Low Self-Esteem

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What is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem refers to an individual’s overall evaluation or sense of their own worth or value. In other words, it is a measure of how much someone appreciates, values, approves of, or likes themselves. It is defined by and encompasses many factors such as identity, self-confidence, self-beliefs, sense of belonging, and feelings of competence. Self-esteem is not fixed; it generally changes over time and is malleable. Self-esteem affects motivation, decision-making, emotional health, relationships, and overall well-being. There are several factors that can influence and individuals’ self-esteem such as age, genetics, socioeconomic status, health, and personality. It is thought that life experiences and relationships, such as with parents, siblings, and peers, are the most important factors.

Effects of Low Self-Esteem

Individuals with low self-esteem usually doubt their abilities leading them to feel less motivated to engage in new activities or even to continue with hobbies. Low self-esteem can lead to decreased productivity in school or work and increased issues with relationships and one’s social life. Low self-esteem can also contribute to issues with mental health such as depression, anxiety, eating and food issues, imposter syndrome, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts.

Common Symptoms

The most common signs and symptoms of low self-esteem can include psychological, psychosocial, behavioural, and physical indicators:

  • Focusing on your weaknesses.
  • Frequent and intense self-doubt, worry, shame, and fear of failure.
  • Frequent negative thinking, outlook on life and feeling a lack of control.
  • Regular self-criticism (e.g. “I’ll never do well enough to succeed.”)
  • Comparing yourself to others and believing they are better than yourself.
  • Difficulties setting and maintaining boundaries and putting others needs before your own.
  • Difficulties accepting compliments and positive feedback.
  • Social withdrawal and lashing out at others.
  • Stomach issues in the absence of outward causes.
  • Headaches and back pains.
  • Insomnia and exhaustion.

Self Management Tips and Strategies

There are some actions and techniques that can be used to improve and increase self-esteem. These include:

  • Learning to identify and be aware of negative thoughts that are affecting your self-worth.
  • When engaging in negative thinking patterns, try challenging these thoughts with more realistic versions.
  • Use positive self-talk such as positive affirmations, gratitude lists, and taking self-appreciation breaks.
  • Reframe negative self-talk using distancing pronouns and language (e.g. instead of saying “I am dumb” try saying “That wasn’t the smartest decision in that situation.”)
  • Stop comparing yourself to other people especially what you see on social media.
  • Practice self-compassion by acknowledging, accepting, and forgiving past mistakes and moving forward without striving to be ‘perfect’.
  • Remind yourself of your accomplishments and personal successes.
  • Build and maintain connections with supportive people.
  • Learn mindfulness meditation.

When can a psychologist help?

When you feel like you are struggling and your life is being negatively affected by low self-esteem, especially if your mental health is being impacted. Psychologists can help you develop a greater sense of self-worth, self-acceptance, and self-love to improve your self-esteem. They can help you identify and understand the underlying causes of low self-esteem and process negative experiences in a safe, non-judgmental space. They can also help you to recognise, monitor, and challenge negative and unhelpful beliefs, doubts, and thinking patterns. Our team is here to help when you need support in finding ways to improve your self-esteem and be the best version of yourself. You can book online using our Book an Appointment button, give us a call on (02) 4625 3339, or email us at admin@innerspacepsych.com.au.


Our Emotional wellbeing Check (EWC) is a brief 30 minute ‘check up’ for your emotional health. It is not intended as treatment or mental health assessment. It is designed to help raise awareness of the importance of our emotional health in our overall quality of life. 

Who is it for? 

Our EWC is for anyone who has wondered about their emotional health or is just wanting a ‘check up’ to see how they’re tracking. This service is not designed for anyone who has a current and serious mental health diagnosis. 

What does it involve?

Our EWC involves a 30 minute individual session with one of our provisional psychologists. About a week before the session you’ll be asked to complete our consent form, which outlines our T&Cs. You’ll then complete a few brief questionnaires. The group of questionnaires take about 15-20 mins to complete in total. We will receive your results and provide you with a personalised report about what it all means along with some recommendations, if needed. 

How much does it cost? 

Free Emotional Wellbeing Check for people from Macarthur and Liverpool area during Lockdown

As a local psychology practice we would love to offer our EWS for free to people from Macarthur and Liverpool area during Lockdown.
As times can be tough with stay at home orders and working from home we would love to give something back and support our community.
Your EWC includes a 30 minute session and the personalised report.
Please note that our EWC is a flat fee of $45 for people residing outside of the Macarthur and Liverpool area and when restrictions are lifted in Macarthur and Liverpool area.

How do I book?

It’s easy, you can book online using our Book an Appointment button at the top and bottom of the page or just call our friendly team on 02 4625 3339. 

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