Low self-esteem means having a low opinion of ourself and affects our confidence in interacting with others and dealing with challenging situations. If someone experiences low self-esteem, they are often self-critical and tend to spend much time focusing on their perceived negative qualities.
A person's opinion of themselves lies right at the heart of low self-esteem and symptoms include self-doubt, self-blame, ignoring or discounting praise, successes and strengths and focusing on criticisms, mistakes and weaknesses. Feelings include sadness, anger, guilt, shame, frustration and anger. This can significantly impact upon individuals relationships with themselves and others both personally and professionally.
Low self-esteem can be a consequence of a specific problem area or can be a vulnerability factor and impact on all areas of daily living.
Dr Melanie Fennel is a course director in Cognitive Therapy for Qualified Healthcare Professionals at the Oxford University Department of Psychiatry and I recently attended one of her workshops. I have found her wealth of knowledge during the workshop she gave on low self-esteem and her self-help book, 'overcoming low self-esteem' invaluable in my understanding and treatment of individuals suffering from low self-esteem. I highly recommend her book either as a self-help guide for those who do not wish to or are not ready to engage in therapy or as a part of a programme of therapy with a CBT Therapist.