You may feel like nothing you do is good enough. Every time you make a smallest mistake, you brood over it and criticize yourself, because “you should have known better”. You feel that everybody else is smarter, prettier, more successful, just better than you are.
You just feel plain bad about yourself. This really gets you down. And it makes your life harder. You constantly measure yourself against others on those dimensions where you feel you lack something. And then you feel you lose the comparison.
Low self-esteem feels outright bad. You can be depressed or anxious all the time, constantly telling yourself how worthless, ugly or weak you are. In your mind, what you are telling yourself is absolutely true and there is no way to change it, or at least you haven’t figured it out yet. You may feel trapped in feeling bad about yourself all the time.
Low self-esteem does not come from nowhere – we learn it. What we hear about ourselves and about other people as we grow up shapes our feeling of self-worth. And if we don’t feel we are accepted for who we are, even with our weaknesses and inadequacies, the road is open for developing the low self-esteem.
You are not alone. It may be hard to believe, but low self-esteem is a very common problem. Chances are you work with people with low self-esteem. Or buy your groceries from them. Or live next to them. Hard to believe, because they all look so sure of themselves? Think how much effort you put into not letting your anxieties show. Chances are, your neighbor might be doing exactly the same.
You do not have to live your whole life feeling bad about yourself. Low self-esteem is learned and can be unlearned – you can learn to recognize and develop your strong points, to rewrite your critical thoughts into encouraging ones, to reprogram your thinking and your brain to focus on the strengths and the potential to grow and help you become a stronger person, better able to appreciate the good things about yourself.