Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-brake on.” –  Maxwell Maltz    

Suffering from low self-esteem is something we all experience. Some more than others. However we all have something we are insecure about. For some, however, it can stop them from reaching their full potential as they may feel incompetent, incapable or unworthy. Having low self-esteem can you lead to you lacking confidence in yourself.

Some characteristics of low self-esteem or low confidence include:

  • Social withdrawal 
  • anxiety 
  • Lack of social skills
  • Depression
  • Inability to accept compliments
  • Being hard on oneself
  • Self-neglect
  • Treating yourself badly
  • Worrying whether you have treated others badly
  • Reluctance to trust your own opinion
  • Expecting little out of life for yourself

Life changes can often affect your self-esteem. Challenges such as changing a job, ending a relationship, perceived failures and many more can have a negative effect on your confidence. When there is a big change in our lives, it can have a knock on effect on our confidence and esteem.

Ways to improve confidence and esteem:

  • Recognize when you are not being fair on yourself.

You may find you are criticizing yourself more when you lack self-esteem or confidence. It is important to realize when this criticism is unwarranted. Being too hard on yourself can cause more issues with self-esteem and confidence.

  • Surround yourself with people who support you

It is important to surround yourself with people who understand what you are experiencing and can support you through it. People who will criticize you a lot are good to avoid as often times this criticism isn’t valid. Surround yourself with people who know how great you are.

  • Treat yourself

Ensure that your lack in confidence or low self-esteem does not stop you from doing things you enjoy. It is good to from time to time to do something you enjoy and makes you feel good.

  • Talk to someone

Try talking to a close friend or family member who can empathize with how you’re feeling. Talking about how you’re feeling can help you express yourself.

Visiting a counselor can help you deal with these issues and create a stronger sense of self. A counselor will help you become more assertive, self-aware and confident.