Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Struggling with my low self esteem and self worth after grades im not happy with. Help?

Hi everyone, 


I understand that is kind of annyoing when people complain about grades but thats why I chose to seek support here instead of with my friends. So this week began great actually I was presented as the Dux (top pupil with the best grade in my year)  of Psychology and I got to go on stage and it was great but then I started getting my exam results back I was happy with my A+ in Psychology but it went down hill real quick (in my opinion) I got a 72% in my math exam i was on a low A+ high A all year and I screwd it up and am now on B+ I feel horribale, guilty and angry at myself for messing up I was doing well and when it mattered i lost it I was meant to get Dux in math and i failed, I got an A in health, a B+ in hospitaltiy, a B+ in Biology but I got 75% on my exam i studied so hard for it I sound arragant and whiney but I was on an A A- all year and once again I screwd up and an A-  or B+ (I cant remember) in english Studies and I failed the exam. I know that I sound arogeant and as if Im complaing for no reason logically I know that these grades are good/decent and that an B+ avergae is ok but I just feel terribale and stupid my self esteem and self worth is dependant on the percentage at the top of a page or the letter I get on a report I hate the fact that im being selfish and I know there are plenty of people who would be very happy with these grades but I cant stop feeling as if im a dispaoimtnet im just so angry at myself and I cant stop thinking about how I screwd up and why and being jeleous and I hate it and for some reason nothing I do is ever good enough im also worried that these grades will have a negative effect on my report and ATAR. If these are the grades im getting now what will they be like it Uni, I was failing all my subjects last year but I actually started trying to do well and I am but its still not good enough and im worried about my fututre. I know its silly but I somehow feel as though my other grades been getting the award was luck or a fluke or that i didnt deserve it 


Sorry for the rant & I kind of hate myself after writing this I sound like that annoying kid in high school

Re: Struggling with my low self esteem and self worth after grades im not happy with. Help?

Hey @Alec29 just wanted to check in with you since your post a few days ago - have you been sleeping any better since then?

It sounds like you are pretty hard on yourself, would you say that's true?

Re: Struggling with my low self esteem and self worth after grades im not happy with. Help?

Hey @Alec29, it can be hard when we're studying I think we get specific numbers fixated in our head a little bit.

It's especially disheartening when you've worked hard at getting all the info in your brain. Smiley Sad


When I was in highschool I barely got passes, I went onto Uni and landed a job before most of my classmates - sometimes the numbers aren't everything as we move through life. However I do get the disappointment. Is there someone/something in particular you're comparing yourself to that's causing the feeling of jealousy? Or am I off?

Re: Struggling with my low self esteem and self worth after grades im not happy with. Help?

Hi @May_ I have been sleeping a bit better over the last few weeks probably because I havet seen any spiders on my or big ones in my room but its still not good im still anxious and worried. Last night was bad as I found a spider next to my head while trying to sleep. I dont know if I would agree that im overly critical of myslef I just beleive that im letting myself and other down by not getting A+ and I feel like if I dont get them then I didnt do good enough as there is still more I could of gotten right, though if you asked others (teachers,peer,parents) they would say im very self crticial and overly hard on myself. My teachers have since primary school (probably yr 2) that I have been very negative, self loathing and overly critical and have very low self esteem, all my teachers since year 2 have said it to me, to my family, to the school counicllor that i have low self esteem that im self critical and that my expectations of my self are to high and that all my doubts of my abilities and hatred of myself are unfounded. Despite this I still feel as if im not good enough and that im a disapoitment.

Re: Struggling with my low self esteem and self worth after grades im not happy with. Help?

Hey @Bree-RO, I know school is for learning skills and gaining life experiences but I am fixated on that number if the % isnt 100% im still not happy. I would say that I have throughout my life been a high acheiver academically it comes effortless to me but due to this I never needed to learn how to study or plan my time and I usually still dont need to but as im now in year 11 I ahve a higher more advanced work load and my subjects are academic and I still get decent grades but I feel like they should be better. I have never had a talent or a skill, my siblings are great at sport and are anturally ougoing and good with people and Im not i and the closest i ahve ever come to a talent or skill is drawing and academics and thinking about social issues and morals and philospiphy etc. so I feel as if my self worth is dependant on academic results or the opinions my teachers or authrity figures have of me. I also have medical issues that caused me to get bullied and seen as the weird kid at school all my childhood and I still have multiple chronic medical conditions that make life a bit harder and has negativlly effected my self esteem I also have a bad reationship with myndad he used to be emotinally abusive (sometimes physically though this hasnt happend lately and usually happens when I fight back) and always told me I was stupid or a disapoitment or a not good enough usually while doing homework. I wouldnt say im compring yslef to anyone in particuar just literally everyone else at school or doing my subjects I have a need to be the best or im disapoited or sad and angry at myself, i know this is illogical as someoe will always be smarter than me but its really causing probelms.

Re: Struggling with my low self esteem and self worth after grades im not happy with. Help?

@Alec29 I'm sorry to hear about finding the spider that sounds really not fun Smiley Sad but good to hear that you managed to get some sleep.

How do you feel when teachers and other people say that your doubts in your abilities are unfounded - do you think they are right and that you are better than you give yourself credit for?

Re: Struggling with my low self esteem and self worth after grades im not happy with. Help?

@May_ I feel that unless I get the best grade its not good enough and I always even if i get an A not an A+ still feel like a diapoitment and that I could have done better even though logically an A is above average and is a good grade im still angry and upset. in terms of the techers believing its unfounded, I feel like it is and that I just have higher expectations for myself than they do and that regardless of if they are pleased or if I get a good grade im still not good enough. Obviously if I get an A+ or I get Dux (like I did in psychology) I am pleased and very happy I would say I might even get a bit arrogant or braggy about it but if I get anything less than that its oh its an ok/decent grade which then turns into why didnt you get a better grade which turns into your worthless and stupid.

Re: Struggling with my low self esteem and self worth after grades im not happy with. Help?

@Alec29 it seems like you are a super motivated person which is a good thing Smiley Happy however it is a really important skill to be able to manage our expectations of ourselves and life in general and to be kind to ourselves. Is there a reason why you are striving for such high grades?

Re: Struggling with my low self esteem and self worth after grades im not happy with. Help?

@May_ There isnt really a reason for me to require such high grades. I did want to go to medical school but its extrememly difficult with the interviews etc even at my school a girl who got 99.94 ATAR didnt get accepted she won academic awards from competions all over the state and she had the best grades in all the school and most other schools and i dont think I could get in to the course deal with the interviews or handle the general high workout load to complete my specialisty which would take if i remember correctly 12 years so I decided against it. Currently I would require decent grades as I only need an ATAR of 65-75 to get into the course I want to do (Bachelour of Psychological science honours & Bachelour of Social Science+ a diploma in language) I also want to study overseas on exchange and need a GPA of 5 so grades are important but I could get this without an A+. The need to get an A+ comes from my self worth and esteem being fully dependant on my academic performace, its the only thing i was ever kind of good at as a kid and the only time i was ever praised by people (mainly dad) was when I got high grades and now I dont care what they think as much (I really dont like my dad much) but it doesnt matter because I still think im not worth anything in geneal and when I get good grades I feel better about myslef as if im not a waste of spacer but as soon as I dont get an A or A+ my self esteem smashes all over the floor and I lose it often I cry in the middle of tests if I cant answer a question or if I am struggling with an assignement I get myslef in such a place that I cant write the assignment because evey though or idea I have is stupid and worthless and in the end I physically cant type/write the words down to do the assignemnt or if I dont get a grade back from a teacher my self esteem slowly startes to decrease. I almost feel as if this is how its ment to be im ment to be a self critical negative person, I also sometimes feel as if I dont deserve the high grades or that I dont deserve and that im not meant to be happy with myself, in fact positivity makes me uncomfortbale and do do compliments etc. I would say that im a logical person and I know these thoughts are illogocal but its still how I feel even though coutless people tell me im wrong show me prove im not stupid and yet its not enough.

Re: Struggling with my low self esteem and self worth after grades im not happy with. Help?

@Alec29 I can tell you from my own experience that it is possible to become more positive and less self critical - you deserve to be happy Smiley Happy I struggle with similar things and I believe that you can become more positive if you challenge your negative thoughts. Positivity making you feel uncomfortable is pretty common because we are generally taught to be modest and focus on the things that we need to improve rather than what we have already achieved - but the more you get exposed to it and practice it the more normal it becomes.

I think the first step with becoming more positive is to recognise the need for it in yourself which you have definitely done, which is great!

Other than academic achievements are there any things that you work hard towards or that you enjoy doing that have given you that rewarding feeling?

If you feel like giving positivity a go there are lots of forums on RO such as this one that can help you get started: