One of the most crushing and crippling side effects of low self-esteem is the sense of helplessness with which it saddles us.
Hopelessness too, of course. But before hopelessness comes helplessness: that paralytic mixture of fear and resignation driving our belief that, whatever good, bad or incalculable thing awaits us around any corner, we will be tragically but blameworthily unequipped to handle it. Whether it’s a new relationship, a health issue, a job interview or a banana split, the one thing we think we know for sure is that we cannot endure it unscathed if at all, much less emerge educated, victorious, enjoying ourselves and/or improved.
For those of us who struggle with self-loathing, helplessness is not just a feeling but a conviction — in every sense of that word.