Low self-esteem & life

Our emotional state is often reflected in our body language. Observations show that negative thoughts reverberate through our emotions affecting our behaviour, our thinking and our body sensations. Low self-esteem also impacts on life and how we choose to live it.

Having cerebral palsy and low self-esteem meant I underachieved. When we don’t have the support from home or school, it’s easy for us to fall behind. I couldn’t catch up or compete. Even with explanations, I still didn’t understand.

For some, we will go on to over compensate low self-esteem by relentless hard work, coupled with the fear of failing, never seeing our own accomplishments even though we may have achieved greatly, or not believing that the results we go on to accomplish come from our own strength and skills.

Then there are the personal relationships, the self-consciousness, being over-sensitive or unable to accept constructive criticism that could help us achieve. We end up being the life and soul of any party, appearing confident and in control of our life, whereas the truth is we’re oversensitive and insecure.

We may also live in fear of rejection if we don’t think we fit in. As children we don’t see a lot of what we understand as adults. We’re not equipped with life’s skills. Realistically, what 9 year old see themselves as having low self-esteem, let alone understand what it means?

11 Aug, 2010

6 thoughts on “Low self-esteem & life

  1. You are absolutely right. As children we don’t see it, but when we become old enough we can see the injustice of everything, usually as teenagers when all the hormones and changes are going on… then add this into the mix and we become very troubled and confused teens. We do learn to hide our feelings and bottle things up. And like you, we strive to achieve in different areas in our lives. I got into trouble as a teen to get attention and to prove to my peers that I could do just as much as they could. Lisa

    1. We do learn to hide lots of things, so that we protect ourselves, but my belief is that as we have learned to hide issues, we have to learn to re-address our issues, so that as adults we can heal.

  2. Being 16 and not dating much was not fun, life does not come with an owner’s manual. Yes I too tried too hard to please and at one time in my life work was everything. I missed out on a lot because of that. I eventually burned out at work, only then did i strike a balance between work and my personal life. At 54 I am still trying to figure out life. Maybe some day I will.

    1. I obviously didn’t know you Randy at 16, but in some cases (maybe not yours), we put our energies into something we know will work for us because of other things we struggle with. By the time we realise and correct it, life has passed us by.

  3. My low self-esteem as a child came from my peers and the constant teasing and bullying I suffered. My father praised my intelligence so I worked hard at school to get the praise I so needed. Unfortunately it wasn’t really enough as I grew up feeling ugly because of my red hair and freckles. As a teen my peers were more important, so my school work failed and I fell in with a bad crew who would accept me. It has taken a lot of work as an adult to balance my self-esteem and self-worth and finally learn that what other people think of me can’t define me. In some ways I know I am still insecure but I am so much more outgoing and confident than I ever was as a child and young adult.

    1. I understand you completely Lisa. Standing out in a crowd when you want to fit into your life is very hard. We tend to see ourselves as outsiders where others fit in beautifully.

      I know the feeling of failing in school also. I went back and changed all of that around 4 years ago because I carried guilt for being a non-achiever in school. I know now I could never have done it any differently because I had no support and because I also had CP. You and I would have had to have different parents for us to have come through our childhood differently. I believe there isn’t anything we cannot change, no-one has to stay where they don’t want to be.

      I’m pleased you feel better about yourself. You’re doing great.

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