Today, you’ll learn more about the signs of low self-esteem, its consequences, and what you can do to cope with it!
It’s safe to say that everyone has struggled with low self-esteem at some point in their lives. If we’re going through a rough patch in life, it’s okay to feel sorry for ourselves for a while. We gather ourselves, get over it, and start to feel better afterward. It’s really that simple if you have a healthy sense of self-worth, but unfortunately, not everyone can say that about themselves.
It’s easy to disregard low self-esteem or a lack of confidence as character traits or to misinterpret them as humility. Low self-esteem, on the other hand, can lead to a number of bad things, from staying away from people and doing poorly in school or the workplace to more serious problems in relationships or with one’s mental health or even doing things that hurt oneself.
The first step in improving self-esteem is learning to recognize the warning signs of low confidence. The next step is to appreciate your own value.
Signs of Low Self-esteem
How often do you keep your thoughts to yourself because you’re afraid of being wrong or embarrassed? Do you frequently use the word “sorry” when the word “excuse me” would do?
For people who already struggle with low self-esteem, even brief episodes of worry and apprehension can have a snowball effect, contributing to a pervasive sense of negativity and a general lack of assurance. Here are ten warning signs of low self-esteem to keep an eye out for so you can get help (from a life coach, therapist, or other mental health professionals, for example) and learn to overcome them:
Difficulty in asserting one’s own wants, needs, and emotions
This may be most obvious when it comes to satisfying the desires and needs of others, such as when you constantly put their needs before your own. Maybe you’re trying to avoid conflict with others, so you’ve convinced yourself that your own needs are secondary right now. It makes sense that you keep quiet. Having empathy for others is admirable, but it can become a liability if it causes one to lose sight of one’s own needs, wants, and emotions. It could have an impact on your social life, including your romantic partners, friends, and family.
Having to say “I’m sorry” and/or feel guilty for normal, everyday activities
How often do you use the word “sorry?” Have you ever apologized for something you didn’t do or apologized for taking up space you didn’t need to take? If you find yourself constantly apologizing, it may be a sign that you have an unhealthy obsession with doubting your own abilities and seeing the worst in every situation.
Trying not to “rock the boat”
According to the idiom, “not rocking the boat,” people tend to go along with the crowd rather than stand out. Another way in which strength can become a weakness is when it leads one to rarely establish one’s own path, a visible sign of a lack of confidence and self-respect.
Doubts their ability to handle or deserve “more.”
No matter what kind of “more” you’re talking about, if you don’t believe you deserve it, you won’t go out of your way to get it. If you doubt yourself, it’s easier to settle for a less-than-ideal partner, settle for a job that doesn’t challenge or reward you, and lower your standards in general.
Finding it difficult to decide on your own
Feeling conflicted or unable to make a decision is a common symptom of low self-esteem or a lack of competence. It’s more convenient to defer to other people’s judgment, but can you trust that they’ll make the right call? Do you find it hard to stick by your decisions when the time comes? Do you stress out about living up to other people’s expectations? Lack of confidence in one’s own decision-making abilities manifests itself in these ways.
Lack of boundaries
Inadequate boundaries can make you feel exposed, hurt, and even angry, even if your loved ones mean no harm. The inability to express one’s needs openly is a common symptom of low self-esteem, which can have a negative impact on one’s relationships and sustain destructive thought patterns.
Spending a lot of time or money on other people.
It’s a universal truth that people enjoy getting presents. You can boost your reputation and possibly get some positive feedback that will make you feel good by giving people thoughtful gifts. You buy presents for people even if you know they won’t appreciate them because doing so makes you feel good about yourself.
A person with low self-esteem believes that others will not appreciate or accept them as they are. This is an extremely common symptom of low self-esteem, which originates from an evaluation or criticism of oneself that places too much emphasis on a lack of acceptance and thus perpetuates unfavorable patterns of thought and emotion.
Negative, self-harming thoughts
Negative, abusive thoughts about oneself are a major indicator of low self-esteem. Whatever form it takes, when you verbally abuse or belittle yourself, you are engaging in negative self-talk that can have a negative effect on your mood and mental health.
Both low self-esteem and a lack of confidence can have an impact on one’s mental health.
If you believe in yourself and your abilities, you can count on yourself to handle challenging situations. A healthy dose of confidence in one’s own abilities can go a long way toward ensuring one’s own happiness and success in all aspects of life.
In order to succeed, it can be beneficial to boost your confidence. One strategy could be to learn something new and then put that knowledge into practice. As a lack of self-assurance has been linked to increased nervousness and stress, achieving this goal may help mitigate anxious feelings.
The Consequences of Low Self-Esteem
Studies have shown that low self-esteem can have serious consequences. A decreased sense of self-worth has been linked to a variety of emotional and mental health problems, such as:
- Eating Disorder
- Suffering from negative emotions
- Addiction to the Internet
- Stress and anxiety disorders
- Dangerous habits
- Drug Abuse and Social Anxiety Disorder
- Panic disorder
There is some evidence that low self-esteem contributes to the onset of mental health issues like depression. Researchers have also found that those with low self-esteem are more vulnerable to contemplating suicide.
Another consequence of low self-esteem is a reduced capacity to accomplish one’s goals and to develop meaningful, mutually supportive relationships with others. In addition, you may become more vulnerable to the effects of rejection and criticism.
People with healthy levels of self-esteem are more likely to shrug off criticism, but those with low self-worth are more likely to take it to heart. This can make people with low self-esteem more likely to give up when they face problems.
Studies have shown that people with low self-esteem often do things to protect their fragile sense of self-worth.
Acts of sadness or sulking are used to gain the sympathy of those around you.
The unfortunate reality is that such actions usually end up backfiring. However, rather than receiving positive feedback that would help them feel better about themselves, they often receive criticism instead.
Coping with the Signs of Low Self-Esteem
Time is usually required to build or restore low self-esteem. However, you can take measures to safeguard your mental health while boosting your confidence. Here are some things you can do to cope with the signs of low self-esteem:
- Focus on positive thoughts.
You should dedicate some time every day to thinking happy, hopeful thoughts. Appreciate the little things you’ve accomplished and the pride you feel for them.
Consider other times in your life when you overcome significant challenges. Though you may not be feeling particularly strong or capable, remind yourself that you can get through this.
- Care for yourself.
A lack of confidence can make you feel unworthy of love and respect. Do your best to keep in mind that you need care, and to seek out ways to treat yourself kindly.
Care for yourself by doing something you enjoy. Take a stroll, visit a friend, or focus on a passion project. In order to properly care for yourself, it is important to schedule regular periods of rest and relaxation during which your body and mind can recharge.
- Get outside support.
If you suffer from low self-esteem, talking to someone who will listen and support you no matter what can do wonderful things. A trusted friend or family member can be helpful here, but so can a doctor, therapist, teacher, or religious leader.
To boost your confidence, it can help to surround yourself with supportive people who believe in you and want you to succeed.
Having high self-esteem affects your motivation to succeed, your capacity to form positive bonds with others, and your overall happiness in life. Low self-esteem can make it hard to feel happy, despite the fact that everyone experiences temporary dips in confidence. The risk of developing anxiety and depression increases as a result.
It is possible to get help if you are struggling with low self-esteem. Consult a doctor or mental health expert to discuss possible treatments. A therapist can help a person with low self-esteem by teaching them to think differently about themselves.
Building your confidence could take some time and effort on your part. On the other hand, with time, you can develop a more positive self-perception and acceptance.