Self-esteem is the value that you place in yourself, and it involves your confidence, identity, competency, and sense of belonging.
Low self-esteem can be an issue that seeps into every facet of your life. Having high self-esteem means that you like yourself and feel that you deserve love.
It means that you value yourself, your goals, your interests, and your thoughts.
Low self-esteem can impact the way that you act, the way you feel about yourself, the way you treat yourself and others, your motivation or lake thereof, and your ability to develop and maintain healthy relationships.
Signs of Low Self-Esteem
The signs of low self-esteem can be subtle or extreme, but it is important to recognize it so that you can work on improving your feelings about yourself. Let’s look at some of the common signs of poor self-esteem.
Low Confidence Levels
There is a strong correlation between confidence levels and self-esteem. Confidence is important for managing everyday situations and taking healthy risks. This also has an impact on your happiness and quality of life. Low self-esteem can destroy your confidence levels and low confidence can also impact your self-esteem.
Feeling of No Control
If you have low self-esteem, you may feel like you do not have much control over your life or circumstances. While some situations are not controllable, high self-esteem can help to keep good mental health when there is no control. This can greatly benefit your well-being.
Social Comparison is Damaging
Comparing yourself to your peers can help you develop a sense of self, a unique personality, and a positive persona. However, it can also harm your self-esteem. If you have low self-esteem, you may be more likely to compare yourself to others who you feel are better than you. Social media makes it easy to compare yourself to people constantly even though the portrayals you see are almost always inadequate or overly positive.
When you suffer from low self-esteem, you may have a difficult time speaking up about the things that you want or need. You may feel like you do not deserve to be heard or that nobody should help you out. You may also feel anxious or embarrassed about the things you need or desire.
Someone with low self-esteem is more likely to doubt their abilities to make competent decisions. If you have poor self-esteem, you may even worry that you made a wrong choice or doubt your opinions.
Doubting Good Feedback
If you have low self-esteem, you may find that it is difficult for you to believe or accept positive compliments and feedback from your peers, family, friends, co-workers, and anyone else. You may even feel like the feedback is sarcastic or used in a way to make fun of you instead of being realistic or sincere.
Low self-esteem often comes with negative self-talk where the inner voice focuses on negative aspects of the self like physical or emotional flaws, mistakes, or accidents. Even when the inner voice has something good to say, the negative self-talk will often attach to it.
For example, if you feel attractive, your inner voice may say something like, “I look better than I usually do, but I am still ugly.” This negative self-talk can be about any part of you from appearance to abilities or even personality.
Afraid of Failure
This relates to low confidence levels that are associated with low self-esteem. When you have low confidence, you are also likely to expect and fear failure. This may even make it hard to find motivation and can lead to avoidance behavior.
If you do not have positive feelings about yourself, you may begin to feel hopeless about situations and changes in your life. This often causes self-sabotage as well which is a way to deal with the negative feelings. By finding challenges that can inhibit success, you are able to find something to blame for failure and it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Low self-esteem can cause a person to seek validation and approval by ensuring that the people around them are happy and pleased. This may involve neglect of your own personal necessities or doing things that you truly do not want to do.
How to Cope with Low Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem can impact your livelihood and quality of life. It is important to take the necessary steps to improve your self-esteem. It will take time but will be highly beneficial to your well-being if you do enhance your feelings you have about yourself.
Focus on the Positive
Spending the time to focus on the positive aspects of every situation can help you gradually change your thought patterns. Noticing the things that you like about yourself and actually trying to feel proud or happy about them can be great to boost self-esteem. It may be hard at first, but it will get easier the more you notice the good things.
Low self-esteem levels can make it hard to care for yourself. However, taking care of yourself can help to improve your well-being and increase your levels of self-esteem. Spend time doing things you enjoy, get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, and exercise often. Your body and mind will thank you.
Everybody makes mistakes and it is important to forgive yourself and accept who you are. Accept who you are in this moment. You can still make an effort to change or improve your situation, but you can also accept that you are worthy of love and that your opinion matters.
You can also try to spend time thinking about your accomplishments and the things that you are prideful about. This can allow you to accept your worth as a person and begin to value yourself.
Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal can be a great way to identify and eliminate negative self-talk. There are a lot of things you can focus on writing about. You may want to write about the positive things in your life or the things that you are grateful for. You can also write down all the positive components of negative experiences of situations. Writing these things down provides perspective and logic to your negative and positive thoughts.
Low self-esteem can be harmful to your well-being and identifying it is the first step in improving it. Low self-esteem is associated with negative self-talk, self-doubt, a feeling of low control, and low confidence.
However, it is entirely possible to improve self-esteem. If you have feelings of hopelessness that will not go away or if you cannot seem to increase self-esteem on your own, it may be good to talk with a mental health professional.