Conquering The Inner War- Peace Ogbonna

Conquering the Inner war

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” these great words were quipped by Confucius. One of the greatest setbacks that has affected a lot of people and stopped them from achieving their greatest feats in life is an internal enemy called Low Self-esteem.
Low self-esteem is therefore defined as the overall sense of negative and pessimistic view of one’s self-worth and capabilities. Low self-esteem is an inherent feeling of inadequateness, undeserving, and unworthy of love, affection and achievements.

Causes of Low Self-esteem
Statistics shows that about 54,000 people commits suicide monthly worldwide and most suicidal thoughts rises from depression which can be greatly linked to low self-esteem, it is important to study this major factor that contributes to this great loss of transformational innovative which are humans.

They following can cause Low self-esteem:

• Critics Parents; The foundation of most low self-esteem sprouts up from individuals who whose parents or guardian criticizes, belittles, hardly appreciates and sets unrealistic expectations for, tend to have low self-esteem because the most important person who should give them identity and build their validations are the ones killing it.

• Negative Experience; One of the major causes of low self-esteem is negative experiences such as childhood abuse, bullying, traumatic experiences, emotional scars and harsh criticism especially during the formative stage of one’s life can puncture their self-esteem.

• Unrealistic Standards; With the rise of social medias and its paparazzi, many people have set unrealistic standards for themselves with a mirage of what is assumed to be real, thereby leading people especially youths to set unattainable goals that constantly fails and a life of social perfectionism which breeds low self-esteem.

• Comparison Trap; beyond setting unrealistic expectations, another cause of low self-esteem is comparison trap, the constant comparison with others has led to low self-esteem. Everyone has a point where they are in life and the fight is against our old selves not against others. Society has set a lot of standards regarding class, beauty, success and achievements and the constant comparison with this parameter set by the society without due consideration on what most people succeeding on that scale are leveraging on has led to high rate of low self-esteem.

• Negative Peer Influence; Oprah Winfrey quipped “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher”, this implies on the importance of peers around us as the can make or mar us. Once we surround ourselves with those who speaks low of us and are leaving a competitive lifestyle then, low self-esteem is inevitable.

These are some of the causes of low self-esteem and it is expedient that we avoid these causes both on ourselves and on others if we must build a society that is filled with confident people who are ready to maximize his potentials.
Having known the causes of Low self-esteem, let’s look at how we can identify Low Self-esteem:

• Perfectionism; Linking of flawless performance to self-worth is one sign of low self-esteem, as much as success and succeeding is important, it is necessary for us to know that life has its ups and downs and things do not always move as planned, therefore we must not link achievements and successes to our identity, Brene Brown states, be kind to yourself, it’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to be imperfect. You are worthy of loving and belonging.

• Negative Self-Talk; Engaging in pessimistic talks about one’s self, criticizing and undermining one’s internal ability and capabilities are signs of punctured self-esteem. ‘You yourself, as much as anyone in the universe, deserve your love and affection. No one is perfect and whatever life you live is the dream life of someone who is less privileged.

• Avoiding Challenges; Fear of failure is a sign of low self-esteem as one feels that the capabilities to pull through that challenge is not there. Challenges are part of life and if we succeed, we earn the credit and if we do not succeed as expected, we learn the lessons and have a better footing to start again.

• Social Withdraw; Isolation from social activities as one fears being judged, rejected or not belonging to the social class is a sin of low self-esteem. This comes from a negative feeling of unworthiness of positive social interaction.

• Difficulty Accepting Compliment; When someone finds it difficult to accept compliments and positive feedbacks as the feel undeserving of it is another sign of low self-esteem. As the person feels unworthy and undeserving of any kind words.

Low Self-Esteem is damaging and it can destroy one’s life in the following ways;
1. Interpersonal Challenges- People with low Self- esteem finds it difficult to form and maintain healthy relationships as the feel the are unworthy of people’s love and affections. Therefore, building healthy interpersonal skills is necessary for self-acceptance and overcoming these challenges.

2. Mental Health Issues- Anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders are closely related to low self-esteem. Seeking professional help from psychologist is expedient in mitigating low self-esteem and boosting self-worth.

3. Professional Impacts- Professional goals and developments are sacrificed in the workplace on the tables of low self-esteem. This impedes career progress and hinders assertiveness. Confidence can be built through professional development and accomplishments.

Low Self-Esteem is not a dead-end as it can be remedied through the following ways;
• Therapeutic Interventions- A trained therapist or psychologist can help one with low self-esteem through the process of self-discovery attain self-worth. Seeking therapy is very crucial for anyone suffering from esteem issues.

• Positive Affirmations- Positive self-talks should constantly be used to replace negative thoughts and reinforce self-worth. Consistent practice of this can gradually shift the mind from negative thoughts to that of positivity.

• Building Support Systems- Surround yourself with supportive family and friends who can cheer you up, appreciate you and tell you kind words to encourage you, by so doing, confidence and self-worth is gradually regained.

• Setting Realistic Goals- You should realize that you are not in competition against anyone, you should only strive to become better than who you were previously not against any other person. Learn to celebrate your small wins and victories as the are stepping stones to bigger ones.

In conclusion, Low self-esteem is a complex issue with deep rooted consequences. understanding low self-esteem in details and seeking proper mental care and attention help in building of a positive connections, resilience and personal well-being in order to live a fulfilling life.

Peace Chinyere Ogbonna
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