Although people are often described as having “high” or “low” self-esteem, many people find that their self-respect varies according to the situation. If you are experiencing these types of “ups and downs,” please be aware that you are not alone. Therapy is an excellent way to gain an understanding of why your self-esteem levels fluctuate, as well as helping you feel more positive, and better prepared to deal with challenges and disappointments. Self-esteem is not about feeling great all the time. Your self-respect is about feeling safe so you can deal with the problems of life. You deserve to experience love and acceptance from others as well as from yourself.
People with low self-esteem may sometimes: overreact when criticised; engage in self-destructive behaviour; avoid uncomfortable situations; criticise themselves and others; feel pessimistic, confused, angry; engage in manic activities; focus on individual failures, weaknesses, and setbacks; and blame others for their situation.
There are steps that can be taken to improve self-esteem. Practicing positive self-talk, setting realistic goals for yourself, and highlighting the positive aspects of your life are just some of the ways to improve self-esteem. It is also helpful to reach out to your social support network: your family, friends and community. This can be as simple as doing something nice for someone else or volunteering in a local soup kitchen.