Often the issue of self esteem is discussed within the context of a teenager or a child. However, the fact remains that issues of self esteem can permeate well into adulthood as well.
The main difference is that children and teenager’s are often cut a little slack for their poor self esteem and its resultant problems. On the other hand with adults that forgiveness is not always as forthcoming because they should “know better”.
How can they know better if they were never taught those skills in the first place? Adults may not have had role modeled to them a healthy example of self esteem from their parents simply because they weren’t in any position to give it, but it’s never too late. As adults there are many places and resources you can tap into to learn healthy self esteem habits, at any age. Search online, visit your local library or bookstore or even consider counselling to talk about it.
Adult self esteem issues often revolve around the individual seeking to overcompensate for his/her perceived failings. They become obsessed with the notion people will look down on them unless they achieve or excel. Drive and motivation are good things because they prompt us to stretch beyond our capabilities, however there are times when this is in excess and too much of a good thing isn’t all good.
For example, low adult self esteem issues can lead someone to swing to the extreme and become a workaholic. This way, the individual can draw a sense of accomplishment through the time invested in work. Such an approach may work to some degree but what is sacrificed in the process? At what price does this come? Time with family and friends, lost opportunities to strengthen and fortify bonds and create memories. Memories that never happened because of absence and life, sadly moves on without them.
Another symptom of adult self esteem issues is overcompensating by becoming argumentative, narcissistic or developing the “know it all” attitude which is self destructive costing them precious relationships, because after all, who wants to be around someone like that?
There are ways adults can rebuild their self esteem and they can kick start it with something as basic as making a list of the things that are positive in their lives, although at first this may seem challenging and they might require the assistance of a friend to help them compile their list. Write down what you have achieved in your life no matter how little the achievement was. Make a list of your strong points and eliminate the weak aspects of your life. Once you have done this you will begin to feel better about yourself.
However doing this exercise does not offer a long-term solution but will provide immediate relief. When it comes to a long-term fix, a person needs to sit down and think about how they can change the way they view life, how they react to the people and situations around them.
Clear out the negative thinking patterns and replace them with constructive positive thoughts and each time you find yourself reverting back to negative habits, immediately disrupt the old train of thinking and fill it with something positive.