Why girls have low self esteem

Why Do Young Women Have Such Low Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem is defined as “self-respect; confidence in one’s own worth or abilities,” and it is associated with more happiness, greater life satisfaction, and fewer negative moods, research shows.

Yet, for many young women, self-esteem is lacking. Even with growing gender equality, body positivity, and inclusiveness, young women continue to struggle with self-esteem. As a result, they are at greater risk of a number of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, and suicidality – to name a few.

Female brains differ in small but significant ways from male brains, which may factor into low self-esteem among young women. Click To Tweet

What’s more, low self-esteem can affect one’s life trajectory. It can lead to inaction, underachieving when it comes to pursuing dreams, and staying in unhealthy or unsatisfying relationships.

Here’s how to identify low self-worth, what causes it, and how to get it back.


A lack of personal worth and value will show up in a number of ways. Here are some of the most common signs:

  • Feeling unworthy of being liked
  • Looking at the world negatively
  • Lack of confidence
  • Excessive fear of failure/perfectionism
  • Difficulty hearing criticism or positive feedback
  • Overfocus and insecurity about one’s weaknesses
  • Negative experiences color your outlook
  • Worry
  • People pleasing/poor boundaries
  • Difficulty identifying and expressing your needs
  • Overly concerned with how others perceive you
  • Feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, or inadequacy


There are many causes of low self-esteem, such as having parents (or other caregivers/teachers) who were extremely critical, doing poorly in school, abuse, and ongoing stressful life situations, to name a few. However, there are some additional factors unique to women.

1. The Negative Bias of the Female Brain

Female brains differ in small but significant ways from male brains, which may factor into low self-esteem among young women. A study conducted at Harvard Medical School compared MRI scans of male and female brains and found that women have larger volume in the frontal and limbic cortices. The prefrontal cortex is involved in higher cognitive functions such as learning language, judgment, controlling impulses, and conscientiousness. The limbic system is responsible for emotional responses. Experts believe this may be why women are typically less impulsive than men and more concerned with emotion. In fact, it possibly explains why women tend to be collaborative, intuitive, empathetic, have self-control, and have a small amount of worry. Intuition and a healthy amount of worry can be very beneficial to women for self-protection and the protection of their children and families. Though the downside of this is that women’s minds are busier, and oftentimes worry too much. This can lead to a preponderance of automatic negative thoughts (ANTs). In turn, ANTs can be self-directed and tear self-esteem apart.

Young women tend to worry constantly about what others people think about them, how they compare with peers, what’s going to happen, and, of course, about their appearance. It’s overwhelmingly negative, which can lead not just to low self-esteem but also to anxiety and depression. Indeed, starting in adolescence, research shows that women are twice as likely to be depressed than men. Young women are also more likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder than men, studies reveal.

Add hormones to the mix, and things can go from bad to worse. Young women, especially, have dramatic fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone each month, which can fuel negative thinking and worry even more.

But that’s not all. Some brain imaging research has found that men have 52% more serotonin production than women. Serotonin is a powerful calming neurotransmitter involved with a number of important functions, including mood, sleep, pain, and appetite. Amen Clinics has noted low serotonin levels associated with overactivity in the brain’s worry and mood centers on brain SPECT imaging scans. Additionally, SPECT studies at Amen Clinics show that an area of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex tends to be more active in the female brain. This part of the brain allows you to shift attention and recognize errors. Yet when it is overactive, an individual can get “stuck” in negative thinking or negative behaviors and see the world as a cup half empty, rather than half full.

2. Social Media/Body Image

When you add images of an unattainable beauty standard all over social media to young female minds already prone to negative thinking and worry, self-esteem suffers more. Indeed, an abundance of research clearly shows a negative relationship between social media use and the self-esteem of young women.

Surveys in recent years reveal alarming insights. After researchers interviewed 10,500 young females from 13 countries about body self-esteem, the 2017 Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report found that more than half of the young women surveyed reported having low body self-esteem. (It reflected a big drop from the 2010 Dove report that found 85% of women surveyed felt confident in their own beauty.)

Even more concerning is a 2011 survey conducted by Glamour, which revealed that a whopping 97% of young women admitted to having at least one “I hate my body” moment every day.

More recently, Dove honed in on the effects of social media on young women’s self-esteem in what’s called the Dove Self-Esteem Project. Half of the girls interviewed reported that the idealized beauty content on social media negatively impacted their self-esteem. On a positive note, 70% of the young women interviewed also reported feeling better after unfollowing idealized beauty content on social media!

3. Trauma

Survivors of many different forms of trauma—such as life-threatening accidents/events, sexual abuse, emotional trauma, and generational trauma—typically have low self-esteem. Before trauma, an individual usually believes in their ability to exercise good judgment and stay safe. However, after a traumatic experience, much of that trust is destroyed, which can leave a person to feel doubt, fear, helplessness, shame, and a feeling they are to blame—all eroding self-esteem.

The American Psychological Association reports that women are twice as likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a traumatic event than men. Women are more commonly exposed to high-impact trauma (sexual trauma) than men at a younger age. Research shows that female survivors of sexual trauma suffer from self-esteem.

Self-esteem also suffers at the hands of emotional trauma, which might include incidences of harassment or adverse childhood events such as neglect, verbal abuse, an alcoholic parent, or parental separation. The trauma of a really bad relationship, divorce, an abusive boss, or an extremely humiliating experience can scar self-esteem, too.


On a brighter note, young women can counter some of these confidence-killing causes. You can learn to tame your busy brain with meditation or hypnosis, which can both calm the mind and help to keep worries in check. You can challenge your ANTs by asking yourself the following questions about persistent negative thoughts.

  1. Is it true? (Is the stressful or negative thought true?)
  2. Can I absolutely know that it’s true?
  3. How do I react when I believe that thought?
  4. Who would I be without the thought? Or, how would I feel if I didn’t have the thought?

You can also stop looking at social media images that make you feel bad and curate your social media feed to include images that promote your well-being. Follow accounts that post positive messages about your body and your values. Dove started a #detoxyourfeed hashtag to promote this action!

Finally, you can work to resolve your trauma. Cognitive behavioral therapy and EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) are effective treatments for PTSD symptoms. Seeking the help of a mental health professional can also provide the added support that may be needed to slowly build self-esteem.

Low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can’t wait. At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, clinical evaluations, and therapy for adults, teens, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.

Why Women Have Low Self-Esteem

Photo: Greg Miller

Why is it that women pick up on the slightest slur and never hear the good stuff? Criticisms are stored forever; compliments evaporate instantly.

My goddaughter, visiting from college, is sprawled on my bed while we enact one of our regular rituals: I peruse my closet, offering her the clothes I no longer wear. "Take this, I don't have the legs for short skirts," I say, or "These pants make me look hippy." She regards me with quizzical amusement, suggesting that I have body dysmorphic disorder—that I'm one of those people preoccupied with minor, and often imaginary, flaws in physical features. At the very least, she insists, I need new glasses.

And we're not talking mere physical insecurity. When I meet a book editor about a potential publishing contract, I fret about my abilities, discounting a thriving career and a reputation in good standing of more than 20 years. If guests are coming for dinner, I worry that my home won't be pleasing, that my brownies won't merit the caloric expenditure, that the conversation won't be sufficiently scintillating. Somehow I manage to navigate life fairly well, to earn a living and have relationships, to walk without weaving and chew without spitting. But as I watched the movie Pretty Woman recently, it occurred to me that plenty of us have the same self-doubt that derailed the Julia Roberts character. There's a scene where she's telling the wealthy businessman played by Richard Gere that nobody ever plans to be a hooker, that she fell into this line of work because she didn't think much of herself. Gere observes that she's a special person with a lot of potential and capabilities. And she replies, "The bad stuff is easier to believe."

Why it that some people, the Donald Trumps of the world, seem to believe only the best about themselves, while others—perhaps especially women, perhaps especially young women—seize on the most self-critical thoughts they can come up with? "It turns out there's an area of your brain that's assigned the task of negative thinking," says Louann Brizendine, MD, a neuropsychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco, and the author of The Female Brain. "It's judgmental. It says 'I'm too fat' or 'I'm too old.' It's a barometer of every social interaction you have. It goes on red alert when the feedback you're getting from other people isn't going well." This worrywart part of the brain is the anterior cingulate cortex. In women, it's actually larger and more influential, as is the brain circuitry for observing emotions in others. "The reason we think females have more emotional sensitivity," says Brizendine, "is that we've been built to be immediately responsive to the needs of a nonverbal infant. That can be both a good thing and a bad thing."

The hormonal surges in the female brain—what Brizendine describes as the rising tide of estrogen and progesterone—make a woman more sensitive to emotional nuance, such as disapproval or rejection. The way you interpret feedback from other people can depend on where you are in your cycle. "Some days the feedback will reinforce your self-confidence," says Brizendine, "and other days it will destroy you. " Her decision to make this hormone cycle in the female brain the focus of her research was made in medical school, when she was working with adolescents at Yale–New Haven Hospital. "How teen girls come to believe bad stuff about themselves really captivated me," she says. "There's something about the menstrual cycle that puts your emotional self in a bad light at least a few days every month. About 90 percent of women feel some kind of increased emotionality two to four days before their period starts, where they're crying over dog food commercials. I wanted to get a message to girls who are slipping down some slippery slope and get a safety net under them."

Scientists are pretty much in agreement that at least half of your personality comes from your gene pool—it's part of the identity card you're issued at birth. Life experiences help to shape the other half. If you acquire some idea about yourself—perhaps you're known as the problem child in a classroom or the slacker in a family—that idea will have an impact on your brain circuitry and get built into how you think about yourself. "Our human brains love to categorize and label—'the pretty one' or 'the dependable one' or 'the smart one,'" says Brizendine. "Then you grow accustomed to the label and often re-create that identity because it feels familiar. It can mean all kinds of goodies but also all kinds of burdens."

The only time I go into Old Navy is when I need a teen-appropriate gift. (I generally have a rule: If I can't stand the store's music, I'm too old to wear the store's clothes.) But recently I was seduced into the dressing room by the lure of cool cheap stuff and found a virtual petri dish of youthful vulnerability about believing the bad stuff—I eavesdropped on one plaintive "Does this make me look fat?" after another. "One of the major tasks of adolescence is, 'Who are you?'" says Jessica Henderson Daniel, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. "Belonging and finding your niche in terms of assets and liabilities is colored by what other people see—because you don't live in a bubble. More often than not, girls don't look like what they think they should look like." There is a critical window of opportunity in early childhood when it is possible to infuse a girl with a sense of self-worth that is not based on the size of her breasts or the luster of her hair, says Daniel. "People generally fall short of the media ideal, which is why I advocate helping youngsters prepare for adolescence in their elementary years, building up their skills so they have proof that they are more than an image. Youngsters who have pride in accomplishment are more anchored."

A study at the University of Texas how easily body image is undermined: A group of adolescent girls were in a room with an attractive woman who complained about how fat she was (the implication being that anybody who was heavier than she would really have something to complain about). There was an immediate impact on the body image of the girls, even though the encounter was brief and the woman was a stranger. "Up to 50 percent of adolescent girls have body image concerns," says Eric Stice, PhD, lead researcher on that study. "Up to 70 percent of girls say they would take a pill to lose five pounds; with males, it's maybe 15 percent. And puberty moves young men toward the ideal male body image, strong and muscled, but moves young women away from the ideal female body image, lean with no hips. It's really sad that adolescent girls look at airbrushed images in the media that aren't even real. They're killing themselves for something that isn't real."

I had terrific parents and others who consistently let me know I was smart, pretty, and valued. But for some people, the roots of believing the bad stuff as adults may lie with parents who do not demonstrate faith in a child's abilities, and no other adults are around to provide illumination. "There's a nice body of evidence showing that kids with at least one supportive adult who counteracts these messages can find avenues for expressing the positive sides of themselves," says Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, PhD, a professor of psychology at Yale and the author of Women Who Think Too Much. Parental depression is readily transmitted to kids, too. "The parents see the world in negative terms and present this view to their children," says Nolen-Hoeksema. "They're hypercritical and irritable toward their kids. They don't want to be, but it's part of their disorder. Those kids have a real tendency to adopt self-critical thinking. It tends to be perpetuated across every aspect of a child's life, especially in a small community, where you stay in the same school district, and your brothers and sisters are in the same district, and the teachers know your parents. You remain 'the fat girl' or 'the slutty girl.' It's really hard to shake off."

One reason it's hard to shake off is what psychologists call the drive for self-verification—to have others reflect the beliefs we hold about ourselves. Most people are highly motivated to believe the best of themselves, and subtly or not so, they look for feedback from others to confirm these good feelings. But someone who's depressed will go out and seek negative feedback, verifying her own thoughts. In a 2000 study by Thomas E. Joiner, PhD, a psychology professor at Florida State University, the self-verification motive was so powerful that it overrode the pain of negative opinions. And a 2001 study coauthored by Joiner's colleague psychology professor Roy F. Baumeister, PhD, confirmed the idea that "bad is stronger than good": Bad feedback, bad parenting, and bad experiences are much more powerful than good ones. People remember the bad more vividly, process it more efficiently, and pay more attention to it. Bad impressions or stereotypes form more quickly, and negative feelings produce longer-lasting effects. So my brain tricks me into remembering more vividly the occasional cooking disaster (a moment of silence now for the leaden spinach gnocchi I once foisted on innocent guests) than the preponderance of delicious food I've cooked. Or the miserable period of my life when I was injured, couldn't exercise, and gained 10 pounds instead of the rest of my life when I've fit into skinny jeans.

Naturally, the peer group has great power over what you believe about yourself. "If other kids are calling you names and don't want you on their teams, you pick it up with lightning speed," says Nolen-Hoeksema. I was consistently the last one chosen for volleyball, and to this day I regard myself as a person with zero athletic prowess. I always seem to be the least graceful person in yoga class (yes, I know yoga is not supposed to be a competition, but really, people), and I almost wept with gratitude when someone in a jazz dance class told me I moved well. I carry that clumsy little girl I used to be like a monkey on my back, partly because I am what Nolen-Hoeksema has identified as a "ruminator," someone who mulls, analyzes, worries about past, present, and future (the word derives from the Latin for cows "chewing their cud"). If you're a ruminator (and the tendency is there fairly early in life, getting back to that identity card you're issued at birth), when you enter challenging emotional situations, you're more at risk for taking in negative messages—from family, school, the world—essentially turning them on yourself, building a big file of evidence that you really are a screw-up or that people don't like you. "Being a ruminator makes this stuff stick," she says. "But it is changeable. What cognitive therapy seems to do is not convince you otherwise but teach that you can look for alternative ways of viewing yourself. You say, "I know this bad stuff feels like it's true, but it tears me down." And you make the choice to think otherwise."

The most powerful messages are the most global—you feel "ugly" or "fat" or "stupid" or "not good enough"—and they're hard to deflect in adolescence, when you're not sophisticated enough to say: "That's one person's view, and it needn't stick with me." Kids can be remarkably intuitive about the need to protect themselves from negative feedback—remember that childhood chant "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. " But such an incantation is protective only if the child really believes it. And it's easier to believe the bad stuff when you're unhappy or nervous—a phenomenon known as memory bias. "Our moods shape our ability to recall things about ourselves," explains University of Toronto psychotherapist Zindel Segal, PhD. "Naturally, when you're feeling down, it's easier to recall failures or times when you've messed up. The mind is mired in a negative view. The same holds true for anxiety: Someone who is timid or frightened might be leery of a new situation, might look for comfort in ways she's been able to secure it before. It's staying with the devil you know."

Back to Pretty Woman, which is really a paradigm of the wake-up call that Segal says can change negative thinking: "The Roberts character gets into a relationship with Gere that's different from one with an ordinary wealthy john. His interest in her is as more than just a hooker, and she feeds off that to explore herself." For people who don't live in Hollywood movies, a wake-up call could be reading a book that inspires you, or having an experience that shakes you out of your usual pattern. I've been thinking about Austen and Brontë heroines like Fanny Price or Jane Eyre, who come from small, mean, meager lives but blossom when exposed to the world beyond. I've heard the adult children of alcoholics talk about escaping strife at home by finding refuge with neighbors or at school, where they're encouraged by messages of possibilities. The next step is identifying the barriers in your way, Segal says: "It could be a spouse who tells you you're no good, or a boss who says you don't deserve a raise. Maybe you're someone who has grown up taking care of others but not yourself."

There is good—no, great—news about changing a pattern like negative thinking, according to neuroscientist Michael M. Merzenich, PhD, at the University of California, San Francisco, who has demonstrated how the brain remakes itself all the time. Taking recordings from the nerve cells of a monkey's brain, Merzenich and his colleagues showed how a particular area of the brain became inactive when the animal was unable to use one of its fingers. But within a few months, the neurons no longer receiving signals for that finger were appropriated for use by an adjacent part of the hand.

"The brain is not like a computer that has fixed wiring and connections," says Merzenich. "Every aspect of you is created by the brain revising itself in response to your interactions in the world—and I mean everything. How you define yourself—the person you are—is a product of plastic changes in your brain. That includes things that relate to your attitude and your emotional construct. What you are is a result of how your brain has tried to create a model of the world, and the brain is plastic until you die."

Transforming negative thinking doesn't occur instantly. "People can't just change their attitude on a dime," says Merzenich. "You're going against all that weight of experience. Thousands of historic moments have led to that bad attitude—every time you've thought about yourself in a defeatist or inferior position. That's deeply embedded, and it takes a substantial effort over a substantial time to drive the brain in a new direction." But you (and I, and anyone) can make profound, fundamental changes in how the brain operates. It's not that different from doing Pilates or taking a spinning class to change your physical self. In fact, Merzenich cofounded a company called Posit Science that produces technical "brain games" as training exercises for that highly plastic part of us. We know that we can enhance memory; now, remarkably, it seems that we can improve outlook.

For me, believing the good stuff starts with awareness. The ruminator residing inside me is not easily silenced. (Is this article good? And does it make me look fat?) But I'm at least recognizing and acknowledging when she makes an unwelcome appearance. I tell her that she's looking good, that her brownies are to die for, that she should just chill.

I may even reconsider short skirts.

From the August 2008 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine


Where does low self-esteem really come from and how to fix it?


Low self-esteem (which is formed due to childhood traumas, biological characteristics and bad life experiences) can be dealt with. The scientific director of the psychological center "Quality of Life", a specialist in the field of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy Alexander Erichev told Sobaka.Ru what steps will help to do this.

Reasons for low self-esteem

People with low self-esteem always have negative core beliefs about themselves. They appear in the process of life experience - including if a person has faced a large number of punishments, prohibitions, insults, neglect. The first group of such beliefs is associated with defectiveness ("I'm somehow not like that"), the second - with helplessness ("I'm weak") and the third - with the lack of love ("they don't like me").

Negative beliefs often arise when childhood is not satisfied basic needs. First of all, the need for love and acceptance. For example, at the time of the birth of a child, maternal feelings did not awaken at the mother, and the father generally disappeared in an unknown direction. Another situation is emotional deprivation from parents. For example, they were not used to expressing warm feelings, were less emotional than other families.

Quite often people suffer from low self-esteem, who seemed to have quite good support in the family, but got into a situation of prolonged bullying. For example, at school, such a situation can seriously change the perception of oneself. The man, remembering the time of persecution, says that he felt fear and helplessness. He was in a state of chronic stress for a very long time, and this negative experience stuck with him.

When a person's self-esteem is distorted, he finds even more evidence in events that he is bad

There are also biological preconditions for low self-esteem to become fixed in a person. For example, a dandelion baby and an orchid baby can be born in the same family. "Dandelion" will grow through the asphalt and will be less sensitive to environmental factors. Such a child will more easily cope with the same bullying. And the orchid child, who, for biological reasons, is more vulnerable and shy, will not be able to resolve this situation, perhaps he will not even seek support from his parents. We must not forget that we all have different types of nervous system. We are different from each other even at birth, and then life also leaves its serious imprint. The production of hormones changes, stress reactions are fixed.

Distortions in personal thinking play a huge role in our self-esteem. We all perceive the same situation differently. Recent studies show that even our memories should not be trusted, because they are seriously distorted, including under the influence of our emotions. So, if a person has a distorted personal self-esteem, and he feels weak, helpless, defective and lazy, then he will also perceive all the events that happen to him in a distorted way. And find more and more evidence that he is bad.

One person with low self-esteem will avoid contact with the opposite sex out of fear, while another will have a huge number of casual relationships

What bad thoughts about ourselves lead to

in addition, the person himself tries to protect himself from them by a set of rules. That is, he seeks to prevent the confirmation of his fears and fears. For example, if he thinks that he is unloved, then what strategies of behavior will he demonstrate? They can be completely opposite. One will avoid contact with the opposite sex for fear of being rejected anyway. The other will choose a different behavior: on the contrary, he will have a huge number of casual connections, and he will perceive each acquaintance as a trophy. In appearance, he will seem confident and impudent, but in fact, behind this behavior, hide his negative attitudes towards himself. Such rules that a person has created for himself can be different. For example, a person decides that he must always be polite. Or if he is criticized, it immediately means that he is bad. And if he doesn't try his best, he won't achieve anything.

A person with low self-esteem attributes all failures to himself, and success to chance

To assess your self-esteem, ask yourself a series of questions. Has your life experience taught you to value yourself for who you are? Do you have a good opinion of yourself? Do you take good care of yourself and take care of yourself? Do you like yourself? Do you value both your strengths and weaknesses equally? Are you quite satisfied? Do you feel entitled to other people's attention and time? Do you judge yourself the same way you judge others – no more, no less? Are you more inclined to encourage yourself than engage in self-criticism?

When working on self-esteem, one should not strive for it to become inflated and fly away into space. This is also not good. When we deliberately make unrealistic demands of ourselves and declare something like “I am the king of the world,” the more often reality tells us that something is wrong with our beliefs about ourselves. High self-esteem is often unstable, so external circumstances can easily unsettle a person. And you need to strive first of all for stability and learn to support yourself.

A person is more likely to conditionally “get” depression or an anxiety disorder if he attributes all failures to himself, and attributes all positive things to chance. Namely, this is usually done by a person with low self-esteem.

Unfounded criticism in your address is easy to track and stop

What to do? Stop criticizing yourself, punish yourself

Psychotherapists distinguish several modes, that is, emotional states, which we enter from time to time. One of the unhealthy is the regime of a critical or punishing parent. In it, we force ourselves to experience feelings of inferiority and guilt, point out that we owe something. At the same time, we criticize for such trifles for which we would never scold others. And we punish in those moments when we really need help.

You can easily see how this mode turns on. He additionally supports low self-esteem or even lowers it even more. For example, when you say to yourself: “Could have done better”, “Why is this not so good?”, “Is that all you did?”, “Others can, and you can”. You also present the results of your work as some kind of nonsense. Others praise you, but you think: “No, it seemed to them, I just got lucky.”

Learn to turn off your inner critic mode and be more supportive of yourself

The good news is that we can easily detect and stop unreasonable self-criticism and devaluation in ourselves. This skill is quite possible to develop even without the help of a psychotherapist. Although it can take a decent amount of time. Try to observe your critical parent for at least a week. You will most likely notice that he appears even when you shouldn't be scolding yourself.

Try to translate self-criticism into self-compassion. Instead of the desire to punish and condemn yourself, you should switch to the desire to correct the situation and achieve a better result. Instead of looking to the past, look to the future and try to figure out what can be done now. Shift the focus from your mistakes to your strengths and resources, and instead of frustration, anger, and anxiety, try to be supportive of yourself.

Learn to express emotions, both negative and positive

Stand up for your boundaries and rights

Develop assertiveness - the ability to stand up for your boundaries and rights so as not to destroy someone else's personal space. It is believed that assertive behavior quite clearly correlates with adequate self-esteem. What does it include? Open and sincere expression of positive emotions, as well as open (but adequate) expression of negative ones. We need to learn how to properly express our negative emotions - this is very important. Assertiveness also includes the ability to self-defense and the ability to say “no”. Quite often, when we feel anxious and helpless inside, we agree to things that are obviously unpleasant for us. And then we begin to blame ourselves: “How could you, you definitely had to refuse, why didn’t you refuse, you could pull yourself together!” Assertiveness also includes initiative, the ability to offer, ask, respect one’s own dignity - now this is beautifully called such a term as “proactivity”.

Often we can't say "no" to a person and end up blaming ourselves for it even more

Practice assertive behavior other than "You're a rag, come on!" , but in the style of "You're worried, but let's try to take a small step now." It is also worth praising yourself for trying, even if it has not yet been successful. For example, you failed to deny, although you tried to do so. Or you said “no” but the other person insisted that you say “yes”. But this is already a reason to tell yourself that you have practically succeeded, although not yet completely.

Take care of your needs

Learn to take care of yourself and your needs (again, without overstepping other people's boundaries). This is probably the most difficult advice, because it requires a fairly good level of awareness. You can learn this slowly - you feel that you want to drink water and drink it. Try to listen to more ambiguous needs and feel your desires.

Imagine praising yourself as your favorite child

Learn self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is the extent to which we are aware of our ability to cope with certain circumstances. If we feel that the world is so inexplicable and cruel that we cannot do anything, then naturally we will evaluate ourselves worse. If we perceive our ability to act, this gives us significant help and support. For me, a good example of self-efficacy is independent travel. At first you are scared, and then you get the feeling that the world around you is quite friendly, that you can easily deal with the transport network and find yourself a place to sleep.

Support yourself and celebrate your achievements

It is important that support and praise in your address does not turn into something like: "I'm so cool." Think about what you can support yourself for today? What good did you do during the day? Imagine that you yourself, as your beloved child, say good words. At the same time, praise can be not only for certain successful actions. For example, I survived a difficult situation, I coped with it - this is also a reason for praise. It will be good if it becomes your tradition to notice your achievements.

Build goals in accordance with personal values ​​

To reinforce an adequate and stable self-esteem, you need to learn to look for your values. Note that values ​​are not goals. For example, buying a car is a goal. And what could be the value here? Freedom of movement, travel. The goal can be achieved and after that it will not be. And the value is unattainable, this is a certain stage of the path. It is very important to understand what your values ​​are and, if possible, build your life in this direction. But do not turn it into a radical search for "one's destiny." This is a dangerous and wrong situation.

Some of our values ​​may conflict with each other. For example, it is important for you to travel and develop, while you dream of children. Then at some point you will have to learn how to travel with children, and not in splendid isolation. In addition, values ​​may change throughout life. Do not be afraid of this - the main thing is to be flexible. Also try to get together with the people closest to you and describe your values ​​and goals. You can turn it into a tradition.

Do not set yourself global, hard-to-reach goals and don't focus on the funds you don't have. It is better to gradually complicate the tasks than to immediately set the bar too high. And cheer yourself on the way to their implementation.

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Katerina Reznikova,

Women's self-esteem - low, high, increase in women's self-esteem

Woman's self-esteem is a reflection of the individual's attitude towards his person. This is the ability of an individual to adequately evaluate his own qualities, his social status, potential, his personality as a whole. Interaction with the world, the processes of secondary and primary socialization, the adaptability of an individual in society, are determined by the attitude towards one's own person.

Among the weaker sex today, most often there are persons with low self-esteem. Low self-esteem is dangerous because in the future it can lead to dissatisfaction with one's appearance, dissatisfaction with oneself, uncertainty about one's potential and abilities. Adequate self-esteem is a kind of guarantee of a successful and successful woman.

Low self-esteem in a woman

One of the important properties of a full-fledged personality is adequate self-esteem, which depends on the character of the individual and is formed depending on the opinions of other people, the social status of the individual.

A woman with low self-esteem does not always realize why the surrounding colleagues and acquaintances are not very friendly with her in communication. She does not understand where to look for this reason.

Low self-esteem in women often comes from childhood. A woman's self-esteem must be adequate. If it is not raised to a normal level, then problems will accumulate like an avalanche. Relationships will be complicated not only among employees, but also in the family, the woman's personality will remain unrealized. Often, the beautiful half of humanity with low self-esteem is simply haunted by the fear of being rejected. Due to the lack of self-esteem, it is more difficult for women to interest and subsequently keep the man they like.

The reasons for low self-esteem can also be painful experiences, a break with a loved one. Among the main symptoms of low self-esteem is the habit of constantly comparing yourself, your achievements, results, your appearance with other women. Representatives of the weaker sex with low self-esteem are constantly haunted by one thought: "How others see me, what will they think of me." Such women are in constant fear that the society will not understand them and will not accept the inner world. Women with low self-esteem often remind themselves of their failures in life, missed chances. Often they begin to feel sorry for themselves. Gradually, this leads to the fact that the inability to live one's own life is developed. All life becomes subordinate to the opinion of others.

Typical external manifestations of low self-esteem: stiffness in communication, excessive desire to please everyone and everyone, carelessness in appearance, sad facial expressions, stoop.

Very low self-esteem is found in a woman's inability to build close relationships, both with the opposite sex and with other women. It often seems to an insecure woman that the whole world and society is opposed to her. She subconsciously thinks that she is not worthy of love and there is simply nothing to love her for. It is for this reason that she does not believe in the feelings of men, it is difficult for her to believe in the sincerity of loved ones.

A woman's high self-esteem

A woman's self-esteem is directly related to the fact that the fair sex simply needs to survive in the cruel world of men. But it is on self-esteem that the whole future life of the fair sex depends. Therefore, raising self-esteem in women is an urgent problem of modern society.

In order for the beautiful half to reach the same heights as the strong half, in the harsh world of men they need to be 10 times more talented and hardworking than them. It so happened traditionally that the male part of the population is more willing to accept high positions than women. Men have much more opportunities for their realization than women. However, the weak half of humanity is characterized by much greater curiosity than the strong half. They read much more, more often attend any courses for self-education. Whereas most men are already sure that they know more and better than others. Almost all red diplomas in universities and gold medals in schools belong to women, but among the Nobel laureates there is much more male part of the population. This is due to the fact that after receiving a diploma, a woman is mainly busy not with self-realization in the professional sphere, but with the birth of children and family. Whereas at this time no one bothers a man to realize himself, especially since beautiful guardians of the hearth and comfort follow his life with a keen eye. Also, women have a much finer hearing and sense of smell, the sense of touch is better developed, and the ability to learn is higher.

High self-esteem in women usually accompanies successful individuals. It reflects the real achievements of people and helps them to achieve new successes.

High self-esteem is very important for women, as their femininity is directly related to it. However, this does not mean that inflated self-esteem is a boon for women. Inflated self-esteem is also fraught with many dangers. For example, the inflated self-esteem of gamblers who firmly believe in their obligatory luck and are convinced that their constant losses are just a series of unfortunate accidents is a tragedy for themselves and for their relatives. There is a fine line beyond which high self-esteem transforms from a source of strength into rose-colored glasses, at the same time making a person inadequate.

Unstablely high self-esteem can lead to adverse consequences in the social sphere, interpersonal conflicts associated with humiliation and underestimation of other people, stubborn ignoring of one's mistakes in relation to others, conceited, arrogant behavior and aggressiveness.

Raising a woman's self-esteem

Raising a woman's self-esteem is not difficult at all. The main thing is that the woman herself strives for this. There are a number of simple rules, following which carefully and regularly, you can achieve a sustainable result.

A woman's self-esteem will increase if she is always open to new knowledge. You should strive to learn something new every day. It is better to be lively and inquisitive than boring and repressed. The more you know and know how, the more interesting person you will be for others.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes. After all, only those who do absolutely nothing never make mistakes. If during the conversation, something is not clear to you, then you should not be shy, afraid to ask again or ask leading questions. It is better to ask again several times than to do it wrong once. For the same reason, you should not be afraid to ask for help.

Do not save time on daily care of your appearance and body. Sign up for a gym, swimming pool, or yoga club. A trained, beautiful body has a positive effect on the spirit and mood of women. Changing hair and image is also an integral part of the program to gain confidence. General cleaning of the house, updating the wardrobe has a positive effect on women's self-esteem.

Health is an inseparable component of success in life. Therefore, it needs to be monitored regularly. After all, many diseases are much easier to prevent than to treat their consequences later. Engage in collecting your achievements and any successes.

A woman's self-esteem will increase if you spare no time and words for your own praise. Get a special notebook and write down absolutely all the victories, even the smallest ones, and sometimes reread them, for example, when you feel sad or give up.

Say no to self-criticism. Accept that you are not perfect and that is your strength. After all, even diamonds have flaws, but billions of people on the planet do not cease to admire them.

Don't waste time feeling sorry for yourself. It's useless. You are a strong, complete, respectable person, so there is no reason for pity.

Your motto should be “think positive”. We get exactly what we think. Positive thinking can raise self-esteem by several points.

You should not compare yourself with others. You are you. You will always be surrounded by people who know something more than you or have achieved more. However, this does not make you worse than them.

Don't let fear rule your life and don't try to drive it deep. If you are afraid of something, then you need to simulate the situation in advance as if it had already happened. Model and think through all the options for possible actions in the circumstances. This will help you understand and realize that in reality everything is not as bad as it seems.

Do good! Do not refuse to help others, take care of loved ones. If possible, take part in any charity events. This leads to personal growth.

You can have a pet. Better dog. After all, it is much more pleasant to come home when someone is waiting for you at home, when you are the whole world for someone. The animal will love you simply for what you are, despite all the shortcomings, in spite of everything.

Do not be afraid of difficulties and obstacles. After all, they heat up. Obstacles should not be given up, they should be overcome.

All undertakings must be brought to an end. Cases that are not brought to their logical conclusion have a very negative impact on personal self-esteem. Also, do not put off what you decide to do. The longer you get ready, the harder it will be to start.

You need to learn to love yourself for who you really are and accept your own shortcomings as an integral part of your personality. Flaws are just a path to self-improvement. Remember, you are unique and unrepeatable, therefore priceless! Believe in it and you will not notice how everyone around you will be sure of it.

Try to avoid contact with negative people, with individuals who are always dissatisfied with everything or constantly criticize you. Pay more attention to communication with self-confident personalities and positive individuals who, under no circumstances, will try to put you down or put pressure on you. You should seriously consider reviewing your social circle.

Engage in activities that bring you pleasure and joy. If there is no way to change jobs, then you can do some kind of hobby or hobby that will give you joy and a positive attitude.

Be patient with yourself. On the path to improving self-esteem, you should not expect instant results. Just be sure that the result will definitely be.

Raising a woman's self-esteem depends on planning her future. Set realistic goals for yourself, describe in detail the steps needed to achieve them, and implement them regularly.

Gifts from fate should be accepted with gratitude. Don't feel like you don't deserve them. Remember, fate is never wrong.

Don't focus on having. You need to understand that any item that belongs to you can easily disappear or break. This rule also applies to people.

You should not constantly demonstrate your importance, while pretending that you are somehow better than others. After all, if you do not match the demonstrated image, you will be easily and quickly put in your place. Thus, you will only cause laughter, pity and neglect, and not respect.

You should not focus on your shortcomings, it is better to focus on your merits. It happens that one single flaw simply poisons life. Describe all your positive qualities on one half of a sheet of paper, and on the other - negative, but not so detailed. Accept all your flaws. Try to make a virtue out of every disadvantage. After all, not without reason, laziness is the main engine of progress!

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