Low self-esteem affects your overall opinion of yourself and negatively impacts how you feel about your abilities and limitations. At her practice in New York City’s Midtown West neighborhood of Manhattan, board-certified psychiatrist Jane Algus, M.D. helps you explore your self-esteem and implement practices to improve it, and also improve your overall wellness. Self-esteem is the degree to which you feel confident, valuable, and worthy of respect, and it exists on a spectrum. Make an appointment today by calling Dr. Algus’ office or using the online scheduling feature.
Self-esteem is related to one’s ability to take responsibility for one’s life and is rooted in childhood experiences at home, school, and in the community. If your family and other past relationships were strong and you received positive assurance and feedback, you’re more likely to feel self-assured and have high self-esteem.
Those with low self-esteem are often harshly criticized, emotionally or physically abused, ignored or teased, or given unrealistic expectations of perfection. People with low self-esteem may have been ignored or denied appropriate attention and affection during childhood and often feel shame, doubt, and undeserving of success or love.
Some of the common symptoms of low self-esteem include feeling shame, doubt, and worthlessness. However, low self-esteem usually presents itself in three distinct patterns:
A person who uses accomplishments or false confidence to mask insecurity, they are terrified of failure and may use perfectionism or procrastination to deal with anxiety.
The person who acts like the opinions of others don’t matter and may use anger, blame, and rebellion to mask their feelings of inferiority. They may also have trouble with acting out behaviors.
The victim feels helpless in the face of negotiating challenges and uses self-pity or indifference as a way of avoiding taking responsibility for actions and relies on the fantasy of being rescued, leading to problems like unassertiveness, inaction, and underachievement.
Negative past relationships don’t have to determine your fate. It’s hard work, but you can be the steward of your self-worth. By becoming self-aware, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and aligning with your true values, you can focus your drive for self-actualization.
Healthy self-esteem allows one to express their needs, confidently make decisions, and form honest relationships based on trust. With healthy self-esteem, you’re more realistic in your expectations and less likely to be unduly harsh in self-criticism.
Getting help from others is a difficult step for anyone with low self-esteem as often they don’t ask for help because they don’t feel they deserve it. If you can take the risk to enter a therapeutic or coaching relationship with Dr. Algus, you can learn to challenge and lessen your inner critic and practice self-compassion. Therapeutic interaction or coaching can help you attain a more valued sense of self.
If you think that you may be in need of therapy or want to improve your self-esteem, but aren’t sure where to begin, schedule a consultation with Jane Algus, M.D. by calling her practice or booking an appointment online today.