The effects of low self-esteem

The effects of low self-esteem can leave you feeling pretty down. Want to know how to give them the flick? Find out what low self-esteem is, how it can impact your life, ways you can turn it all around, and what to do if you’re really struggling.

This might help if:

  • You have low self-esteem
  • You want to know the effects of low self-esteem
  • You want to improve your self-esteem

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is basically the way we think about ourselves, whether it’s high, low or somewhere in between, and it can have some pretty huge effects on our lives. For example, someone with high self-esteem might be more confident in seeking out new friendships. On the other hand, someone with low self-esteem may not even try because they don’t think they’re worthy. The good thing is that there are things you can do to stop low self-esteem from taking over.

The effects of low self-esteem on your life

It’s only natural to feel down about yourself every now and then, but when these feelings are always hanging about, it can have some big effects on your life. Some of these include:

  • Negative feelings. Low self-esteem can be really closely linked to your mood. You might you feel sad, ashamed, anxious or angry. 
  • Finding it hard to put in lots of effort. It’s hard to get motivated because you assume you’ll fail.

  • Relationship troubles. Interacting with others can be difficult. You might not think you deserve good relationships, or that you’ll be able to maintain a healthy relationship. 

  • Comfort zones. Trying out new things seems daunting because you might not believe that any good could come of it. You might assume that it will have a bad outcome. 

  • Low resilience. It can be harder to deal with tough times because you might think that things couldn’t possibly get any better. 

  • Not looking after yourself. It can be easy to neglect things like sleep, food and exercise when you have low self-esteem because you don’t care about yourself or your wellbeing. 

It’s clear that your self-esteem can impact your mental health and wellbeing in some big ways. If you’ve been struggling with low self-esteem, have a go at putting some of the following tips into action to stop things from getting worse.

So, how to improve your self-esteem?

  • Celebrate the small stuff. 

    You got up on time this morning. Tick. You poached your eggs to perfection. Legend.  You put your hand up in class. Winning. Building your self-esteem can take time, so don’t expect miracles to happen overnight. Celebrating the small victories is a great and completely legitimate way of feeling better about yourself.

  • Be your own best mate.

    We’re often much harder on ourselves than we are on others. Why not try sticking up for yourself once in a while, patting yourself on the back, giving yourself a round of applause, or telling yourself that things are A-Okay? Start off by challenging negative thinking. Do for yourself what you’d do for a close friend. 

  • Think of things you’re good at.  

    Are you amazing at telling stories? Do you have an unrivalled knowledge of Harry Potter?  Whether it’s big or small, recognising the things you’re good at is a great way of building up self-confidence. Check out how to work out what your strengths are.
Check out some more of the top tips to improve your self-esteem.

If you’re really struggling

If low self-esteem is still affecting your life in a negative way, it’s definitely worthwhile talking to someone about it. This could be a trusted friend, family member, GP or mental health professional. Act now and get the necessary help before it turns into something more serious. It can be hard to know where to find the right support you need. ReachOut NextStep is an anonymous online tool that recommends relevant support options based on what you want help with. Try ReachOut NextStep to learn about the support options available for you.

What can I do now?