As social animals we all have a need to feel valued by others, and have the capacity to value ourselves too. When an individual is frequently looking for praise or reassurance from others, or is maybe unable to make their own decisions or choices, they are unable to generate their own valuing of themselves- looking for it outside of themselves and from others. A Low self-esteem means having a low opinion of yourself and it can affect us all to greater or lesser extents and may even change depending on different situations.
For some a low self-esteem intrudes in many situations or they may have an overall general dislike of themselves. They may be self-critical, have self-doubt, blame themselves for things and focus on criticisms, mistakes and weakness discounting praise, success and strengths. Things from our past can contribute to a low self-esteem such as abuse, bullying, rejection, bereavement and traumatic events, excessive criticism, not enough praise or affection among others. Counselling can help by exploring these things from the past and challenging our beliefs, and the thoughts and meanings around them. Part of our work may include keeping a thought diary for use in- session and in between.