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.