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An In-Depth Look at How Low Self-Esteem Impacts Your Life

Written by Karl Perera BA, MA, DipLC
September 25th, 2018 | Updated: November 22nd, 2019

Believe in yourself

Your self-esteem is a summary of how you see yourself as a person. It is developed throughout life from a combination of positive and negative experiences you encounter. As everyone walks a different path and interprets experiences differently, it would be understandable that there would be varying levels of self-esteem. Those who believe highly in themselves are more likely to lead happy lives and overcome challenges easier. Those suffering from low self-esteem, on the other hand, tend to struggle in every area of their lives.

What Causes Low Self-Esteem?

Everyone goes through difficult times in their lives, but with each negative circumstance they go through, their minds make an assessment on how they value themselves. With every negative event you encounter, it creates more doubt and negativity which eats away at your self-esteem. Whether you were sexually or physically abused as a child, bullied in school, neglected by your parents, or socially isolated, it can have a lasting impact on your emotional well-being. Eventually, you begin to believe you’re less than others, ill-equipped, incapable, and unworthy. Test your level of self esteem now!

How Does Feeling Unworthy Impact Your Life?

Most people have things about themselves that they wish they could change or aren’t as confident about, but, if you’ve reached a point where you don’t have anything good to say about yourself, it can become a problem. Feelings of unworthiness, failure, and sadness intensify those negative thoughts you have about yourself which make it hard for you to live life. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs can help to explain this. Here is a look at some of the ways having a low self-esteem can ruin your life:


You are your worst critic. There is not a person alive who doesn’t have something or things they wish they could change about themselves. Yet, when you have reached a point that you don’t feel like you’re good at anything, it can get dangerous. Self-loathing is another term for self-hatred. It is when you internalize the negative feelings you have about yourself and those pent-up emotions turn into dangerous acts of self-harm. People who self-loath might overeat, stop caring for themselves and even use drugs and alcohol. If you’ve witnessed signs of self-loathing, you should get help by visiting a place like Forward Recovery, a Beverly Hills recovery center for drug and alcohol treatment, talking to a therapist, or speaking with your doctor.

Social Isolation

When you don’t feel good about yourself, you slowly begin to remove yourself from the very things and people you once enjoyed. It is believed that through isolation you don’t have the burden of having to prove yourself to others, fit in, or even worse, show your vulnerabilities to the world. The only thing is, being in isolation isn’t fun. You miss out on the significance of companionship and building relationships that make life worth living.

Broken Relationships

Having low self-esteem can really wreak havoc on your personal relationships and life satisfaction. Those who struggle to see themselves as valuable or worthy generally end up becoming emotionally dependent upon their partner. They look to their relationship to make them feel needed, wanted, and important. They latch onto their significant other in an unhealthy way and expect them to be responsible for filling their personal void. Fear that they’ll be cheated on, left out of something important, or rejected pushes the relationship to unhealthy levels. This becomes burdensome to your boyfriend or girlfriend and though they may care for you, it can be difficult to be your only source of happiness and validation of worth.

Poor Performance

Whether in the office or at the gym, when you don’t feel great about your capabilities, you don’t perform as well. You’re constantly striving for perfection, being crippled by fear, and stressing over the worst case scenario which makes it impossible for you to be productive and accomplish goals.

When you feel so low about yourself that you don’t believe you’re good at anything, you need to turn things around. Having a low self-esteem may seem like no big deal, but the truth is, it can impact every area of your life. Start by getting help whether it’s by going to a drug rehab and addiction therapy program, reading inspirational books, setting new goals, making new friends, or practicing self-love, the only way to improve the quality of your life is to make a change today. Once you learn to see yourself for the truly wonderful, unique, talented, and worthy person you are, the rest will follow. Find out more about drugs and rehab.

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