In our world, different ailments are discovered by Scientists that pose threats to humanity such as; Typhoid, Malaria, Cancer, Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS e.t.c. and a recent one, the COVID 19. And these ailments had led to the death of many, causing devastation and frustration due to the pains and scars left in one’s heart from losing their loved ones.
However, Scientists are yet to pinpoint one of the most common disastrous diseases in humanity. This sickness kills at a very slow rate, killing first the human consciousness, mentality, prowess, and social and intellectual quotient; leaving them languishing in solitude.
This popular unknown sickness is called “Low-self esteem”
Low-self esteem? How? And Why?
Oh yes! Low self-esteem can cause death faster(not physical death, but, at some point, it’s involved depending on the intensity) and at a slower rate, it depends on the Individual.
What is Self-esteem? Self-esteem is defined as the belief and opinion of oneself and abilities.
To identify someone with a low self syndrome, there are traits obvious in their mannerism, some such traits are Sensitivity to criticism, Social withdrawal, Hostility, Excessive Preoccupation with Personal Problems, and Physical problems like depression or anxiety.
When an individual develops low self-esteem, it can be traced to the following reasons:- (i) Self-hatred (ii)Perfectionism (iii) Negative Body Image (iv) Comparison (v) Criticism (vi) Oversensitivity (vii) Fear and Anxiety (viii) Anger and Rage(ix)Human pleasers (x)Social circumstances, and most importantly (xi)Childhood experience.
Self-esteem plays an important role in our lives, as it evolves in decision making, health status, accomplishments, and goals achievement.
Your self-esteem, however, is something more fundamental than the normal ups and downs associated with situational changes.
Low self-esteem can result in the below:
It causes creates anxiety, stress, loneliness, and an increased likelihood of depression.
Impoverished relationships and communication with friends and families
Poor performance in job and school.
It leads to drug vulnerability and alcohol abuse.
Worst of all, these negative consequences reinforce the negative self-image and can take a person into a downward spiral of lower and lower self-esteem and increasingly unproductive or even actively self-destructive behavior.
Three Faces of Low Self-Esteem
There are three faces of low self-esteem, which can’t be easily recognized. The reaction to low self-esteem is based on individuals’ diverse ways, which are:-
1• The Imposter
2• The Rebel
3• The Victim
The Imposter: acts happy and successful; terrified of success. Living with the continuous fear of being exposed. They dwell on the continuous achievement of success to maintain the mask of positive self-esteem, which may lead to problems with perfectionism, procrastination, competition, and burn-out.
The Rebel: they portray “the nonchalant attitude” of people’s opinion or goodwill doesn’t matters, especially of important or powerful individuals, and the constant danger of perfectionism. They try to prove that judgment and criticisms don’t hurt, and can lead to problems like blaming others excessively, breaking rules or laws, or opposing authority.
The Victim: acts helpless and unwilling to stand and take risks. They rely on others’ interference, using self-pity or indifference as a shield against fear of taking responsibility for changing their life. Depending on others’ advice or guidance, leads to problems like unassertiveness, underachievement, and excessive reliance on others in relationships.
How to Overcome Low Self Esteem
“Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you believe about yourself. We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem. We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth.” -Iyanla Vanzant
The possibility of overcoming poor self-esteem is achievable, it’s important to know that changes don’t happen instantly but takes due process depending on one’s capability, belief, and, willingness to entertain improvement.
Different steps to overcome low self-esteem are below:
Live in the moment: Being focused on your recent life by choosing your actions, consciously and wisely, unaffected by the hurts of your past, and unconcerned by worries or hopes about the future.
Develop awareness: Awareness helps to take note of how our reactions to fears, and anxiety, thereby creating a moment between our emotions and our actions, which helps in choosing our response healthy.
Write in a journal: Our thoughts and feelings are locked in our subconscious minds, and writing brings them into our awareness. Writing about the way we feel and thinks helps in separating negative ideas about ourselves.
Be non-judgemental: When we stop being judgemental, it means accepting ourselves, our experiences, our failures, and our successes. Realization dawn on us that, people are neither good o bad, without pride or shame.
Connected to yourself: Develop a sense of connection to yourself and reduce pleasing people, and flush out the autopilot thinking and behavior that makes you please other people without considering yourself.
Practice mindful meditation: this helps to get racing thoughts in the mind, accepting that feelings and beliefs are transient. Take a few moments every day to simply be still, focus on your breathing and watch your worries drift away like clouds.
When low self-esteem is being controlled, the world will be free of anxiety, troubles, and depression.
Written by: Grace Chigbu