Doubting ourselves and fueling a negative inner dialogue in which self-sabotage is constant gradually builds the prison of anxiety. This is the result of an insecurity that oxidizes life and that, without realizing it, makes us feel anguish and restlessness.
Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.
Last update: 15 November 2021
Anxiety and low self-esteem have a relationship that directly affects other dimensions, like the state of mind or the projects we want to carry out.
Many, therefore, limit themselves to resorting to certain techniques to manage stress and anxiety disorders, neglecting the specific triggers. After that anguish, after that discomfort and those adverse symptoms, the mind gets used to self-sabotaging.
Cognitive psychotherapist Albert Ellis pointed out that one of the most common causes of anxiety is self-demand. The anxious mind is always afraid of failing, failing and being imperfect.
In this mechanism whereby more anxiety accumulates because it is impossible to complete a task, we are gradually led to think that if we do not reach certain objectives it is because we are incapable of them or do not deserve them.
In many cases, helplessness is behind the anxiety. We must keep this in mind, because when the vision we have of ourselves is breaking down, fears, insecurities and the inability to manage our life take over.
“Nothing can prevent the man with the right mental attitude from reaching his goal; nothing in the world can help man with the wrong mental attitude ”.
Causes that explain the relationship between anxiety and low self-esteem
A little survey would be enough to find that many people with an anxiety disorder also bear the brunt of low self-esteem. If we could know their thoughts and the inner dialogue that flows in their minds, we would discover different aspects.
The first would be the excess of sentences that begin in the same way: "I can't control my anxiety", "I don't have the skills to deal with it", "I avoid doing it because it's not worth it and it definitely won't go well", “I don't like my body”, “I don't like this part of me” and so on.
The second surprising aspect is that many people end up using anxiety as an excuse to avoid facing the original problem: low self-esteem.
And so It is normal for them to make comments or arguments such as the following: I don't show up for that job interview because I'll be overwhelmed with anxiety; I don't go out with the person I like because eventually my anxiety will ruin everything.
The person is unaware that the real causes of his anxiety and these counterproductive thoughts are insecurity and low self-esteem. In the following lines we deepen the relationship between anxiety and low self-esteem.
The eternal fear of rejection
Having received an adequate education is certainly a self-esteem enhancer. Enjoying a positive attachment to parents, feeling safe and loved are essential factors.
Undoubtedly, all this also generates a positive vision of oneself and, in this way, they build a strong and healthy identity and idea of themselves.
When that doesn't happen, almost everything falls apart. A difficult childhood and being bullied often result in eternal fear of rejection.
The anguish and fear of being rejected again at any time (emotionally, at work, etc.) end up shaping subsequent anxiety disorders.
The relationship between low self-esteem and perfectionism
An interesting study was conducted at Curtin University in Australia. Dr. Sarah Egan showed that there is a significant relationship between perfectionism, anxiety and low self-esteem. Furthermore, this relationship is often found in people who have eating disorders.
Anxiety and low self-esteem often reflect on the need to show efficiency and perfection in everything you do. However, doubts and insecurities soon appear, as well as that self-sabotage of those who doubt themselves and what they have done with great effort. All of these situations lead to anxiety and frustration.
Anxiety and low self-esteem: the mind that focuses only on the negative side of things
The mind is often a prisoner of that cognitive and emotional focus in which light, courage or optimism rarely enter. It is as if we are in a tunnel where there is no other prospect than fatalism or failure.
Behind this personal vision there is the seed of low self-esteem, a germ that has lived within us for years and that little by little builds the prison of anxiety.
It is not easy to emerge from these psychological states. Often, anxiety and low self-esteem create a constant and lasting alliance from which it is difficult to break free. When such profound mental patterns are created, it is not easy to show sufferers that they have the power to generate change, improve and find well-being.
However, it can be done. And the way to start this improvement is to work on self-appreciation. When we improve our vision of ourselves, we take a step forward, we progress.
The moment we bet on ourselves again, gradually adding, day after day, ingredients such as trust, security, illusion and a goal, fears fall and with them the structure of anxiety.
We all have the skills and the potential to undertake this process. After all, self-esteem is that muscle that moves everything, that glow that gives life to life.