Social Studies

Self Esteem, Characteristics of self esteem and ways to overcome low self esteem

Biola Emmanuel - Thu, 16th May, 2019 @ 18:33: PM

What is self esteem?

Believe it or not, your self esteem goes a long in your life achievements. Too little of self esteem will keep people down, unwilling, depressed, discouraged and defeated. Similarly, an excessive self esteem may result into an unnecessary pride, down-looking on others, and off-putting to others. Ideally, there should be a balance on our self esteem; and this is where a healthy self esteem should come into place. It should not be too little or too great than your realistic inner self.

Simply put, self esteem is a personal reflection of one’s overall self-worth. It is the value you have placed on yourself and thus cannot be hidden.

Self esteem encompasses a person’s health, experiences, mentality and self evaluation; and this why you will see people act or behave in a variety of ways (these various behaviors are a function of their self esteem). Studies have confirmed that self esteem has a direct relationship with our overall well being.

Self esteem will influence one’s life in many ways; be it academic, in relationships with people, in career, belief and so on. Self esteem is not always static, especially at a person’s early and mid age. It may rise or fall based on the different experiences encountered throughout one’s life. Around age 60, self esteem tends to remain steady before going through a gradual decline in old age.

Our thoughts, opinions, feelings, physical limitations, nature of job, achievements and personal evaluation may also account for our level of self esteem. Children who consistently receive undue negative and unfair assessment from parents, friends, neighbors, teachers, and family members will have a higher tendency to encounter the problems associated with low self esteem.

Note: Genetic (inherited or hereditary) factors may also relate to one’s self esteem.


Characteristics of people with low self esteem

  1. Depression.
  2. They focus on pleasing other people and not themselves.
  3. They lack self belief.
  4. They easily give up on unachieved projects.
  5. Unwillingness to make an attempt in a venture.
  6. Unwillingness to erase their doubts. They are afraid to take intelligent risk.
  7. They put on a negative look.
  8. They appear not to be confident.
  9. They often end up in self pity.
  10. They often look down on themselves.
  11. Some tend to envy another person’s good.
  12. They generally accept other people’s opinion.


Causes of low self esteem

  1. Tribalism and Racism.
  2. Undue negative and unfair criticism from parents, friends and family members; especially towards children and teenagers.
  3. Physical deformity or challenge of some sort.
  4. Disappointment from family and friends.
  5. Poverty.
  6. Frustration from the loss of a job.
  7. Belonging to a family that is considered an outcast by other people in the society.
  8. The death of a loved one.
  9. Breakup in a love relationship.
  10. Inability to meet up with the standards of peer-group.
  11. Poor result in academics and education.
  12. Being a victim of certain traditional practices, for instance breast ironing or female genital mutilation. You can read our article on harmful traditional practices in Nigeria here.


How to overcome low self esteem

  1. Identify the factors that resulted into the low self esteem. It could be that a child is being bullied in school or it may result from a breakup in relationship. It can also result from any of the causes of self esteem as listed above.
  2. Accept the things you cannot change about yourself. Work towards changing the things you can. Love yourself for who you are.
  3. Never compare your progress to other people’s progress. Remember that your finger print only unique to you.
  4. Begin to make some positive efforts towards your dream. It is never too late.Please read our article on the leadership qualities of Joseph here.
  5. Read positive books and motivational quotes.
  6. Remain calm when you don’t achieve perfection. Remember you are human and perfection is actually an unrealistic goal.
  7. If the low esteem resulted from your act of making mistakes, just remember that everyone makes mistake. Your mistakes are your best teacher; so learn from it and don’t be left discouraged by it.
  8. Failure is not when you don’t achieve your goals. Failure is when you stop working in order to achieve your goals.
  9. Begin to choose your friends and stay away from negative friends.
  10. Learn to encourage yourself. Look up to a positive role model if possible.
  11. Learn to appreciate every success you make no matter how small it is.
  12. Don’t just believe in yourself. Work towards the belief you have in yourself. The simple truth is; no one can stop you except yourself.


Characteristics and Benefits of a healthy self esteem

  1. You are confident in the way you look, talk and act.
  2. You are encouraged to work towards achieving your goal.
  3. You will accept/embrace the things you cannot change.
  4. You will welcome your challenging situations as opportunities.
  5. You will utilize the areas of your strength to achieve your personal goals.
  6. People with healthy self esteem do not dwell in the negative things that people think or say about them.
  7. They always encourage others and are willing to help.
  8. They are always patient with themselves.
  9. They respect other people and are respected in return.
  10. They apprecite themselves and other people.

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