Is Low Self-Esteem Inherited?

low self-esteem

Is Low Self-Esteem Inherited

Low self-esteem may impact your life, relationships, and work achievements more than you know. I’ve spent a good portion of my life dealing with the fact that I have low self-esteem. Of course, I didn’t know that I suffered from low self esteem when it was plaguing my life. I didn’t know what was making things go wrong. It was when I started working on myself that I understood the impact low self esteem had on my every action. Even more surprising I discovered my confident-seeming mom had it, too.

What Is Low Self-Esteem Anyway

In a nutshell low self esteem means you don’t think much of yourself. Here are eleven symptoms that may resonate with you. You don’t have to have all of them to be suffering from not caring and listening to your own voice and feelings. Having even a few of these symptoms means you should consider where they come from and how to cope with them to improve your life and relationships.

  • Lack of confidence (You don’t think you can do things, are afraid you’ll make mistakes)
  • External locus of control (You let other people influence you. You can’t decide for yourself.)
  • Negative social comparisons (You think other people are better than you.)
  • Trouble asking for help (You just don’t think people will or can help you.)
  • Worry and doubt (Here’s a big one. You doubt yourself and worry about everything.)
  • Difficulty accepting compliments (Yes, you are terrific, but you can’t hear it.)
  • Negative self-talk (The tapes that run in your head are never supportive.)
  • Fear of failure (Yes.)
  • Poor outlook of the future (You don’t think things will get better.)
  • Lack of boundaries (You let people walk all over you.)
  • Being a people-pleaser (You do things to please others, not yourself.)

Where Does Low Self-Esteem Come From

Is your mom a confident woman in the world? Does she assert herself and get what she wants? Is she empowered in her marriage or relationships? Or, is she passive? Does she get used and abused by family members and coworkers? If you’re a daughter, you’re probably more like your mom than you think.

I thought my mom was super competent and confident, and I thought she was controlling, too. In short, I thought we had nothing in common. And there was a lot I didn’t like about her. Let’s admit it: it’s easy to be critical of our moms when we don’t know who they really are and what they went through growing up and raising us.

My Mom And I Wrote A Book To Understand Each Other

It was exploring our history for our mother/daughter book that I began to understand and appreciate my mom. She grew up in a time when women were barely allowed to work, much less be assertive. Her parents were wonderful in many ways, but did not empower her to be successful on her own. She was to be a wife and a mother.

When my mom was a young writer, her mom never read her work, and her father encouraged her to give writing up. “Writers have messy lives,” he would tell her. It’s true, but so what? My mom was groomed to fail, but not doomed to fail. She kept at it, and so did I. We have similarities, after all.

I Learned Compassion For Mom and Her Challenges

My mom used to describe her self esteem like Swiss cheese. It was strong in many places but had holes in others. I couldn’t describe it better myself. In lots of ways, I know who I am and the value I bring to work projects and relationships. But, in other ways, I can be brought to my knees with one unwelcome comment.

In writing my new book with my mom, The Mother-Daughter Relationship Makeover, one shocker that I learned is that we have almost the same self-esteem! It’s like I inherited the Swiss Cheese model exactly.  That takes me to my point. You may have never considered that your mother’s self-esteem has negatively affected, or positively nurtured your own.

Mom’s Low Self-Esteem

In considering my mom’s challenges and the hurdles her self esteem had to overcome, I now have new compassion and admiration for her. You can discover new ways to appreciate your mom, too. When you understand your family’s mental health history and how circumstances have impacted your mom’s self-esteem, you may see patterns that mirror your own.

Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes our self-esteem can be quite different from our mothers. Sometimes our self esteem issues come from feeling in the shadow of a confident or accomplished mom. In other cases, it’s the opposite–a wallflower mom irritates an outspoken daughter. Whatever your similarities and differences, with understanding you can find the love and acceptance you both need for a great relationship.

mother daughter relationships makeover
  Mother Daughter Relationship Makeover

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