influenced by your carers, the same way your peers might affect you. Today, it seems that everyone needs to be a part of some social group and in order to get in, you need to go through a kind of initiation, which is nothing else than another evaluation process. If you do not succeed to earn their respect or if you are made to do things you are not comfortable doing, you can develop a feeling that there is something wrong with you. Many of us tend to adapt just to feel accepted, or just to belong somewhere.

So, if they do not value your thoughts and feelings, you start to think that is because they really do not have any value. That way, you will develop the attitude that the only way for people to like you is to do what they want and you stop listening to your heart.

The red pill or the blue pill

When trying to enter into a certain social group, the first question will almost always be what do you believe in. If it is a religious choice, it may make you feel like a sinner. No matter if the judgement comes from an authority figure or from some established belief system, there will always be some kind of conflict resulting in shame, guilt or even self-loathing.

A look in the mirror

The look of our bodies is not something that is strictly connected to social groups but it has an important role in how people accept us. Today, we consider our bodies as an object for others to behold, so we are desperately trying to satisfy the standards that change every other day. You need to develop large muscles in order to look manly. So if you are born with a different body type, that does not allow you to become the Hulk; you will feel unattractive and unworthy of anyone’s attention.

Digging in the dirt

Sometimes, you might even go that far to accept bullying just to remain in the group, which can become a trauma buried deep inside you. No matter if it is physical, emotional or sexual, this abuse will certainly make you feel shame and even guilt. If you let it go on for too long, in time you might think you actually caused it by somehow deserving it. You will develop an opinion that you are not worthy of respect, love, and care.

Like, share, update

Social groups are usually not a product of some random idea of the leader and, even if they are, they are completely established by the media. That is where all the standards are set up, especially in the area of social media where every ‘like’ is a huge impact on our self-esteem. Every demand is set up so unrealistically with so many unfair comparisons that everything seems like imperfection.

Easy come, easy go; Little high, little low

Although childhood and teenage years are the most dangerous ground for your self-esteem, later in life the danger comes simply in the form of old age. Your hair and teeth might start to fall out, your bones start to squeak and hurt, not to talk about things like erectile dysfunction. Everything you have been trying to build your whole life comes apart and tears down your self-esteem all over again.

All those things are a part of the natural process and can be fixed. Today, you can walk into any professional men’s health clinic and the teams of experts will make your old age seem like a blessing. But it is important to know what the problem really is. What really bothers you, not your parents, not some various and meaningless groups  – just you. If you truly love and respect yourself, others will notice that and follow your example.


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Tony Solomon is a writer and an editor at MediaGurus, with several years of experience in creating quality content for the web. 

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