When a person has low self-esteem, they tend to see themselves, the world, and their future more negatively and critically. They might feel anxious, sad, low, or unmotivated. When they encounter challenges, they may doubt whether they will be able to rise to them. They might use negative self-talk, telling themselves things like “You’re stupid”, “You’ll never manage this”, or “I don’t amount to anything”.
A therapist can help clients recognize and reduce negative self-talk. Clients can also use self-compassion and goal-setting, both of which are linked to improved self-esteem. Boosting self-esteem can be a long process. Overcoming ingrained thought processes often requires hard work that the support of therapy is often required to facilitate.