Self-esteem is defined as "confidence in one's own worth or abilities; self-confidence." Naturally, it was something that evolved alongside your own growth. Millions of people suffer from low self-esteem, masked by multiple layers of emotions. So much so that often, even the person has lost sight of their own low self-esteem, leave alone someone else being able to recognise it. So why do you have low self-esteem, and how does it affect you?
Feeling a lack of self-worth does not follow a specific cause and effect. Take being bullied, for example. Some are bullied and get stronger for it. Others are bullied and lose their sense of worth. So clearly, there is something more complex at play here.
One anchor is the love and affection you get from family. Does your family demonstrate love and affection? Do they have time for you? Do they patiently listen to you when you narrate tales of being bullied? Did they stand up and teach you to stand up as well? Self-worth is built on building blocks. These building blocks are experiences you go through either by yourself or with the people that surround you. A lack of positive reinforcement as a building block can result in low confidence.
This applies to all aspects of your life. Health, appearance, career, and relationships If you are around people who drink all the time and mock you for not doing so, you will either fit in or feel left out, resulting in low self-worth. Very few people can withstand the social pressure and still feel wanted and needed. Being wanted and needed is easily one of the most powerful human emotions driving our behavior. Judgement is that fine line that allows us to feel that we are on the inside or on the outside.
People with low self-esteem can be more easily manipulated. They do not feel confident that life will work out if they take their individualistic stands. Not all choices made in these circumstances are necessarily best for them. So if you have children in your home, work hard to build their self-esteem. Start with your own if you need to.