Self-esteem is more than just loving yourself in general—it also means believing you deserve love and valuing your own thoughts, feelings, ideas, interests, and goals.Having self-esteem not only affects how you feel and treat yourself, but it can also play a role in how you allow others to treat you. It can affect your motivation to pursue the things you want in life and your ability to develop healthy, supportive relationships.
Low Self-Esteem Symptoms
Poor self-esteem can affect a person's thoughts, feelings, and behavioral patterns. Sometimes these signs can be more pronounced, but in some cases they can be much more subtle.Some people with low self-esteem speak negatively about themselves, while others go out of their way to make sure other people are satisfied with them. Either way, this lack of personal worth and value can have a serious negative impact on a person's life and health.Some common symptoms of low self-esteem are outlined below.
People with low self-esteem tend to have low self-esteem and vice versa. Confidence in yourself and your abilities lets you know that you can rely on yourself to manage different situations. This self-confidence means feeling comfortable and confident navigating the many different things you may encounter in life that can play an important role in your overall well-being. Low self-esteem may play a role in causing this lack of confidence, but poor confidence can also contribute to or worsen poor self-esteem. Finding ways to gain confidence in yourself and your abilities can help. Learning and practicing new skills is a tactic you can try to boost your confidence and self-esteem.
Lack of control
People with low self-esteem often feel they have little control over their lives or what happens to them. This may be because they feel they have little ability to create change in themselves or in the world. Because they have an external locus of control, they may feel that they can't do anything to solve their problems. Studies have found that when people have little control over what's going on, having higher self-esteem can help alleviate some of the negative effects of this loss of control, ultimately benefiting mental health.
Negative Social Comparison
Social comparison can sometimes function positively and enhance one's sense of self. However, comparing yourself to others can also play a role in damaging self-esteem. People with low self-esteem may be more inclined to compare themselves to people they think are better than they are, known as upward social comparison.Social media can also play a role in such comparisons. If you compare yourself negatively to people on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, your self-esteem can start to take a hit.
Worry and Self-Doubt
Even after making a decision, people with low self-esteem often worry that they have made the wrong choice. They are suspicious of their own opinions and can often delay what others think instead of sticking to their own choices. This can often lead to a lot of second-guessing and self-doubt, making it difficult for people with low self-esteem to make decisions about their lives.
Low self-esteem causes people to focus on their flaws rather than their strengths. Instead of improving themselves with positive self-talk, they always seem like they have something negative to say about themselves. They blame themselves when things go wrong and always find fault with some aspect of themselves, whether it's their looks, personality or talents.
Fear of failure
Because they lack confidence in their own abilities, people with low self-esteem doubt their ability to achieve success. Although they fear failure, they tend to either avoid difficulties or give up quickly without really trying. This fear of failure can be seen in behaviors such as taking action when things go wrong or seeking ways to hide feelings of inadequacy. People may make excuses, blame external factors, or try to downplay the importance of the task.
Lack of Borders
The ability to set boundaries is often set early in life. Children who have caregivers who show them that they are respected and valued are able to establish good boundaries in adult relationships.
Trying to Please Others
Pleasing people can be another common symptom of low self-esteem. To gain external validation, people who don't feel good about themselves may go beyond anything to make sure other people are comfortable and happy. This often includes neglecting their own needs, saying yes to things they don't want to do, and feeling guilty for saying no.
Impact of Low Self-Esteem
Research shows that low self-esteem is linked to a number of mental health issues, including:
-Social anxiety disorder
Low self-esteem can make it harder for you to reach your goals and form healthy, supportive relationships. It may also play a role in the development of certain mental health problems and conditions, including anxiety and depression.
How to Build Self-Esteem
If you're struggling with low self-esteem, there are things you can do to help improve how you feel about yourself. Some of these strategies are:
Pay Attention to Your Thoughts
Start paying attention to the automatic negative thoughts you have every day. When negative thoughts take hold, it's important to actively identify cognitive distortions and work to replace unhelpful thinking with positive thinking.
Self Acceptance Practice
It's important to let go of the idea that you have to be great to have value. Try to accept who you are today. This doesn't mean you don't have goals or things you'd like to work on to change, but it's important to acknowledge that you are worthy of love and respect from yourself and others, just as you are right now.
Take time to think about what you've accomplished and what you're proud of. Allow yourself to appreciate your worth and talents without making comparisons or focusing on the things you want to change.You don't have to get better at valuing yourself, but learning to value yourself can help you work toward your goals.