Do You Compare yourself to Others and feel like you are not good enough?

Do you look outside of yourself for validation and self-worth?

Do You Suffer from ‘impostor syndrome’? Feel inauthentic? like a fraud?

Feeling Good Enough Has Never Been Harder

At some point in our lives, we all face challenges with self-esteem.  We live in a competitive, status-conscious and social media-driven world, bombarding us with images of success, beauty and prosperity. The quest to live up to these ideals has left many people struggling to define and appreciate their value and worth - to question whether they are “good enough”. 

What is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem is a reflection of how we see and feel about ourselves.  It is our perception of our internal value and how valuable we think we are to others.  It is the degree to which we feel confident and worthy of respect for ourselves and from others. 

Healthy self-esteem is more than just recognizing our good qualities, it also means accepting our imperfect ones.  People with healthy self-esteem allow their strengths to shine and their imperfections to motivate them to move towards acceptance, change and growth.  With positive self-esteem, we retain a healthy view of ourselves even when faced with negative experiences or disapproval from others. By contrast, people with low self-esteem, have a harder time seeing and appreciating their value.  They often look to external sources for their self-worth and struggle with feeling unworthy, undeserving and inauthentic. 

You can learn how to develop and recognize your value and worth. Counselling and psychotherapy can show you how.

Signs and Symptoms of Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem sometimes hides beneath outward displays of confidence and success and, therefore, it is not always easy to detect.  Although low self-esteem manifests differently in each person, a harsh inner critic seems to be a common feature.  Other telltale signs of low self-esteem include:

  • Chronic people pleasing, approval seeking

  • Difficulty expressing needs

  • Fear of failure, taking risks

  • Social withdrawal

  • Negative judgment of self and others

  • Self-doubt, shame and guilt

  • Trouble accepting positive feedback or compliments

  • Arrogance, bravado, aggression

  • Self-neglect

  • Anxiety, depression, resentment

  • Codependency 

  • Perfectionism 

Causes of Low Self-Esteem

While self-esteem ultimately comes from within, there are several factors that influence how we see ourselves including: 

  • Early childhood experiences and beliefs

  • Overprotective, critical or negligent parents

  • Unrealistic expectations from parents, teachers, peers etc.

  • Early childhood experiences of extreme punishment, neglect, and abuse 

  • Lack of affection, praise, attention, etc.

  • Bullying, shaming, teasing, discrimination

  • Unexpected life events and perceived failures, (e.g. job loss, divorce)

  • Traumatic events, chronic stressors

  • Media, societal and cultural expectation

  • Depression or anxiety

Building healthy self-esteem is a process.  Counselling and psychotherapy can help you get there!

How Therapy and Counselling Can Help Self-Esteem

Changing self-worth starts from the inside out.  At Counselling Associates, we will work together with you to:

  • Discover and build on your strengths.

  • Find a balance between ideas of acceptance and change 

  • Identify contributing events and areas of challenge

  • Shift and restructure negative beliefs that may distort your view of self

  • Recognize the root causes and patterns of behaviour of low self-esteem

  • Develop assertiveness skills to set limits and express needs

  • Challenge your inner critic

Everyone Struggles With Self-Esteem. You Are Not Alone!

Low self-esteem is often related to other issues, including anxiety, codependency and depression.  Regardless of the factors that have negatively impacted your self-esteem, change is possible.  Counselling and therapy for self-esteem can help you develop a more positive view of yourself and who you want to be. 

The skilled therapists at Counselling Associates can help you identify underlying causes of low self-esteem and address them head-on as you move toward developing a greater sense of well-being.  

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment of all!
— Ralph Waldo Emerson