Low self-esteem can radically affect your success in life and often affects and is affected by mental health issues such as eating disorders, social anxiety, and depression. If you struggle with low self-esteem, the psychotherapists at Full Living: A Psychotherapy Practice represent a diverse group of culturally competent clinicians with individual styles and training in a wide range of approaches. At Full Living, director Karen L. Smith, MSS, LCSW, personally matches each client with the therapist who best meets their personality, preferences, and needs. To schedule a free initial intake session, email, call the office in Center City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, or use the online booking feature.
Self-esteem reflects the opinion you have of yourself, including the extent to which you feel confident, valuable, and worthy of respect. Your self-esteem is shaped by many variables including your life experiences, the way others have treated you throughout your lifetime, and societal and cultural influences, as well as your psychological make-up.
A healthy sense of self-esteem is associated with achievement, ease of decision-making, a capacity for self-care, and expressing your needs and opinions. You’re also more likely to have good relationships and feel satisfied with your life the higher your self-esteem.
Low self-esteem typically develops in childhood. It’s formed by how we are viewed and treated by the important people in our lives as well as society itself. The variables may be concrete, like parental disapproval or expectations of perfection, or more subtle, like being a member of a disenfranchised group who is seen as less valuable by the surrounding culture.
Extreme trauma such as physical, sexual, and emotional abuse at any point in your life commonly results in significant issues with low self-esteem.
As an adult, demoralizing experiences can also impact or re-awaken issues with self-esteem, such as losing your job, relationship conflict or loss, or other big life events that injure your opinion of yourself.
Discrimination and disenfranchisement related to religion, income, appearance, weight, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual identity, or any way that society or the surrounding culture demeans or disrespects a group you are affiliated with can result in injury to self-esteem.
Low self-esteem can result in failing to fulfill your potential in life or a tendency to tolerate abusive relationships and circumstances. Any of the following thought patterns can be a red flag that you have low self-esteem:
If you have low self-esteem, a therapist at Full Living can help you develop a healthier relationship with yourself.
Self-esteem is an evolving, lifelong process that’s constantly changing due to circumstances and events. When clients work with a clinician at Full Living, they can learn how to identify the source of their emotions and behavior patterns, overcome negative input from others, and find ways to proactively improve their self-esteem.
If self-esteem problems develop due to demoralizing experiences related to your social identity, you can count on the team at Full Living to provide culturally competent services that understand the impact of society on the self.
To schedule a free initial consultation at Full Living: A Psychotherapy Practice, email or call the office or directly book an appointment online.
If you would like to read more about issues related to this topic, please check out some of these blog posts.