What Factors Might Affect an Individual’s Self-Esteem?

An individual’s self-esteem can be affected by genetics as well as environmental factors, and poor self-esteem often begins in childhood. A person who experiences an abusive childhood or who didn’t get enough approval from authority figures, feels his or her self-worth was based on achievements or feels excluded will often have poor self-esteem.

Other factors that affect self-esteem include:

  • Being unemployed
  • Having a difficult time making life choices, such as choosing a profession
  • Having poor psychological health, such as anxiety or depression
  • Comparing oneself to other successful people or media images of people.

The signs of poor self-esteem include:

  • Feeling bad about oneself
  • Having a negative sense of self-worth
  • Avoiding spending time with others
  • Engaging in activities that are not good for oneself
  • Avoiding trying new things
  • Feeling jealous of others
  • Feeling devastated if one fails at a particular activity.

The signs of a good self-esteem include:

  • Feeling “good enough” despite not excelling at everything
  • Feeling the right to be recognized and respected
  • Feeling able to speak one’s mind
  • Acceptance that people won’t always like each other
  • The ability to ask for help if needed
  • Feeling comfortable in approaching other people.

Self-esteem is not based on how well a person is doing, but how that person views or experiences him- or herself.