Self-esteem problems are at the root of many of the psychological problems that people experience. Without needing to go hand in hand with mental disorders, this kind of pessimistic self-evaluation makes it more likely that you will lead an unsatisfactory life, focused on unambitious goals.

In this article we will review several of the most common self-esteem problems , as well as possible strategies to manage them and make them go away.

The importance of self-image

Personal relationships may be complicated, but many times even more so are the relationships we establish with ourselves. With the idea of the “I” that each one of us has inside.

Self-esteem problems are one of the most frequent causes of psychological distress. This kind of uncomfortable, anxious situations or source of true emotional pain start from a set of beliefs that in psychology is called self-concept, or self-image , and that contains all those ideas about oneself, the adjectives that define the “I”.

Self-concept is not something we contemplate coldly, as a scientist would look through a microscope at a sample, but always carries an emotional charge. We call this aspect of self-concept that has to do with how we feel about the idea we have about our identity self-esteem.

Thus, self-esteem problems are those situations that appear when the way we value self-concept is very pessimistic , and makes us feel anxiety, disgust or other sensations and feelings every time we remember who we are.

Self-esteem problems, and possible solutions

To know how to deal with this kind of discomfort, it’s good to know the main types of self-esteem problems. Let’s see what they are.

1. Complexes due to lack of talent

It’s quite possible that many self-esteem problems arise from the belief that you don’t have the talent to do something important for yourself. From this perspective, there is something beyond one’s control that prevents or makes it very difficult to make progress in a given field of knowledge or training.

In this type of self-esteem problem, not only does appear the sadness of not reaching the goals that one sets , but also one feels that one wastes time on something that will never bear the expected fruits.

However, it should be borne in mind that talent is simply the fruit of long and hard work, and that failure to make progress in something is often an indication that the task simply does not provide sufficient motivation. However, for this idea to have an effect on improving the level of self-esteem it is necessary to go through a cognitive restructuring, as we will see.

2. The constant comparison

Those who are obsessed with comparing themselves with others all the time end up finding a thousand examples of people who, in general terms, seem to be superior to themselves in every way.

The good news is that the information we have about others is always insufficient and too biased to make informed judgments about them. The bad news is that whoever gives enough importance to this kind of questions, will probably be unable to take into account this reasoning, and will simply think repeatedly about how bad one is in comparison to others .

3. Feelings of guilt

Blaming yourself for past mistakes, whether they were made or not, is a common source of self-esteem problems. Life gives us many opportunities to fail, and sometimes the guilt remains entrenched.

Although this feeling apparently speaks of the recognition of something that should not have happened, it does not always translate into the willingness to avoid falling into the same kind of mistakes . But, when we do try to compensate the situation, this is a way of solving the problem of self-esteem, if we manage the self-concept in the right way.

4. Believing in the contempt of others

The cruelty of other people can infiltrate the way we think about ourselves. That is why many victims of abuse or bullying believe they deserve what they get, for example.

The point is that when there are frequent signs that someone is despising us, we tend to believe that there really are valid reasons to be despised . If we add to this the fact that many times mistreatment does not occur in an isolated way, but that a whole collective or social circle participates in it, the signs that we should hate ourselves are multiplied.

How to end the discomfort?

The most serious and obvious cases of self-esteem problems should be treated by psychologists, since they have the resources to do something very necessary in these cases: help us change the way we think about ourselves, and make us adopt habits consistent with a normal level of self-esteem. These two courses of action, typical of cognitive-behavioral therapy, allow us to return to normal in a matter of weeks or a few months.