Over the next few weeks, I am looking at common thoughts that people with low self-esteem have, found within this Buzzfeed article, and how we can possibly address them. For the full list, click here.
Most people with low self-esteem will not want other people to know this, as to them, it is a weakness. So they put on a front, pretending to be confident and happy with themselves. Perhaps using alcohol, drugs or other means to increase their confidence temporarily in front of others.
The idea of opening up to people and showing your real self with all those insecurities can be incredibly difficult. You may worry about whether they will still like you, whether they will be disappointed in you and the worry that you are burdening others with your problems. You think these negative thoughts because you don’t believe your true self, with all your flaws attached, is worth very much.
How to address this issue?
- Accept that everyone has flaws. You don’t have to hide your insecurities from the world. People actually appreciate other people having flaws!! Can you think of a perfect person with no flaws? Have you rejected somebody in your life because they have flaws? Doubtful. We all have strengths and weaknesses – we are human, we make mistakes. Accept this, and aim to be good, to make progress, rather than to be perfect.
- Accept you don’t have to be 100% happy all the time. Nobody is always confident and always happy. If you feel down, you don’t always have to put on a mask to disguise your feelings. Do you resent your friends for having issues and talking about their problems? I would be surprised if you do! If you need to cry, scream, shout out some negative feelings, go for it!
- Talk to somebody, or write it down. If you can, talk to someone about how you are feeling. Tell someone you are worried about opening up and disappointing people. Sometimes it really does help to just get the emotions off your chest. If you don’t feel ready to talk to someone, write down your feelings instead.
- Address what’s behind your low self-esteem. If you feel the need to put on a happy and confident disguise to the world, it will help to explore why you do this. Use this practical exercise to identify your negative predictions which influence your self-worth. Then use this exercise to find alternative perspectives. I found these practical ways of addressing low self-esteem very useful.
For more general tips on increasing your self-esteem, click here.