A Look in the Mirror: What Are 8 Most Common Causes of Low Self-Esteem?

Jun 7, 2019 | Health & Fitness | 25 comments

Low self-esteem is a problem that does not discriminate.

It preys on all walks of life, from poor to rich, plain to beautiful, overweight to slender, anywhere in the world. You don’t have to have certain traits or characteristics to have low self-esteem. But there are some things that are found more commonly in those who live with this condition.

The reason low self-esteem is such an important topic to address is that it affects so many other aspects of a person’s life. Those who have high self-esteem tend to spend their lives working towards growing and improving themselves; while those with the opposite concentrate on avoiding mistakes that may make them feel poorly or look bad to others.

It creates a domino effect of negative problems, eventually turning, for many individuals with low self-esteem, into depression. Those who engage in this type of thinking are worried about failing. So they don’t reach for higher goals that they are not sure that they can make. They focus on an adverse event, even when it is surrounded by positive events. And they hear criticism where only constructive remarks or compliments were made.

These outcomes can make it extremely difficult for a person with low self-esteem to engage in daily social activities. They lack interpersonal communication skills and confidence and often have social anxiety keeping them from moving outside of their comfort zone.

Because of the massive blanket that low self-esteem puts on a person’s life, in effect smothering them invisibly. It is crucial that the topic is addressed and help is made readily available to those who look for it.

Here are 8 of the most common causes of low self-esteem and how to work towards a healthier level.

8 Reasons Why People May Have Low Self-Esteem

Everyone faces difficulties at some time in their life. But not everyone is equipped with the same tools to handle those obstacles and struggles. Low self-esteem is usually, but not always, a problem that begins at a young age. While our environment around us is forming our mindsets.

It takes a lot of in-depth thinking and hard mental and physical work to change the thoughts that shaped us as children, but it is not impossible. Knowing the root of your low self-esteem will help you understand how to tackle creating a better balance in your life.

  1. Being withheld approval

The approval seeking adult almost always has roots in a person who felt that they were never good enough to those authority figures around them as a child. When criticism was doled out regularly, but compliments were rarely received, it’s understandable that your self-esteem took a hit.

If you always thought you were going to fail, regardless of what you did. A typical protective action would be never to try things you weren’t sure you could accomplish. Over time, this would result in an unconscious feeling that you weren’t good enough for things that other people had seemingly naturally.

  1. Going through a traumatic event without the support

It would be easier to think that child abuse was an outlier in the causes of low self-esteem, but unfortunately, it is quite common. Nearly 3 million cases of child abuse are reported each year just in the United States, and these children grow into adults who often have difficulty trusting in the world.

Abuse can be in the form of physical, emotional, or sexual. Each of these creates an impact on a young child’s psyche that becomes deeply ingrained. One way many children come to terms with what occurred is by convincing themselves that they were at least partly to blame. Which results in an adult who feels ashamed of themselves and does not know why without extensive analysis, usually in the form of counseling.

  1. Poor physical health or feeling fat/weak/skinny

The world of digital technology and social media has played havoc on people’s self-esteem. Suicides have doubled since 2007, the same time social media became popular. Is this a coincidence?

Experts think not. Bullying is easier to do through cyberspace now, and the rate of teen suicides has increased drastically. With many family members attributing their loved one’s death to social media bullying.

Less dramatically, though, but more common are the hits your self-esteem takes when you see all of the seemingly perfect men and women. Flawless in their Photoshopped pictures. You feel fat, frumpy, skinny, weak, or just plain ugly when you compare yourself to these fake images.

But it’s easy to tell yourself not to compare and a whole other issue to listen. Instead, many people with physical self-esteem issues choose the healthy route of trying to improve their body and mind with exercise. Getting a gym membership or working with certified personal trainers is a must for anyone with low self-esteem since physical activity improves your mental state and your body’s health.

  1. Caregivers who are uninvolved or neglecting

While we are young, it is important to be surrounded by someone who gives us positive attention. Especially when we are excited about our accomplishments. When those in charge or those we look at as authority figures ignore us during these times or don’t respond as enthusiastically as we would hope. It creates feelings of unimportance in us.

When a child who feels unrecognized grows into an adult on the same path, it results in low self-esteem and a need to always apologize for everything.

  1. Being around conflict more than calm

Each year, more than 10 million people are involved in domestic violence. These adults are supposed to be the role models to the little ones around them. And the children who witness these scenes are often scarred for life. But what about behind the scenes?

The domestic violence events that comprise the 10 million reported statistics are not usually the first time that the person reporting it has been involved in the conflict. Domestic violence usually arises from tension and conflict that eventually escalated into the phone call or report. Children who live in these environments of conflict often feel that they are responsible for the problems. That causes it and grow into adults who feel guilty for any issue.

  1. Bullying, both with and without support

Statistics on bullying show that, even with all of the anti-bullying promotions going on, it is on the rise. Children who are bullied often go through it in silence. But when they reach out for help and are ignored, it can be traumatic. On the flip side, those who reach out and their support comes in the form of overprotective parents who teach their children that the world is cruel can be just as harmed.

  1. Struggling in school

When faced with academic challenges, it is easy to feel that you are stupid or become embarrassed. If your struggles don’t result in the adults in charge around you noticing and stepping in to help with accommodations and scaffolding to get you where you need to be. These challenges can turn you into an adult who feels like an uneducated failure. Instead of one who had learning issues that were never addressed. Instead of seeking help, these adults often turn away from anything that might remind them of their past failures in learning.

  1. Confusing beliefs as a child

It can be a great thing to feel as though you are part of a community with like-minded individuals. But when the views of those around you don’t match up with what’s in your heart or make you feel like you are never good enough. There’s an internal conflict that becomes rooted in your young mind.

These belief systems are ingrained young and difficult to overcome as an adult. Turning many children into grownups who feel confused about their roles and goals in life and the world in general. Belief systems are often religious in nature. Which is even harder to break out of because of the intense strength of right versus wrong and good versus bad that comes with being raised in certain religions.

 

Fighting Back Against Your Own Mind

Most causes of low self-esteem are rooted in your past but firmly affect your present and future. To get past these younger versions of yourself, you must fight your own mind. This is difficult to do on your own, so reaching out for help is critical.

Help may come in the form of a good friend who can listen without judgment or criticizing. Or a counselor who can give you the tools to battle yourself. And determine which of your thoughts are false thinking errors made from childhood and which are practical challenges. It may also look like getting out in nature and signing up for a gym membership to get your mental and physical self in shape.

No matter which option you choose, it’s going to be an uphill battle. But it’s for a great cause: your future. Preparing yourself with the tools to know your enemy – the reason for your low self-esteem. Will ensure you win the most important fight of your life.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

25 Comments

  1. Jeng Manalo

    Yes ang pagbaba ng self esteem ng mga tao ay nagsisimula sa pagkabata.Madalas bullying talaga ang cause nito nung bata pa hanggang nadala sa pagtanda.Minsan naman yung nacocompare yung physical looks sa ibang tao,yung concept na iba ka sa karamihan un talaga ang nakakababa ng self confident ng isang tao.Now a days yung color complexion isa sa mga dahilan ng pagcompare sa ibang tao minsan sa mismong loob ng bahay nagmumula yung panlalait na tinatawag kaya nadadala hanggang sa pagtanda.Anu man ang kulay, at itsura tanggapin natin dahil mas maganda na proud tayo sa sarili natin😊

    Reply
    • Dhel Manog

      True yan mommy nagsisimula talaga sa pagkabata ang paglakaroon ng self-esteem.Pinaka una dito ang bullying always talaga yan nararanasan ng karamihan hanggang sa ngayon,Kaya yong iba nawawalan ng confident ,may iba pa na nagkakaroon ng trauma o takot ..Share ko lang nong high school ako ranas ko talaga yong pangbubully lalo na at medyo chubby ako nun pero hindi ako nagpaapekto kasi wala naman mawawala sakin sa pang bubully na ginawa ko noon mas ginalingan ko talaga ng pag aaral ayon nakakasama ako sa mga top kaya yong mga nangbubully sakin nun nakipag friends.Sana mawala na yong ganitong sistema na pang bubully,pag cocompare ng kulay.

      Reply
  2. Nalen Valentos

    I agree with you Mommy halos karamihan ng mabababa ang self esteem ay dahil sa di nila magandang karanasan noong kabataan nila gaya ng naranasan nilang ma reject ng paulit ulit, yung ma bully at paulit ulit na pag kapahiya sa harap ng ibang tao. Nakakalungkot lang isipin na maraming tao ang talented at nabiyayaan ng katalinuhan ngunit nahihiya silang ilabas kasi takot na makutya lalo sa mundo natin na napakadaming mapang husga.

    Reply
  3. ARLENE BEJOSANO OBIEN

    Yes agree with all of this momsh. Ang self esteem malaki epekto talaga nito SA Tao so Sana mawala na iyong Pam bully or pamba bash Ng mga Tao so Sana lahat nalang maghatakan patatas and yes we need our family and good friends na makakinig SA atin iyong masasandalan naten in times. Na makaranas Tayo Ng ganito.

    Reply
  4. Leslie Santos

    true mommy agree po aq sa inyo bawat tao may knya knyang problema kaya nawawala ang knilang self esteem,dahil nadin siguro sa nakalakihan .. sa mga nranasan nila gang sa paglaki , at dahil doon kaya isang problema ngaun ng bansa ay ang bullying.. lalo sa mga bata.. at pati nadin sa matatanda .. kaya ung iba nattakot humarap sa mundong ginglawan nila..nakaklubgjot isipin pero kelngan tangapin .. kaya swerte parin ang may pamilya na nakasuporta at nakagabay sa lahat ng bagay at dahil don kahit anong hanash ng mundo ndi papatinag.. tnx for sharing mommy dahil dyan napaisip aq na sana paglaki ng baby q ndi niya marnasan ang gnyan estado ng pamumuhay sa mundong mapanakit at mapanghusga 😢😊

    Reply
  5. Jasmin Palaganas

    Totoo po ito share ko lang sakin nung high school ako 3rd year okay pa naman self esteem ko dahil nga topnotcher ako bit nung nag4th year ako napunta ako sa section 1 which is star section na andun lahat ng matatalino sa school pero mayayabang mga bully binully ako araw araw inaasar dun bumaba kumpyansa ko sa sarili ko pero sabi ko isang taon lang naman pero umiiyak ako nun pag binubully ako sobrang sakit lang na may mga taong ganun kala mo mga perpekto sa buhay yun talaga di ko malilimutan maski mga pangalan at mukha ng mga taong nambully sakin nakatatak pa rin sa isip ko

    Reply
  6. Mona Romero

    Having low self-esteem is indeed mostly due to how people react with one person’s doing. Their capabilities are being neglected too because of not having the confidence and courage to show it to because they feel bad about themselves. That is why if people are like this, we should help them gain confidence and giving them hope with uplifting words. It is always better to be kind than perfect.

    Reply
  7. Mariya Wendy

    I agree with this. Lalo na if yung love ones mo ang isa sa dahilan kung bakit you’re not confident with yourself. Sobrang relate ako dito, tapos sorrounded kapa ng mga toxic na tao.

    Reply
  8. Dianne abucot

    Totoo po ito mommy kung bata palang puro pambubully na ang nararanasan siguradong hanggang pag tanda ay dala nya ito may chance na bumaba ang self confident and sa panahon natin ngayon sobrang hirap na humanap ng taong mapagsasabihan mo ng mga pinagdadaanan mo ng hindi ka hinuhusgahan.

    Reply
    • ALEX NORTH

      Yes super agree mommy! Low self-esteem. naaadopt mula pagkabata lalo na ang mga biktima ng bullying. May kilala po ako na biktima ng bullying, na ayaw na lumabas ng bahay, ayaw na mag aral . Nakakababa talaga ng self-esteem . Nakakaworry lang yung mga ganung cases kase pwedeng madala hanggang pagtanda nya. Even me naexperince ko yan. Walang cinfidence sa sarili, sa school kahit alam ko sagot hindi ako nagrraise ng hand. Dahil nahihiya ako. Kahit until now nahihiya pa rin ako. Sa harap ng family ko, yes im confident pero sa ibang tao sometimes nahihiya ako. Pero narerealize ko na hindi naman ako mabubuhay ng hiya ko kaya aja! Sometimes kapalan abg mukha at wag padadaig sa hiya ❤️

      Reply
  9. claine arc

    agree po ko since simula bata naman nakakababa ng self esteem, lalo na po pag nabully ka, syempre mahihiya kana sa kanila kasi sa tingin nila takot ka ganun.

    Reply
  10. leizel

    agree po momsh naranasan ko to nung pagkabata ko walang magulang na nag iintindi laging nabubully sa skul.ang hirap po talaga.kaya lumalaki akung walang tiwala sa sarili.at ang hirap po pag wala kang mapagsabihan ng problema.

    Reply
  11. Lea Latagan

    Agree po momsh ang pagbaba ng self esteem ng isang tao ay nagsisimula sa pagkabata.Bullying ang madalas ang pinag mumulan nito.Minsan ko na rin naranasan ikumpara sa iba lalo na sa kulay.at yung physical looks sa ibang tao. Grabi subrang nakakababa ng self confident ito .

    Reply
    • Jhen Daganta

      Yes momsh… Nakakababa talaga ng self steem and confident ang bullying.. lalo na sa panahon ngayon dumadami ang cases ng mga suicide at isa na dun yung cause is bullying dahil nawawalan na sila pagasa sa buhay at the same time nawawalan ng confident humarap sa mga tao kaya nagiging loner yung iba.

      Reply
  12. Roxanne Aricaya

    Yes Mommy Mhaan… Bullying talaga ang no.1 cause ng low self esteem…lalo na ung bata pa lang nakaranas na ng bullying, kasi maiinstill sa utak nila na ganun lang sila… Di sila mag strive hard para maging best kasi baka di kayanin, o pagtawanan lang.. dati mahiyain din ako ,especially pag oral recitations na ,naiisip ko di ko kaya.. baka mali ako…pero my teachers proved me wrong.. sila nag encourage sakin to speak in front of people.. na may talent ako ,kelangan ko lang iboost ang confidence ko.. simula nun ,lagi na ko sumasali sa contest kasi napatunayan ko na kaya ko pala…

    Reply
  13. Roxanne Aricaya

    Yes tama yan momsh.. isa sa cause ng low self esteem ang bullying.. kasi maiisip nila na hanggang dun na lang sila, di na sila mag strive harder kasi naka instill na sa isip nila na di nila kaya.. na baka magkamali lang o pagtawanan pa pag sumubok.. nung bata ako , napaka mahiyain ko din.. especially oral recitation, naku, yuyuko na ko nyan…kasi feeling ko mali ako lagi.. haha.. pero my teachers proved me na kaya ko..may talent ako.. kelangan ko lang ng self confidence,.. so after that sumasali na ko sa declamations, orations, speeches…na overcome ko yung fear ko.. naboost ang confidence ko…thanks sa nakadiscover ng talent ko..

    Reply
  14. Rose Ann Obejas

    Agree with you mamsh, cause talaga ng low self steem ay bullying. Lalo pag bata palang nakakarinig na ng mga hindi magandang salita hindi natin alam malaki pala ang epekto nito.Kaya dapat lagi tayong nakasubaybay sa mga anak natin para hindi nila maranasan ito, ang hirap at masakit talaga pag pinagsasabihan ka ng masasamang salita kaya tayong pamilya dapat nakaalalay lagi sa anak natin para hindi nila maranasan ang bullying.

    Reply
    • Joyangelique Balleta

      Nakakalungkot isipin na bata palang nabu bully na, dahilan para bumaba ang self steem ng isang bata. Kaya nqpaka important ng support symtem d lang ng pamilya natin kundi at mga tao din nakapaligid satin. Sana matapos n ung ganitong sistema para lahat ng bata ay may self confidence .

      Reply
  15. Lenilyn Sibal

    Nung high school ako Madalas sa gilid gilid Lang ako…. Ung gusto mo makisama sa kanila kaso mas maganda sila

    Reply
  16. Jojie Vinas

    Thank you for this mommy mhaan. This is an opener to all of us. As early as childhood we should give them support system. We all make them feel that we are always her for them. We also encourage and not discourage them. Support them in their chosen path.

    Reply
  17. Amelialacson

    Iba iba po talaga ang nagiging cost ng self steem.minsan humahantong ito sa depresyon na nauuwi sa pag kakamatay ng isang tao.kaya kung my kakilala.pamilya o kaibigan kang my problema mas mainam na kausapin at bigyan ng advice na makakatulong sa kanya.maging daan ka para mas maging matatag sya sa buhay

    Reply
  18. Antoniette Sanchez David

    Agree po nag sisimula talaga ang pagbaba ng self esteem dahil sa nangyayaring bullying kawawa ang bata na nakakaranas nito dahil syan nag uumpisa ang depression at stree na nararamdaman ng mga bata at natatakot din sila magsumbong sa matatanda kasi baka balikan sila ng mga nambully sa kanila.. ang maganda advice po wag sila matakot magsalita upang hindi na himantong sa kaguluhan ang lahat at proteksyon ng pamilya ang kailangan nila pati nadin pi ang pagmamahal upang bumalik ulit sila sa dating sigla..

    Reply
  19. Lyka baqueros

    Actually po andito po yung ibang naging dahilan kaya may low self steem po ako.. ito yung mga naging dahilan po siguro kaya maaga ako nagkaanak.. inaamin ko po may low self steem pa rin ako pero hindi na katulad ng dati..

    Reply
  20. Mariya Bektorya

    Ako din may low self esteem noon. Kasi minsan iniisip ko yung iisipin nila kung magkamali ako. Takot ako mapagtawanan. Kaya sa school tahimik ako. Hanggang sa nakasali kami sa isang group na walang judgement kong ano ka man at they will encourage us.

    Reply
    • Twinmama Sarah

      Having healthy self-esteem is really important as it helps you make positive choices in your everyday life, gives you the courage to be your own person, have good relationships and helps you deal with difficult situations.I consider myself as a strong person but I can’t confidently say that i have strong self esteem but i guess lahat naman tayo but still we should learn how to deal with this.Thanksfor the helpful tips Mommy😊

      Reply

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