Low self-esteem is often confused with low confidence, but the two are not the same.
Because it is created by our deep core beliefs and affects everything we do, low self-esteem is often unconscious.
Individuals who have a healthy sense of self-worth find it easier to see themselves as a worthwhile person. A person with healthy self-esteem is aware of his or her own abilities and accomplishments. This enables them to set and achieve life goals, deal effectively with difficult situations, and try new things.
When you have low self-esteem, you’re more likely to focus on your flaws, shortcomings, or perceived failures rather than your strengths and achievements. This may lead you to believe you aren’t a very good person, which can make it difficult to set and achieve goals, as well as create problematic interpersonal relationships.
A set of negative core beliefs is at the root of low self-esteem. As children, we form core beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. These beliefs can become so ingrained in our thinking that we don’t question their validity until we reach adulthood and realise that things aren’t going as planned.
“I always try hard but never get ahead,” “the world is dangerous,” and “I don’t deserve love like everyone else” are common beliefs held by people with low self-esteem.
Low self-esteem can also be triggered by our adult experiences because these experiences build on the core beliefs we’ve had about ourselves since childhood. This explains why two people can go through the same trauma, but one may lose their sense of self while the other recovers quickly.
A person’s life experiences that lead to low self-esteem are unique to them, but one or a combination of the following may lay the groundwork for, or trigger, low self-esteem.
Low self-confidence is linked to our conscious thinking about how we might handle situations, and it varies depending on the situation.
You can have low self-esteem and lack confidence at the same time. You might despise first dates, be terrified of public speaking, or dislike dancing in front of others.
If you still believe you are a good person with something to contribute to the world, you are only experiencing low confidence in certain areas of your life.