Updated: Aug 25
Each and everyday, either on social media, magazines or on our television and computer screens we are continuously bombarded with unachievably perfect images of success and beauty on a daily basis. As a result of this low self-esteem has become practically an epidemic. It’s become almost impossible to avoid making comparisons, and those comparisons never seem to work out in our favour. We always seems to be less than and the absolute confidence killer of not good enough.
Add to that a few demeaning comments received in childhood, a failed and/or an unhappy relationship, a workplace bully, and a few extra pounds, and your self-esteem is rock bottom.
Below are 9 signs of low self-esteem and easy ways to fix them:
1. Fear of failure ~ Feelings of low self-esteem and avoidance are commonly found together. Those with low self-esteem doubt their abilities and expect to fail. They rarely, if ever step outside of their self-limiting comfort zones and try something new. Why try to do something if you're expecting to fail?
* It takes courage to step outside of a limiting comfort zone but it is absolutely doable. Start by doing things that will likely result in failure to realize that it is not the end. Apply for jobs you have little hope of landing. Ask out a stranger for coffee, speak up in meetings. Take baby steps which will continually test your limits and the fear of failure. If you are finding it difficult to muster up the courage to step outside your comfort zones read here
2. Critical self-talk~ Do you think highly of yourself or are your thoughts riddled with negative putdowns? People with a healthy level of self-esteem tend to be kind and encouraging of themselves. Those with low self-esteem tend to be much more self critical.
* Focus and monitor your self-talk as you go through your day to day life and if you catch yourself thinking negatively about yourself consciously replace it with a positive and uplifting affirmation. Take the time to compliment yourself each time you catch yourself thinking negatively toward yourself. You are what you think, you really can change your life by changing your thoughts. For more on this read here
3. Underachieving ~Do you consider yourself to be an underachiever? This is another sign that you likely don’t value yourself as much as you should.
* Pro-actively seek to improve some part of your life each day, even if it’s only in a small way.
4. A lack of boundaries ~ People with high self-esteem have boundaries that they enforce religiously, but calmly. If people are walking all over you and disregard any boundaries you attempt to enforce, your self-esteem might need a little work.
* Begin by saying “no” more often. Prioritize your time and your life by turning down requests that don’t fit in with your plans or are too demanding.
5. Difficulty prioritizing your own needs.
As women we seems to be biological programmed to put everyone else's needs ahead of our own! Not to mention in some cultures it's considered to be the norm. The problem with this is, that when you think you don’t matter and you selflessly put everyone else's needs ahead of your own it begins to slowly eat away and erode your self-esteem. If you’re regularly getting the short end of the stick, ask yourself why you are continuing to allow it to happen.
* Try putting yourself first for a change. Putting yourself first isn't selfish it's a vital part of practising self-care and honouring the self. It doesn’t mean you are taking advantage of anyone you are just thinking about what would be best for you and your life and making YOU a priority.
6. People-pleasing ~While compliments are hard to handle, when people show appreciation to someone with low self-esteem, that appreciation is soaked up like a dry desert soaks up rainwater. People-pleasing is done to feel a sense of self-worth and value.
* Honour your commitments without sacrificing your own needs to make others happy. Understand that your self-worth and value doesn't rely on what you do for others or on others opinion of you but only on how you view yourself.
7. Accepting compliments ~ When I was younger I was constantly battling a low self-esteem and had a hard time hearing someone say something nice about me, if you can relate then you might be suffering from low self-esteem. People with a high self-confidence enjoy giving and receiving a genuine compliment, but those with a low opinion of themselves feel very uncomfortable being on the receiving end of praise.
* An absolute great way of tackling this is to begin giving yourself compliments in the mirror. This may feel a little strange at first but try and persevere and commit to doing this at least once a day. Eventually you will be surprised to find the discomfort lessening and you will enjoy receiving compliments.
8. Criticism ~ On the flip side people experiencing low self-esteem can’t handle criticism either. They tend to overreact and to take criticism too personally. Even constructive criticism is handled poorly and taken personally. If you find yourself angered or left feeling down hearted when someone offers a helpful suggestion for improvement your lack of self-esteem might be the reason.
* This is a good time to try stepping outside of your comfort zone and ask someone who you trust for advice and suggestions on something you are currently considering undertaking. Remember to thank them for it and make good use of their feedback.
9. Difficulty giving an opinion even when asked ~ When your self-esteem is low, you believe that your opinions doesn’t matter and you also want to avoid having your opinions judged by others, so you keep them to yourself. The truth is that if they hadn't valued your opinion they wouldn't have asked for it.
* Give your opinion whenever asked and let go of the outcome keep from enquiring whether the opinion or advise you gave was taken or acted upon, rather just see what happens.
Recognize the signs of low self-esteem in yourself and if you have any in your children also and take steps to change it. Low self-esteem keeps you imprisoned in a self imposed comfort zone which ultimately limits you and your life. If you are committed to raising your self -esteem and upgrading your life the woman who slay self-esteem journal is a great place to start.