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

Written by Karl Perera BA, MA, DipLC
September 25th, 2018 | Updated: March 22nd, 2020

Believe in yourself

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

What Causes Low Self-Esteem?

Everyone goes through difficult times, but each negative circumstance causes their minds to assess how they value themselves. With every negative event, more doubt and negativity 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 worthless, incapable, and unworthy. If this sounds like you, Test your level of self esteem now!

Do the Effects of Low Self Esteem Impact Your Life?

Most people wish they could change some things about themselves. But, if 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 which make it hard for you to live life. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs can help explain this. Here is a look at how the effects of low self-esteem can ruin your life:


You are your worst critic. There is not a person alive who doesn’t wish they could change themselves. Yet, when 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. Visit a place like Forward Recovery, a Beverly Hills recovery center for drug and alcohol treatment, talk to a therapist, or speak with your doctor.

Social Isolation

When you don’t feel good about yourself, you slowly begin to remove yourself from the things and people you once enjoyed. 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. However, being in isolation isn’t fun. You miss out on companionship and building relationships that make life worth living.

Broken Relationships

The effects of low self-esteem can destroy your personal relationships and life satisfaction. Those who struggle to see themselves as valuable or worthy 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 partner 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 gym, when you feel incapable, you don’t perform well. You’re constantly striving for perfection, crippled by fear, and stressing over the worst case scenario which makes it impossible for you to be productive.

When you feel so low that you don’t believe you’re good at anything, you need to turn things around. Having 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 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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