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Empowered To Thrive

Chapter 2, Module 2 -
Causes of Low Self-Esteem

“There will always be someone willing to hurt you, put you down, gossip about you, belittle your accomplishments and judge your soul. It is a fact that we all must face. However, if you realize that God is a best friend that stands beside you when others cast stones you will never be afraid, never feel worthless and never feel alone.”
― Shannon Alder

Many things can break our confidence and cause us to develop wrong opinions of ourselves, leading to low self-esteem.

1. People’s Opinions

In the chapter titled Insecurities in my book, Quiet Moments, I wrote that “Constant criticism and comparisons with others can make a person insecure. You can become a drivelling mess based on people’s wrong opinions and perceptions of you.” John Maxwell says, “Most people live their lives according to what others believe about them because they accept others’ value of them without question.”

2. Abuse

Many people struggle with the after-effects of being in or surviving abusive situations and relationships. Rape, sexual, verbal, emotional or physical abuse robs you of your power and, as a result, your confidence.


3. Mental Health Issues

This is a double-edged sword because while depression, anxiety and fear can contribute to low self-esteem, they can also be the result of having low self-esteem. Depression is a disease of the mind. People become depressed when their future looks bleak and they have lost their dreams.

4. Comparison to others

When you compare yourself with someone else, you tell your creator that He didn’t do a good job with the way He created you. You are saying that He made you flawed.

5. Dissatisfaction with Life Circumstances

If you are dissatisfied with where you are in life, you need to make a change. The challenge for most people is that they don’t know what or how to change. This uncertainty creates feelings of frustration and doubt and, unless commensurate action is taken, can lead to low self-esteem.

Exercise 2

  • How do you handle criticism?

  • What effect do people’s opinions have on you? Why?

  • Are you, or have you in the past, experience any form of abuse?

  • Are you experiencing hurt, unforgiveness or pain as a result of abuse?

  • Are you currently experiencing depression, anxiety, fear, or any other mental health related issues?

  • If so, can you explain why?

  • Do you often compare yourself to others? Why?

  • Do you think you are living your best life? Why, or why not?

  • What can you change to make things different?

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