In order to maintain good emotional health, it is important to recognize the signs of low self-esteem early and learn how to stave them off.
Do you have low self-esteem? If you are like many people, your immediate reaction is probably, no. After all, you don’t beat yourself up mentally and emotionally, you don’t think that you are incapable, and you don’t feel worthless. Well, these are all good things, but they don’t necessarily prove that low self-esteem isn’t a potential problem. The signs that were just described are indicators of extremely low self-esteem.
It is time for people to begin recognizing where they may have low self-esteem and start believing in themselves in all areas of their lives. Although there are many indicators, the following four are some of the most prevalent signs of low self-esteem:
1. You compare yourself to everyone, even If there’s nothing to compare: You have a habit of comparing yourself to others: your siblings, parents, boss, colleagues, classmates, friends, and even random strangers. While there’s nothing wrong with this, excessive and unfair comparison will just bruise your already fragile ego.
2. You have discomfort with accepting compliments: How well do you take compliments? Do you minimize them by claiming that you really aren’t that deserving? Do you stammer and mutter something about the task being really simple or insist that your actions weren’t that big of a deal? Do you quickly change the subject? If you have a difficult time accepting compliments especially those that are directly related to your actions and accomplishments, your self-esteem might need a bit of work.
3. You apologize and feel guilty: If you say the words “I’m sorry” often, then you are apologizing for living. Apologizing a lot usually goes hand in hand with feeling guilty. Guilt is a major low self-esteem growth hormone. The guiltier you feel, the worse you feel about yourself, and the worse you feel about yourself, the guiltier you feel.
4. You take less care of your health and well-being: You don’t have to have let yourself completely go for lack of attention to your well-being to be a sign of low self-esteem. It can be little things such as blowing off the gym more and more often when working out was always so important to you. Maybe you’re eating more junk food than you usually do, or maybe you’re not sleeping like you always have? These are subtle signs that you may be veering towards a pattern of thought that says I’m not worth these extra attention and this extra steps to my health and mood.
How to overcome low self-esteem:
• Focus on your positive attributes. Devote a section of your journal to writing positive things about yourself. Freewrite or create a list of your positive characteristics. Anything that will make you feel good about yourself and help you appreciate who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and how far you’ve come in your life can be written or typed on this page. You may choose to focus on some or all of the following: your achievements, your appearance or your attributes and strengths.
• When somebody compliments you, thank them of course. Then, later on, write down the character traits and actions that led to that compliment. This will help you to learn to focus on the value of your accomplishments.
• Try to give yourself and others more credit. Not only is it unfair for you to define yourself as being less than worthy of true friendships, but it is also unfair to assume that the people who’ve reached out to you socially have ulterior motives. Instead of focusing on your doubts in these situations, focus on having fun. Stop over analyzing and enjoy the time you have socializing with the people that you love.
• Make eye contact with people when you walk, have good posture, and move with a purpose. Be aware of your tendency to move to the side or apologize, and making a dedicated effort to stop doing that. The confidence and self-esteem that you may feel as if you are faking initially, will actually take hold and become real.