Author and speaker Lisa Duffy has 20 years of both personal and professional experience in helping others deal with their divorces.
Feeling bad about oneself is very painful and the psyche acts to protect a person from experiencing these feelings. Defence mechanisms may have short term benefits, but they never take away the underlying problem. An important first step is to have greater awareness of our self critical thoughts and gain insight into their source. Challenging this voice helps us to see that a lot of the statements it makes are based on irrational thinking and are not true. When a person feels a sense of shame or inadequacy, there is a tendency to want to hide this from others. Sometimes children go through bouts of low self-esteem, resulting in them not making the most out of time spent at school or opportunities they are presented with. Encourage your child to take healthy risks, such as making a new friend, trying out a new activity or doing something that scares them a little.
If your child is being particularly negative and wallowing in self-doubt, it’s important to redirect inaccurate beliefs and remind them of their strengths.
However, if you’re concerned that something deeper may be bothering your child, ask them more detailed questions about school, friends, and how they view themselves. If you or someone you love struggles with low self worth, we urge you to seek help from a licensed therapist on our site.
Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately one out of every 4 adults will suffer from a psychological disorder in any given year, the majority of for which low self-esteem is an underlying factor. If you have feelings of worthlessness, it has probably manifested in one of the following ways.
A healthy self esteem is developed during childhood, underscoring the great need in our society to ensure children are raised in a loving, yet sturdy environment guided by strong moral values. If you are suffering or know someone who suffers from a negative self-image, understand that this is a deep-rooted problem, and not something that will be fixed by a mere online article.
At Theravive, we believe that all people, no matter who they are or where they have been, have purpose, value, and meaning. Low self worth is experienced in unique ways for each person, counselling determines what self-defeating behavior is contributing to the maintenance of low self worth and lack of identity and challenges these thoughts and behaviors towards positive change. With values counselling individuals can expect to identify and resolve underlying issues that are contributing to their sense of low self worth and lack of personal identity and embrace a greater sense of purpose and meaning in life.
Born and raised in Southern California, Lisa suffered through the pain of being a divorced Catholic in the early 1990s. In psychotherapy, the strategies that protect a person from this pain are known as defence mechanisms. The following approaches can help to increase self esteem, each step being effective alone or in combination with others. Sharing these painful feelings, which are often guarded as secrets with a supportive person helps to normalize them. Here at Tutor Doctor we know how important it is to nurture and build up your child’s confidence, which is why we’ve come up with 4 ways to help build up your child’s self esteem. It will do great things for their feelings of self worth by making them feel important, loved and valued. Even though there’s always the possibility of failure, without taking a risk there is also little opportunity for success. For example, if your child says to you; “I can’t do this maths homework, I’m really bad at it” say to them, “You’re a really good student, remember that amazing grade you got in English last week?

I know you’re doing your best- keep going!” Believe us when we say lots of encouragement will do wonders for building up your child’s self-esteem and will help them grow into a confident individual. This is because encouragement acknowledges the effort your child has put in, rather than praise which only recognises effort after they have done something ‘right’. Regardless of whom you are, or where you have been, there is real hope for living a life of renewed purpose, meaning, and discovery. This means that the presence of extreme low self worth can be a sign of another serious condition in someone's life, and should always be taken seriously and not ignored.
In relation to a population poll conducted by the Census Bureau, that translates to a staggering 57.7 million people in the US, and nearly 8 million in Canada. Children who are consistently criticized, berated, yelled at or beaten by a parent quickly learn they are worthless. You may have taken on the role of the constant loser, the person who is always waiting for the other shoe to drop and is helpless to do anything about it.
Professional psychotherapy is a very important avenue and resource that can peel back years of hurt and begin a new work towards a rewarding life. Further, working with the counsellor, individuals identify relationships that are contributing to low self esteem and work to develop healthy boundaries to reduce the negative impact on the individual’s identity. As a result, being overshadowed by fear of failure, not feeling good enough, and a lack of confidence is alleviated and individuals come away from counseling with a sense of personal value and an identity independent of what they do or how others view them.
If you prefer face to face counseling, please use our therapist directory and find a city close to you with a therapist who can meet your needs. After seven years of intense struggle, spiritual growth, personal triumphs, and finally remarriage in the church and the birth of three miracle children, her one desire was to help others who were suffering find hope and healing. In senior school, only 46 percent of boys and 29 percent of girls claimed this satisfaction.
One type of defence mechanism is the creation of a false persona, which acts to cover the inner feelings of low self esteem. Uncovering their origins, which are frequently from the childhood or teenage years, renders them more understandable.
Great emphasis is placed in psychotherapy on creating a trusting relationship which will help a person to share his feelings fully. Having confidence in themselves will mean that your child can try new things, learn more, ask questions and most importantly thrive in life.
Remember to always make eye contact with your child so that they recognise that you’re giving them your full attention and listening to exactly what they’re saying.
By conquering something they are scared of or tackling something new will be especially helpful in building up self-esteem levels. Let’s work together and see if we can figure this homework out.” Reminding your child that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses is a key way to help build up their self-esteem levels. Praise can sometimes make a child feel as though they are only good enough if they have done something perfectly, and too much can create pressure to perform and set up a continual need for approval from others. A person suffering from low self esteem may feel constantly worthless, and feel completely helpless to do anything to make his or her life better.
If a child is continually ignored, teased or ridiculed or if they are expected to be perfect all the time in order to be accepted, they eventually develop a poor self-image. Identity issues are hard enough during this tumultuous time without the added burden of low self-image. Sometimes the best help is through spiritual counseling, such as a pastor, a spiritual counselor, or a priest, as belief in God is a deep, fundamental part of many people. It is so important in life that individuals discover their purpose, as this lack of understanding is a frequent cause of low self-worth.
Lisa has worked for the church in a variety of roles, most recently bringing her divorce support program, Journey of Hope, to parishes in the US and Canada.

Low self esteem is  associated with a greater propensity for depression, anxiety, envy, anger, loneliness, fear of rejection, addictions, eating disorders and self harm. For example, perfectionists strive to feel good about themselves by avoiding failure, people pleasers and high achievers strive to gain recognition from others, and loners isolate themselves from others to avoid the pain of rejection. For example, a person who feels useless may trace these feelings back to a traumatic experience, time of failure, or critical remark. Empathy as well as non judgmental and unconditional acceptance are considered to be essential to facilitate this process. The most important message to send your child is that effort and seeing something through to the end is what really counts.
Lets first talk a little bit about low self worth and then discuss how you can find help, and what to do to find new life again.
The challenge for those of us who lack a strong identity is that once a poor self-image is accepted, we tend to make choices in our lives to support those beliefs. If a child constantly fails at school or does poorly in sports, they will experience identity issues, especially when they reach their teens. You are controlling, the rule breaker and you have issues with authority, something that rarely ends well. A rich spiritual life has an immense and positive effect on how someone views him or herself. When you begin counseling with a Theravive self-esteem counsellor, we start by identifying those assumptions that are contributing to a sense of low self value. Lisa is a frequent guest on Catholic radio shows such as Relevant Radio's "On Call With Wendy Wiese", "Catholic Answers Live," and has appeared several times on EWTN's "Women of Grace" with Johnnette Benkovic. When we begin to understand that these critical voices are not a voice of truth from our essence, but something learned from an external source, we can begin to take them less seriously and to stop identifying ourselves with them.
It is also important to express any other painful feelings which may be associated with low self esteem, such as anger, disappointment, sadness and guilt. Or to put simply, once you have accepted the idea that you are worthless, most, if not all of your choices in life will be in harmony with that belief. How a parent deals with the situation is what directly impacts whether or not a child will develop a healthy self-image. Sometimes all it takes is one incident, in which you adapt an exaggerated and incorrect belief about yourself, to set off a lifetime of problems.
Other times, working through issues with a trained and licensed therapist is the right step. Choices such as an abusive partner, disrespectful friends, or a dead-end job only serve to validate and compound an already fragile sense of worth. Our choices are the biggest factor in how we lead our lives and to change our choices, we must first change the way we think about ourselves. Most likely, moving beyond internet 'self-help' is vital, as deep issues are unlikely to be solved through online self-help.
By identifying and understanding events in life that contribute to low self worth and discovering a clear picture of a future without those assumptions, we are able to resolve these feelings and provide hope and release from harmful beliefs. This is no easy task, but with support and guidance from a self-esteem counselor, you can learn how to create a new self-image.

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