Low Self Esteem: 10 Causes

10 Causes of Low Self-Esteem

Soooo many people suffer from low self-esteem. Some know the source of it and some wonder why they feel this way.  Many causes of low self-esteem come from childhood. Then there are those who did great and childhood and difficult challenges confronted them. Self-esteem plummeted.

Some have said that we spend the last 60 years of life recovering from the first 18 years. Later in life bad marriage, job difficulties and other problems contribute to low self-esteem

Let’s look at some ways to raise you self-esteem. This post is a general overview. I’ll elaborate on points in this post one day at a time.

You don’t need to be mired in low self-esteem.

I’m also going to take you through simple ways to eliminate the pain from causes of low self-esteem. There are ways to move past what you are feeling and discover the joy within you.

Here are 10 self-esteem challenges:

        1. Peer group. The first peer group is school. It could be pre-school or later years. People want to fit in and be accepted. When that doesn’t happen you begin to wonder if something has is wrong with you. If you look different, are differently abled, or have learning challenges, life to can traumatic. Sometimes you just come into a new school and the “mean kids” begin to bully you. As adults, the same thing can happen.Some adults grow up and some never do. They don’t mature emotionally and continue to pick on those who are different, those they’re afraid of, or the new folks.The pain from these wounds can carry over to adulthood resulting in chronic depression and anxiety.
        2. Family. This probably should have been first, but let’s talk about it now. Some parents just aren’t nice people. They’re unsupportive and critical parents or other family members who keep belittling the child. It’s difficult to grow up in a family who doesn’t help and support you.If you had siblings, they can also be cruel. They may be jealous of you because you came along. You get picked on by them. The end result is you have no safe place to be. Your sense of yourself struggles.

          Even when you come from a strong and supportive family, there are events which hurt. Yes, it may have been best for you not to have that cookie before dinner when you are two, but the two-year-old self may carry the feelings of being denied what they really wanted. I know that seems strange, but it is true.


    1. Previous mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. How you handle those mistakes determines whether they boost your self-esteem or decimate it. The key is to see everything that happens in life as a learning experience. When you objectively look at the event and evaluate what you could have changed to have a different outcome, you’ll learn from the experience.Of course, the pain from your mistakes can stay with you. You can learn to let that go. Why not choose to release it? Learn from the mistakes and release the pain. It makes life easier.

    2. Your thoughts can knock you down. Negative thought patterns only get worse. They may start out with something someone said to you, or something you said to yourself. As you grow older, you keep those same thoughts and make them more negative. These thoughts affect how you feel about yourself. They also have an effect upon your body which will have you feeling even worse. That’s why it’s so important to say positive things to yourself. Don’t underestimating the power of your thoughts.What is one positive thought you can use today? It can be simple. “I know I can. I know I can.” One if you think life is just going absolutely wrong for you is, “My life is changing for the better.”

    3. Failure goes hand-in hand with mistakes. Whether you failed to win the big game, blew that presentation, or land the big client, perceived failure can result in a loss of confidence and self-esteem. Just as with mistakes above, Reframe how you view failure. Itemize what you learned from the experience.When you discover something you could have changed, write that down. In your imagination, rehears doing it the new way. This will ingrain your learning within you.You are a learning machine. Open your mind to learn from what has had an adverse result. You can do this.

    4. Unreasonable expectations regarding challenging goals. It’s wonderful to have big goals. The problem can be when you focus on the huge goal rather than on the smaller steps it takes to achieve the goal. Break your wonderful challenging goal into steps which you can do, one at a time. The small successes build your self-confidence and move you forward to your goal.Take your goal and break it into small achievable steps. Put those steps in order and begin on the first one. Celebrate each success.

    5. Body Image. you’ve heard, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” We can say the same thing about people, “Don’t judge others by appearances.” Society does judge people on appearances. You probably do the same yourself. You may judge yourself based upon your appearance.

    There are things about your body you can’t change and things you can. Strive to move your body toward a healthy ideal, but accept that everyone is shaped differently. Change can take time.

    You also have to ask yourself if you are willing to do what is necessary to change your appearance. If so, make a plan and stick to it. If not, accept yourself the way you are.

    8. Trauma. Trauma can take many forms: sexual, physical, or emotional. Any of these can result in low self-esteem. What makes trauma worse is that it can make changes in your brain. These changes can result in fear, anger, hyper-vigilance and more.

    If you’re suffering from the results of traumatic experiences, getting professional help can be helpful. There are also simple healing experience you can use which can reduce that pain.

    9. Poor academic performance. School has a social component, but it’s supposed to be about the academics. Poor grades can be viewed as failing the purpose of attending school in the first place.

    Learning challenges can result in low self-esteem. When you struggle to learn and just can’t do it as well as others, you often feel “less than” your classmates. Your struggles with little effort can lead you to believing you can’t succeed. You may not succeed in that way, but there are strategies you can use to work around learning difficulties.

    10. Media. Media puts forth images of success and beauty that are out of reach for the average person. It doesn’t help that many of those images are manufactured and inaccurate. You have your own gifts and talents. Know, when you compare yourself to another, you are comparing how you feel with how someone appears to be. You don’t know how they feel.

    Low self-esteem is a common challenge of more people than you know. Understanding the cause of your low opinion of yourself can help to determine the solution.  Once you know the cause you can look for the solution. Often the solution is the same: healing, forgiving, releasing and changing how you think and respond.

    We’ll go into more detail in other posts.

    In the meantime, take 15-minutes to learn about a powerful healing prayer which can assist in your healing and releasing of the past.

2 thoughts on “Low Self Esteem: 10 Causes”

  1. Great post Cathy! Low self-esteem is such a huge problem for so many people, me included. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the posts in this series.

  2. Wow, does this hit home! I sure hope it doesn’t take 60 years for my granddaughter to get over your first 18 years. From parental bullying to an abusive BF, she has very low-esteem. She working on it and hoping she will regain happiness as she continues down a new path. Thanks for sharing.

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