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Self-esteem Issues Can Affect Adults Too


Self-esteem Issues Can Affect Adults Too


You may look in the mirror and see a lot of flaws, and feel self-doubt, uncertainty, even shame and anger towards the image that you see. The feeling may be so intense, that you may even despise yourself for not being the person that you want to be. It isn’t a healthy emotion, yet this is how many adults, not just youngsters, with low self-esteem may feel.

The feeling can be awful. Worse, low self-esteem can bring about tons of issues, such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and getting involved with risky behaviors and unhealthy preferences. Low self-esteem can negatively impact the different facets of your life, preventing you from expressing your inimitable purpose, desires and talents and from chasing your life’s dreams and goals.

Self-esteem develops early, thus so can low self-esteem – a significant reason why the latter is a more common issue among young people. Growing up in a negative or “shaming” environment, it can persist into your adulthood. It isn’t too late to turn things around. With professional help, your perception of yourself and self-image can improve to catch up on what you could be missing or have missed.


The Nature of Low Self-esteem

According to the Good Therapy, “Self-esteem is the degree to which we feel confident, consider ourselves valuable, and respect ourselves, and this greatly affects our well-being.” It exists on a continuum or in varying levels, from high to low. A person with poor self-esteem is vulnerable to feelings of self-criticism, insecurity, stifled anger, and shame. It can also be an indication of poor emotional health or certain behavioral conditions, such as anxiety and depression.

Being weighed down by low self-esteem isn’t just about feeling worthless. It can undesirably impact almost every aspect of your life, as it stands in the way of doing or accomplishing the things you need to. It can breed other issues because poor self-image can leave you feeling inadequate in academic or work situations, as well as in various and social settings. It can also result in your feeling intensely pessimistic. Thus, you may be likely to doubt yourself and that you cannot achieve anything significant.

Feeling helpless and inadequate, there is also a high chance you will be overwhelmed by guilt. As failure becomes a constant companion, you may get used to thinking that it is your fault. This can cause you to blame yourself for every failure, fault and mishap that happens in your life – school, work, family and relationships.

However, changing deeply-entrenched ideas can be difficult. If you believe you are without true worth, you may still feel the same despite your successes. Rising above whatever is causing your low self-esteem is possible. Therapy can help, but first you must recognize its signs and symptoms.


Is this you? The Indications of Low Self-esteem

By becoming accustomed to or even expecting to fail, you may be likely to develop a perpetual sense of inadequacy, self-doubt and even self-loathing. Thus, one of the hallmark indications of low self-esteem is negative self-talk and self-criticism. You may likely compare yourself to others most of the time, criticizing yourself for being inadequate.

Low self-esteem is also closely associated with the following conditions and experiences:

  • Codependency
  • Social anxiety
  • General anxiety
  • Shame
  • Depression
  • Inadequacy
  • Powerlessness
  • Physical or emotional abuse
  • Perfectionism

Low self-esteem may also be indicated by the following:

  • Difficulty trusting your own decisions and opinions
  • Becoming a consistent follower rather than a leader
  • Always thinking of the worst
  • Fearful of changes and challenges
  • Harsh judgement of self, but tolerant with others
  • Recurrent feelings of apprehension and internal turmoil
  • Atypical signs and symptoms include being a workaholic, overachieving, and underachieving.


The Challenge in Moving Past a Hounding Past

Self-esteem starts to develop early in life. Negative experiences – hurtful criticisms, neglect, abuse, traumatic life events, missing out on meaningful experiences, etc. – can interfere with the healthy development of self-esteem. These childhood experiences can potentially prevent you from improving your sense of purpose and confidence. Without any constructive reinforcement for your early achievements or being shamed for being or looking different, you could also be vulnerable to developing low self-esteem.

While many children and teens can successfully overcome poor self-esteem, some struggle more than others, and it may persist into adulthood. This can happen if you have a negative or shaming environment, says psychologist Ryan Howes, Ph.D. In this kind of environment, a person has the tendency “to internalize the idea that if they act out, they’re not just behaving badly, but they are bad.”

If the experience is continually reinforced, it is possible for that child to believe that he/she is bad and see the negative events as permanent and all-encompassing. They may also be likely to believe that they deserve all the failures they experience throughout their life. On the contrary, positive people or those with high self-esteem do not internalize the negative events. Rather, they see those as merely temporary setbacks from which they can draw valuable life lessons, says clinical psychologist Celeste Gertsen, Ph.D.

To work though low self-esteem and a negative self-image and the many issues arising from it, you must believe that you are a good person and that mistakes/failures are acceptable, just as having flaws and weaknesses are OK. Unfortunately, changing or adjusting a deeply-ingrained, “distorted” perspective about yourself isn’t an easy thing to do. Gripped with pessimism, it could be easier to believe that you aren’t good enough or that you can’t change for the better anymore. This can be the real challenge in overcoming low self-esteem.


Resolving Self-Esteem with the Right Kind of Help

A number of studies reveal that low self-esteem is linked to many issues. They can impact the various aspects of your life, from your emotional and physical health to your relationships and your studies, job or career. Though these may not be permanent or all-encompassing, you may believe they are. If you have struggled with poor self-image and self-regard since you were young, it is time to move forward. As an adult, you have the power to change things in your life. Begin by working with the right therapist/counselor independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services in Cameron, NC – on Hwy 87, near Linden Oaks.

Your poor perception of yourself could be imaginary, but not your low self-esteem or the issues it is bringing into your life. With a long history of negative self-criticism and self-talk, it can be more challenging to develop or bolster self-esteem. Therapy can hasten the process of building a healthy level of self-esteem. It can help you accept your limitations and believe in yourself more – that you have what it takes to gain more confidence and be as good as anyone else. It can give you the courage to acknowledge that failures are as common as successes.

Counseling and/or therapy can help you address your self-esteem issues and gain a stronger sense of self, so you can be more confident, assertive and self-aware. By discovering and affirming your sense of accomplishment through specific activities and goal-directed forms of therapy, you can significantly bolster your self-worth. This is how therapy can help you develop a positive sense of self. There are several types of therapy; the right therapist contracted with CCS – Cameron can help you identify the one that suits you best.

You can do this. You can resolve your self-esteem issues now that you are an adult. It isn’t too late to catch up with what you may have missed out on. Call Carolina Counseling Services in Cameron, NC – on Hwy 87, near Linden Oaks to make an appointment!

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC

Counties: Harnett County

Areas: Cameron NC, Linden Oaks NC, Sprout Springs NC, Anderson Creek NC, Olivia NC, Pineview NC, Johnsonville NC, Spring Lake NC

Zip Codes: 28326, 28327, 27332, 28394

Rose Thomas, MA, LPC, LCAS, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Teens, Individuals, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, PTSD/Trauma Recovery, Acute Stress Disorder, Adult Sexual Abuse Survivors, Adjustment Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar and Related Disorders, Self-injurious/Self-Harm, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety, Disruptive Disorders, Conduct Disorder, Marital Conflict and Discord, LGBT, Substance Use Disorders
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Tricare Prime, Tricare Select, Extra, Retired, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express


Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Individuals, families, PTSD, Trauma, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Adjustment Disorder, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, communication skills, and Parenting Skills, Behavior Management, Life transitions, Family Conflict, Difficulty Coping, Relationship Problems, Depression, Anxiety

InsuranceBCBSTricare, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted and Apple Pay

Credit cards:  


Shirlisa Daniels, MS, LPC, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Teens, Adults and Individuals, Families, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Panic Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, ODD, PTSD, Relationship Issues, Conflict Resolution and Life Transitions
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Holly Ring, LMFT

Specializes in: (Ages 7+) Adolescents, College Students, Individuals, Couples, and Families, Anxiety, Depression, Trauma (child and adult, TFCBT certified), Relationship Issues, Coping Skills, Adjustment Disorders, Life Transitions, Suicidal Ideation, Self-esteem, OCD, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting Skills, LGBTQ
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (910) 716-8006 (Fastest way to schedule)
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  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!
Carolina Counseling Services - Cameron, NC
35 Plantation Drive, Suite 100B and 100C
Cameron, NC 28326

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PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311

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