Some people feel that they are incapable of achieving self-esteem, according to a new study.
Researchers found that those with a high self-worth and a high degree of confidence were the least likely to report feeling self-conscious.
“Self-esteem is a trait that can affect how others perceive you, what you do, how you think and what you want,” Dr. Jessica J. Lebowitz, a psychiatrist at Columbia University and one of the study’s authors, told The New York Times.
“We wanted to see if there were specific ways in which self- esteem can be improved through psychotherapy or by taking steps to improve the way people think about themselves.”
The study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, involved 815 college students.
The researchers surveyed them on their self-disesteem and confidence levels, their feelings about their appearance and how they viewed themselves, and what they thought about themselves.
Participants were also asked about how they perceived themselves to others.
They were also told that if they felt uncomfortable or ashamed of themselves, they were likely to seek help.
Participants reported a range of experiences related to self-doubt, including: feeling self entitled or inferior to others, feeling judged by others or by their peers, or feeling like they don’t fit in well in society.
Self-esteem was negatively associated with feeling anxious and depressed, having a low sense of self-efficacy, and feeling like others think too highly of them.
The study found that while self-confidence was negatively correlated with self-awareness and self-talk, self-distrust was associated with feelings of self worthlessness.
“It’s possible that self-knowledge can improve people’s self-views, because when we have confidence in ourselves, we have less self-judgment and we feel more confident in ourselves,” Lebowitt said.
“I think it’s important to understand that there are ways to overcome the effects of self esteem.”
The researchers said the findings did not prove that self esteem was a mental disorder.
“The finding that some people have lower self-acceptance levels may reflect a combination of low self-evaluations and low self confidence, or that people with low self esteem may have higher levels of self confidence but lower self esteem,” the study stated.
The authors also said they did not know if self esteem issues could be linked to mental illness or trauma.
A recent study found a link between low self worth and depression.
A 2014 study also found a correlation between self esteem and self harm.
Researchers from the University of Michigan said that the study was too small to draw firm conclusions, but that it was important to keep in mind that the results did not suggest a link.
“There’s no doubt that there is a significant link between self- and family stress and depression, but there’s no evidence to suggest that self well-being is related to it,” Dr Andrew P. Shaffer, a professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo, told ABC News.
“In fact, we found that self satisfaction was not associated with depression.”