Do you or your children experience repeated poor performance at school, work or in everyday life? Does it feel like you can’t get anything right and that things will never work out? Does it seem like you can never be good enough? Everyone has bad days but if these are the kinds of questions that characterize most of your thinking, some of these issues might be explained by low self-esteem and negative self-talk.
Sometimes personal shortcomings or situational failures can become a global attitude or state of mind that applies to everything you touch rather than it being an unfortunate situation or behaviour that can be changed.
Not only does this state of mind influence one’s perceptions of failure, but it can also lead to decreased chances of achieving future successes. This negative state of mind may stem from low self-esteem that we carry with us from childhood; it is a negative perception of our self-worth or value of self that can follow us through life if we let it.
Low self-esteem is often accompanied by negative thinking and low self-confidence. Having low self-esteem often leads to greater experiences of anxiety and negativity, such as that persistent voice in your head that doubts and criticizes everything you do.
When we struggle with low self-esteem we can also have difficulty making decisions as well as difficulty with asserting our own needs due to self-doubt, fear of conflict or even feeling that we aren’t worth standing up for. Because of a lack of confidence and pessimistic or hopeless thinking a person with low self-esteem may be reluctant to try new things or to pursue their goals. This can result in further negative thinking and skewed perceptions of one’s own abilities which can create a negative spiral that just goes around and around. As a consequence, negative emotional experiences increase while risks or opportunities are avoided because the individual’s anxiety prevents them from taking chances. In general, low self-esteem can lead to isolation, loneliness, stress, anxiety and depression – all pretty yucky stuff.
Numerous longitudinal studiesies have demonstrated a link between low self-esteem and negative life outcomes such as poor school performance and educational achievement, higher rates of school dropout, criminal activity, substance use and abuse, and other problematic situations.
Are you or is someone you care about stuck in this negative cycle caused by low self-esteem? If so you don’t have to stay there, there is a cure! Self-worth and self-esteem are short term issues that can be eliminated through counselling. If you want to change these negative thought patterns we can help open you up to the possibility for more positive experiences and positive life outcomes. You don’t have to go through this alone and we can shrink that little negative voice in your head until it gets squashed for good!