It starts with you

It comes down to a matter of opinion… your own… about yourself. Push aside other people’s attitudes, and look at your own feelings about your self worth. Acknowledge that it’s normal to feel down on yourself now and then, however when these feelings start to hang around for an extended period of time it can become an indicator of low self esteem.

What are the key warning signs?

–       Being really critical of yourself

–       Focusing on the negatives and ignoring your accomplishments

–       Comparing yourself negatively to others

–       Not accepting compliments you receive

–       Negative self-talk

Causes of low self-esteem:

–       Experienced an unhappy childhood from parents or schooling.

–       Poor academic performance in school resulting in a lack of confidence.

–       Ongoing stressful life events such as relationship breakdown or financial trouble.

–       Poor treatment from a partner, parent or carer, for example, being in an abusive relationship.

–       Ongoing medical problem such as chronic pain, serious illness or physical disability.

–       Mental illness such as an anxiety disorder or depression.

Things to remember

Over time low self esteem levels can be overcome. It is simply your own opinion of yourself. And you have the power to change that. Everyone lacks confidence and self-belief at some point in their lives. It takes attention and daily practice to turn it around to positive self esteem.

– One in 16 young Australians is currently experiencing depression. According to statistics 6.3% of Australians aged 16 to 24 have experienced an affective disorder in the last 12 months (source: Reach Out).

– Young people are most concerned about coping with stress, school or study problems and body image. The top issues of concern to young people in 2013 were, in order, coping with stress, school or study problems, body image, depression and family conflict (source: Reach Out).

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