If you’ve ever felt a lack of confidence in your own abilities or have felt unworthy of some kind of positive outcome, then you’ve experienced less than optimal self-esteem.
Self-esteem is not static, and even people who generally experience themselves as capable and worthy will at times experience dips in their self-esteem. Being overlooked for a promotion, losing a job, or getting broken up with can cause such a dip for most anybody.
But some folks live in a perpetual state of self-doubt and unworthiness. Experiencing themselves as generally incapable and unworthy, people with low self-esteem live in an overwhelming and painful state of self-consciousness and anxiety. They want nothing more than to be liked and accepted, yet struggle terribly to like and accept themselves.