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  • Sasha Raskin, MA

How to Overcome Low Self-Esteem


Self-esteem is the measure by which a person feels confident and considers themselves valuable, which has a great effect on the overall well-being. Many people today suffer from low self-esteem issues, which is usually signified by negative self-talk and constantly criticizing yourself after comparing your life to others. The sad thing is that the negative thoughts are seldom true, but the messages usually get ingrained into a person’s life that you may not realize how often they occur.


Causes of low self-esteem

There are several causes of low self-esteem and some of the main causes include:

  • Depression

  • Powerlessness

  • Social anxiety

  • Codependency

  • Shame

  • Inadequacy

  • General anxiety

  • Perfectionism

  • Physical, sexual or emotional abuse

To learn how to overcome low self-esteem, it is necessary to understand what is the causing it first. Self-esteem usually develops in childhood, with certain experiences having a big impact on its healthy development. This includes abuse or criticism from caretakers and parents, not engaging in experiences that would develop a feeling of purpose and confidence, receiving no or little positive reinforcement, having a physical impairment or disability or being stigmatized because of appearance, class or race.

Even if you have a well nurtured self-esteem, it can still be challenged in adulthood. Low self-esteem may be caused by sudden big life changes or even perceived failures that are beyond your control including, losing jobs, and ending a relationship, having financial or legal troubles, struggling with substance abuse or any other various events that could cause you to question your value or worth. Therapy is usually the best solution as it can help in giving some perspective to these events and improve strengths to enhance hope, social support and boost resilience.

How therapy can improve low self-esteem

One of the most common issues that therapists deal with is low self-esteem. A therapist can help you become stronger emotionally, more self-aware and more confident. Finding a feeling of accomplishment usually offers a huge improvement to self-esteem issues, and therapy allows people to identify the major activities that help them enhance competence and confidence. Furthermore, most therapists also emphasize on helping their clients to be more compassionate with themselves in order to set more achievable, realistic goals.

There are many different types of therapies that you can use to address the causes of low self-esteem. Some of the common therapy options include cognitive-behavioral therapies and goal-oriented therapies. There are even animal-assisted therapies that can help people with low self-confidence due to physical disability or appearance.

When a client has developed a long-lasting pattern of constant criticism and negative self-talk, low self-esteem symptoms usually arise. However, by working with an experienced therapist, you can get the important experience of absolute respect and positive regard that will assist you to grow into a more confident person.

Sasha Raskin, a therapist in Boulder, provides individual and family therapy / counseling in Boulder, Colorado, and worldwide via video and phone calls, drawing from over ten years of clinical experience. Schedule your free 20-minute phone consultation with Sasha Raskin

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