This is the last of a 14-part series that talks about the negative effects of low self-esteem.

In this section, we will unravel the facts that surround two of the most self-destructing consequences of low self-esteem, distorted body image and insecurity.

Distorted Body Image

Body image is refers to a person's subjective perception of his physical appearance and his emotional responses to those perceptions.

A person with a distorted body image has a false perception of himself.  He often sees himself as having plenty of physical defects.

Distorted body image is common in people who are suffering from anorexia and eating disorders.  All of these emotional or behavioral responses are closely associated with low self-esteem. 

Persons with high self-esteem see themselves as attractive because of the positive image that they have developed. 

Your self-esteem and how you perceive your physical appearance are closely knitted to each other.  If you have low self-esteem, you will most likely develop a poor self-image and your negative perception of yourself increases as your fear of becoming unworthy of love and acceptance escalates. 

How to Overcome Distorted Body Image

You really need to develop a healthy self-esteem in order to get past this bent outlook of your body.  You need to understand that flaws and imperfections are part of being a human being.  You should love and accept yourself and be thankful for what you have.

Here are some tips that can help you to overcome distorted body image:

1. Understand that nobody is perfect.

Perfectionism is another side effect of low self-esteem.  You should accept imperfection as a normal part of being human.  Don't be too concerned of other people's opinion about you; they too are imperfect.

2. Stop being negative about yourself.

Thinking negative thoughts and talking negative things about yourself is an indication of poor self-image.  You should be consciously aware of your thoughts and what you're saying about yourself to other people.  If they're negative, stop it right there for nothing good can come from it.

3. Develop a good body image by focusing on the good.

You should develop the habit of regularly taking notice of the things that you like about your body.  This won't fail to make you feel good about yourself.

4. Set realistic goals.

Doing something to help you improve your body, like toning your muscles is good for you, as long as they are attainable.  Becoming proactive is a sign that your self esteem is getting better.

5. Get help if necessary.

You should know when to get help.  Being constantly down on your self-image can be a sign of Body Dysmorphic Disorder.  You will be able to deal with it better with a counselor.

Insecurity

Insecurity is related to lack of self confidence in a lot of ways.  It is a state of mind that makes a person feel and think that he is vulnerable, threatened and lacking in protection.  It is also associated with the feeling of incompetence and helplessness.

The most common causes of insecurity are lack of self confidence, fear of rejection, shyness and an intense desire to be accepted and appreciated.

Overcoming Insecurity

1. To overcome insecurity, the first think you need to do is to be aware that you are feeling it and ask yourself why you are feeling that way.  It will help you to identify the problem.

2. Once you have identified the problem, you need to address it by focusing on your strengths, improving your self-image and stopping your feeling of unworthiness.  If your problem involves skills, you need to improve it to make you feel more secure and confident.

3. Through positive inner talk, reassure yourself that you are not unworthy.  Stop being a perfectionist and learn to accept that failure is a normal part of life.

4. Learn to be assertive of your needs.  This will help to make you overcome shyness.