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Causes of Low Self Esteem

spiral2grow, a leading counseling provider in overcoming low self esteem solutions in NYC, has professionals that include self esteem psychotherapists and counselors, who are expert in building low self esteem and building confidence. spiral2grow, located in midtown Manhattan at 260 Madison Avenue #8023, New York, NY 10016, offers low self esteem treatment in a variety of formats: individual low self esteem, low self esteem group, classes and workshops.

  • How Low Self Esteem Manifests Itself
    • Low self esteem can be manifested in many ways. Below you can find a list of some of the ways low self esteem is expressed:
    • Social anxiety and withdrawal
    • Lack of self confidence
    • Depression and anxiety
    • Focusing on the negatives
    • Inability to accept compliments
    • Emotional turmoil and emotional roller coaster
    • Extreme concern of what other people think of you
    • Oversensitivity to criticism or disapproval, being sensitive, or excessive eagerness to please
    • Avoid taking challenges, underperform and expect little out of life for yourself
    • substance abuse problems (drinking excessively or using drugs, sex addiction etc.)
    • Lack of healthy boundary and assertive behavior
    • Judge others and oneself
    • Driven by fear of failure
    • Aim for perfectionism
  • Causes of Low Self Esteem
    • Self esteem is a very general term and in order for us to treat low self-esteem, we must break it down into its components, identify and alleviate each patient’s low self-esteem components. In addition, low self-esteem is situation specific — no one has low self-esteem in every situation. A patient can experience severe low self-esteem in interpersonal situations, yet be perfectly confident in work situations. So we therapists must identify and treat each patient’s low self-esteem components in each specific situation. When you alleviate low self-esteem, many psychological problems will diminish substantially or disappear completely.
    • The main cause of self esteem is our experiences that have occurred earlier in our lives. The development of low self–esteem takes time. It takes a series of events and a chain of habitual behaviors to dampen the sense of personal worth. So, if these experiences happened long ago, why is it that we still see ourselves in a negative light today? After all, haven’t we had adult experiences that are quite different from the ones we had as children? Yet, we might still hear, in our minds, what our parents or other people had said to us years and years ago. We might hear ourselves saying things like “This is not good enough,” “You could have done better,” “You are so stupid.” These negative core beliefs are thoughts that are usually deep rooted, firmly held, and strongly ingrained in our minds. They are evaluations of ourselves and our worth or value as a person. These beliefs say, “This is the kind of person I am.”
    • Parents, teachers, and other authority figures influence the ideas we develop about ourselves – particularly when we are kids. If parents spend more time criticizing than praising a child, it can be harder for a kid to develop good self-esteem. Because teens are still forming their own values and beliefs, it’s easy to build self-image around what a parent, coach, or other person says.
    • Obviously, self-esteem can be damaged when someone whose acceptance is important (like a parent or teacher) constantly puts you down. But criticism doesn’t have to come from other people. Some individuals also have an “inner critic,” a voice inside that seems to find fault with everything they do. Also, people sometimes unintentionally model their inner voice after a critical parent or someone else whose opinion is important to them.
    • The key qualities contributing to positive self-esteem appear to be approval and acceptance. The following are some negative experiences that might contribute to low self-esteem:
    • Punishment, neglect, or abuse
    • Difficulty in meeting parents’ standards
    • Not fitting in at home or at school
    • Difficulty in meeting peer group standards
    • Being on the receiving end of other people’s stress or distress
    • Family conflict and breakdown
    • Your family’s place in society
    • An absence of positives
    • Overcoming low self esteem requires self acceptance. Self-acceptance means recognizing your strength and weaknesses; enjoying your strengths and successes, while being comfortable with, and not “beating” yourself for weaknesses, mistakes, and failures. Self-acceptance does not mean not trying to do better and be better. Individuals can accept themselves as they are right now and still strive to become more competent and successful in the future.
    • Finally, close and loving relationships with others later in life do contribute positively to self-esteem. It is challenging to form and sustain successful relationships when self esteem is low, but with gradual change of thoughts and habits, along with supportive environment and guidance, individual can develop a healthy and happy relationships.
Psychotherapy Services and Solutions
  • – articles, books and information about self-esteem
  • - The National Association for Self-Esteem (NASE) purpose is to fully integrate self-esteem into the fabric of American society so that every individual experiences personal worth and happiness.
  •  - Practical information for Building self esteem and confidence with awareness
  • The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem - a great book by Nathaniel Branden


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Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in New York City
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