Low self-esteem often develops in childhood when a young person receives negative messages about themselves, or can evolve later in life following stress, difficult life events or significant life changes. When a person has low self- esteem or a low opinion of themselves, it leads to negative or self-critical thinking that can diminish self-confidence and cause further mental health issues. Low self-esteem and self-confidence can also get in the way of a person engaging in social situations, forming relationships or trying out new challenges for fear of failing or letting themselves or someone else down.