When our self-esteem is low, we tend to see ourselves and our life in a more negative and critical light. We also feel less able to take on the challenges that life throws at us. We all have times when we lack confidence and do not feel good about ourselves. But when low self-esteem becomes a long-term problem, it can have a harmful effect on our mental health and our day-to-day lives.
Low self-esteem is something that can build up over time, and may have started when we were younger. Our teachers, friends, brothers and sisters, parents, and even the media send us positive and negative messages about ourselves. For some reason, the message that we are not good enough is the one that stays with us. Perhaps we find it difficult to live up to other people’s expectations of us, or to our own expectations. Stress and difficult life events can also have a negative effect on self-esteem. Personality can also play a part. Some people are just more prone to negative thinking, while others set impossibly high standards for themselves.