Self-esteem is a work in progress.

Lately I’ve been feeling as though my anxiety is a lot like an injury that tends to flare up when I don’t take care of myself. It’s a reminder to take consistent care of myself and to get the right kind of rest. Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to put my metaphorical feet on the metaphorical couch.

Something that I struggle immensely with is low self-esteem. It’s something that I’ve always struggled with. For a lot of my life, I’ve put blame for that on other’s, but I’m learning through working with a therapist that I should be doing the work inside of myself to make myself feel better. It’s easy to feel anxious when you do not believe your worth is much.

Characteristics of low self-esteem:

  • Neglect to personal appearance
  • Poor eye contact
  • Dull eyes
  • Flat facial expressions
  • Drooped shoulders
  • Rare laughter or smiles
  • Neglect to personal health
  • Increased illness
  • Increased fatigue
  • Tendency to focus on others and wanting to fix them rather than their own self
  • Decreased energy
  • Decreased ambition
  • Decreased happiness
  • Decreased ability to cop with problems
  • Increased chance of addictive behaviours
  • Tendency to become involved in destructive relationships
  • Decreased ability to make and achieve goals
  • Decreased ability to stand up for yourself
  • Allows others to choose for you
  • Blaming others for problems

I don’t know about you, but I read and resonated with many of the things listed above.

The following questions are a part of the ‘Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale’. After reading the above characteristics, answer the following statements (strongly agree, agree, disagree or strongly disagree) with respect to yourself in relation to self-esteem:

  1. On a whole, I am satisfied with myself.
  2. At times, I think I am no good at all.
  3. I feel that I have a number of good qualities.
  4. I am able to do things as well as most other people.
  5. I feel I do not have much to be proud of.
  6. I certainly feel useless at times.
  7. I feel that I am a person of worth, at least on an equal plane with others.
  8. I wish I could have more respect for myself.
  9. All in all, I am inclined to feel that I am a failure.
  10. I take a positive attitude towards myself.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll notice that you can answer some of these in a positive light to your character whilst still believing very negatively of yourself.

Take one question from the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and answer the following questions with respect to that one response:

Where did you form this belief of yourself?

__________________________________________________________

How long has this belief been with you?

__________________________________________________________

When do you notice this belief affects you most?

__________________________________________________________

Have you had experiences that challenge this belief?

__________________________________________________________

What is one thing you could do (one small step that you could take) towards changing this belief?

__________________________________________________________

Like all things in life, there is no quick fix. As much as I would like to snap my fingers and believe in myself wholeheartedly and fully, it’s going to take time. I know where my flaws lie, and I know that I need to value myself for. I don’t think I’m alone in that though. I think we could all value ourselves a little more.


I’ve been seeing a Psychiatrist in an effort to help control the massive amounts of anxiety I’ve been suffering from in 2019. My Psychiatrist provides a lot of homework for me to use as tools for self improvement. As I work on myself, I’m sharing the resources provided to me. Why? Spread the wealth, spread the health.

Your mental health and well being are the most important gifts that you can give to yourself. To anyone reading this, I encourage you to please look after yourself. Take from this post what you like and leave what you don’t.

Want to see more on mental health and self care? CLICK HERE

14 thoughts on “Self-esteem is a work in progress.

  1. The struggle is SOOOO real! It can really negatively affect how one sees and views life.

    1. I formed this belief early on in life. A lot of our problems stem from our childhoods. In my case, it was my mother who made me feel small. Like I was never good enough for anything.
    2. This belief has been with me all of my life. Thanks mom *sarcasm*
    3. This belief affects me most during times of self-comparison, which is another self-destructive behaviour. It seems to be worse during clinical practice where it’s so easy to compare yourself to them, working alongside them in the hospital. It’s also bad when I use social media, especially Instagram.
    4. Challenging this belief? I’ve made it further than I had ever thought. Never thought I was good enough for a boyfriend but now I’m married. Never did I ever think I would become a mom when I did…. and it’s crazy to even think that I was privileged to wear a beautiful wedding dress. I didn’t think I even deserved a wedding.
    5. Change means believing in yourself even when our perceptions make us feel small in life. We have to believe that we can do it in order to see change. Eg. I had to believe that I could get a boyfriend even when it seemed like I couldn’t…. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF THAT YOU CAN AND YOU WILL ❤️

    Liked by 5 people

  2. “Like all things in life, there is no quick fix.” This is true, but the good news is, I’ve spent enough time working on changing my mindset and worldview (relating to issues other than self-esteem) that I can confirm it’s entirely possible to change how you think and respond to stimuli! It might take years, but one day you’ll realize you don’t have the same thoughts and reactions that you used to, and it feels good!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I remember being a senior in college and in therapy with a graduate student in her final year. The last negative self-image to blow through was body image. I was in my mid 30’s and topped out at 352 pounds. I believed I was truly ugly, unworthy of romantic love because of my looks, yet I was in a relationship… my first in years. Anyhow… she gave me an assignment which I did many times when I felt my self doubt begin to pop up again. She told me to write a list of at least 500 things I love about myself. She said they could be anything positive about me. I didn’t think I could come up with more than a few. I went to our session the next week with a list of 1,000!!! Once I got going I was able to reshape how I was looking at myself. I didn’t have many positive things about my body on the list, but there some. That was one of the exercises that started the shift to allow me to lose and maintain a 120 pound weight loss.

    Had I done this exercise in my early 20’s, I would have found it nearly impossible to do.

    This is an exercise I’ve given countless clients for depression and self-esteem issues.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 500 Things you love about yourself – that’s a really great idea! I might steal that one of these days when I’m not feeling myself so much.

      Sounds like quite a life you’ve lead. You seem like quite a storied soul. I’d read a book of your stories! I’ll just have to stick to your blog for now.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I had never even considered self-esteem when discussing or thinking about my mental health! The some of the list of characteristics in your post certainly did resonate. We learn something new everyday. Thanks V! Maybe I should look at my own self esteem in an upcoming post.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I was talking to my sister the other day and she told me how she always felt like a freak because she was taller than most of her friends and a little plump. She is 55 now, but she has carried this “being weird” ll her life. Now that I read your list, I realize that a lot of things she does, especially not taking care of her health or trying out any new styles of clothing can all be attributed to this low self esteem. Thanks for sharing! It is very helpful.

    Like

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