What Is Low Self-Esteem?

Written by: Dr Joseph Kekulawala
(Psychiatrist)
Last updated date : March 31, 2022

Self-esteem is our view of ourselves, opinions about ourselves and how we value ourselves. How we view ourselves is a spectrum. We are all at some point on that spectrum. Plus, it varies. There will be periods in life where you feel better about yourself than others. In this article, we are going to try to answer these questions. What is self-esteem, it’s meaning? Why is it important? What can you do if your service team is slow and healthy?

Chapter 1:
Definition

Mental health experts describe self-esteem as a person’s overall sense of the value, worth all opinion of themselves. In other words, self-esteem could be described as how much you like yourself or appreciate yourself.

Boy with low self-esteem has a flashback to falling off a tree whilst seeing friends climb it
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Chapter 2:
Self-Esteem Stability

As we mentioned before, self-esteem varies. Research by Trzesniewski and colleagues, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that self-esteem is least stable during childhood, increased during adulthood before the stability reduces in later life. What this means is that self-esteem is most stable in a person’s 30s and 40.

So what causes it to change? If we think about what self-esteem is, it’s understandable that everyday stresses, significant life events all play a part in determining self-esteem. A young person raised in a caring and loving household might have good self-esteem. However, if they were to experience bullying in high school, their self-esteem would dip for a couple of months or even longer. Similarly, self-esteem can raise with supports, love and care. In addition to certain successes, life stability may also help boost someone’s self-esteem.

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Chapter 3:
Self-Esteem vs Self-Confidence

The question, “what is self-esteem” often raises comparisons between it and self-confidence. These terms are used interchangeably. However, there is a difference. Confidence relates to someone’s self-belief about a certain ability. For example, their ability to play tennis or dance. It is important to note; someone can be very confident in their ability at a certain skill; however, they may have low self-esteem underneath. If we take our earlier example, a young person who is bullied will likely have low self-worth; however, there may still be confident about their tennis on dance skills.

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Chapter 4:
Healthy Self-Esteem versus Narcissism

When trying to tell it apart from narcissism it helps, to define narcissism. A narcissist is someone who is extremely self-involved. It is to the point that they frequently disregard the needs and feelings of others.

Narcissists think that they are superior to others; however, generally, it is not because they like or value themselves. A person with healthy self-worth, on the other hand, is satisfied with themselves, likes themselves, and has no want to be superior to others.

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Chapter 5:
Why Is It Important

Self-esteem is one of many factors that determines your thinking, mood and overall well-being. People with healthy self regards view themselves positively. If someone has healthy self-esteem, they will feel secure in their abilities and not doubt that decisions. They are more likely to be motivated. Plus open to trying new things.
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Chapter 6:
How to Determine Your Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is a psychological concept. Unfortunately, there is no widely accepted questionnaire or assessment tool to determine self-esteem. Probably the most popular is the Rosenberg self-esteem scale. Morris Rosenburg developed it in the mid-1960s. You can find copies of his scale or measure online. Reflecting on your self-esteem might also help. Ask yourself questions such as do you like yourself? Do you value yourself? Do you regard yourself positively? How does your view of yourself compare to how others view you? If something goes wrong, are you quick to blame yourself? Do you shy away from doing new things because you don’t believe in yourself? Have you noticed variability, changes in how you view yourself at different points in life? Self-esteem is important. It impacts us on a day-to-day basis. It is good to question what self-esteem is? Try and determine yours. We have a six-week self-help course on low self-esteem here at Epsychonline. There are different ways to boost your self-esteem, which we cover in our course. Head to our courses page if you would like to learn more.