Building Self Esteem

Low Self-Esteem?

Low Self-Esteem affects your overall opinion of yourself  and how you feel about your abilities and limitations. It is the degree to which you feel confident, valuable and worthy of respect. It exists on a spectrum.

People with high self-esteem often feel good about themselves and their progress in their life while people with low self-esteem often feel shame and doubt.

Self-Esteem Explained


Causes of Low Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is related to one’s ability to take responsibility for one’s life. The roots of self-esteem are rooted in childhood experiences at home, school and in the community. If your familial and past relationships were strong and you received positive assurance and feedback, you are more likely to feel self-assured. People with high self-esteem, as children have been listened to, respected, received appropriate attention and affection. Their accomplishments were recognized and failures and mistakes acknowledged and accepted.

Low Self Esteem

Those with low self-esteem have been harshly criticized, emotionally or physically abused, ignored or teased, had an expectation of perfection.

Three patterns of low self esteem

The Imposter

A person who uses accomplishments or false confidence to mask insecurity, they are terrified of failure and may use perfectionism or procrastination to deal with anxiety.

The Rebel

The person who acts like the opinion of others don’t matter, use anger; blame and rebellion may mask their feelings of inferiority and may have trouble with acting out behaviors.

The Victim

The victim feels helpless in the face of negotiating challenges and uses self-pity or indifference as a way of avoiding taking responsibility for action and rely on the fantasy of being rescued leading to problems like unassertiveness, inaction, and underachievement.

Becoming Self Aware

Negative past relationships don’t have to determine your fate. It is hard work but it is possible to be the steward of your own sense of self and self-worth. By becoming self-aware, knowing your strengths and weaknesses and aligning with your true values, you can focus your drive for self-actualization. Healthy self-esteem allows one to express her needs, confidently make decisions; form honest relationships based on trust. With healthy self-esteem, you are more realistic in your expectations and are less likely to be unduly harsh in self-criticism. Fundamentally the desire to do good and avoid harm in our social relationships is at the heart of self-regard, trustworthiness, and integrity.

Getting Help

Getting help from others is a difficult step for anyone with low self-esteem to take. Often those with low self-esteem don’t ask for help primarily because they feel they just don’t deserve it. Furthermore, chronic neglect or plain ineffectiveness by past caretakers may leave one with low self-esteem feeling that they might as well deal with their problems on their own.

If you can take the risk to enter a therapeutic or coaching relationship you can learn to challenge and lessen your inner critic be mindful of your emotions and practicing self-compassion. And in the process gain a greater sense of personal integration. Therapeutic interaction or coaching can offer the possibility of attaining a more coherent and valued sense of self, we will decide together which approach is right for you.

If you think that you may be in need of therapy, but you aren’t sure where to begin, contact Dr. Jane Algus to schedule an initial consultation.

Dr. Jane Algus also specializes in the following Challenges:

  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder
  • Social Phobia
  • Bipolar Disorder

In addition to using her expertise and knowledge, Dr. Algus regularly collaborates with physicians and other therapists to achieve the best possible outcome for her clients through coordinated care.

If you are believe that you may be in need of therapy, but you aren’t sure where to begin, contact Dr. Jane Algus to schedule an initial consultation.