Low self-esteem

Self-esteem is not something we are born with. It is formed in childhood and develops through life.

  • Symptoms

    Self-esteem is not something we are born with, it is formed in childhood and develops throughout life. Self-esteem is personal and largely consists of what we think about ourselves, say about ourselves and how we act in certain situations. Negative thoughts related to one's own person are most often characterized by what are called negative, automatic thoughts. The negative, automatic thoughts are often destructive thought patterns such as "I'm not good enough", "I am a bad person", "others do not care about me", "it is my fault" and so on.

    Often, low self-esteem is associated with mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. These disorders can have a direct impact on mood, quality of life and function in everyday life.

    Low self-esteem often occurs when we have

    • fear of not being enough
    • fear of not living up to the expectations of others or your own
    • fear of what others think of us

    There are many reasons why low self-esteem occurs. One may have experienced little confirmation, or felt misunderstood and overlooked in childhood. Others imitate parents' low self-esteem. Bullying is a factor that can have major consequences for self-esteem and contribute to insecurity in social contexts on a par with, for example, divorce or loosing a job. No matter what the cause of low self-esteem, the result is the same. The longer the self-critical inner voice is allowed to fill everyday life, the worse it will often get.

  • What can I do myself?
    • Give yourself a constructive overhaul. Do you have too many negative thoughts about yourself? Can you find another way to talk about yourself? Try to change the negative automatic thoughts from "I'm not good enough, because ..." to "I am good enough, and do the best I can ...".
    • Be aware of catastrophic thoughts, such as "I'm not good enough" and false threats "it will be a failure", where you draw conclusions in advance about what will happen.
    • Be sure to do what you want, rather than avoiding what you are afraid of.
    • Focus on what is going well and try to stay focused on everything that gives you joy, encourages and strengthens you.
    • If you do not get rid of the destructive thought strategies and behaviors, it may help to seek professional help.
  • What can Eyr help with?

    Eyr has skilled psychologists who can help you change your low self-esteem into good self-esteem.

    Our psychologists can help you identify and challenge the negative automatic thoughts that maintains the negative view you have of yourself.

    The Eyr psychologists can offer both support conversations and tailoring a targeted course of treatment to you, where different techniques and strategies are used to master your challenges.

    The psychologists who work with us are based on cognitive behavioral therapy where the goal is to break avoidant behavior or compensatory behavior in connection with low self-esteem.

    Our psychologists also work closely with our doctors and can refer you to a specialist if necessary.

  • Sources

    Hewitt, John P. (2009).

    Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology. Oxford University Press. pp. 217–224.

    Smith, E. R.; Mackie, D. M. (2007).

    Social Psychology(Third ed.). Hove: Psychology Press.

    Erol, R. Y.; Orth, U. (2011).

    "Self-Esteem Development From Age 14 to 30 Years: A Longitudinal Study". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 101 (3): 607–619.

    The article is written and professionally quality assured by psychologist Cecilie Skupinska Løvset

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