I remember when it hit me that I was suffering with low self-esteem. It was like someone switched the light on in my mind and everything finally made sense. I finally understood the main issue which was causing me to feel depressed and anxious.
Once I knew I had low self-esteem, it became easier to take steps to address the issue and focus on improving how I felt about myself. Not easy…but easier!
But it took ages for me to realise, which led to years going by feeling like I wasn’t pretty enough, like I wasn’t as interesting as my friends, believing that my skin was too ugly for anyone to admire me.
That’s why I’m writing now. I want you to realise if you have low self-esteem, so you can begin a journey of improving your self-love (sorry, that’s cheesy I know!).
I mainly realised that I had low self-esteem because someone (I think it was my mum) told me she thought I did. So, I went on trusty Google and looked at websites for symptoms. I was really shocked actually when I realised every single symptom was real for me. It was very emotional to finally accept that I had this problem.
I would highly recommend using Mind’s website to understand more about self-esteem. They list the symptoms as feeling:
- like you hate or dislike yourself
- worthless or not good enough
- unable to make decisions or assert yourself
- like no one likes you
- you blame yourself for things that aren’t your fault
- guilt for spending time or money on yourself
- unable to recognise your strengths
- undeserving of happiness
- low in confidence.
Get Self Help also is helpful in clarifying how low self-esteem might affect you:
- Negative, self-critical: I’m so stupid, I’m worthless, It’s my fault, I’m a failure, I’m not good enough, I’m incompetent.
- Unhelpful thinking habits might include Mental Filter, Mind Reading, Self Blame, Internal Critic, Compare & Despair, Shoulds and Musts, Black and White Thinking
- try to please others
- get defensive when we believe we’re being criticised
- under-achieve or work harder to compensate and cover up our incompetence
- shy and passive around others
- avoid situations and people
- neglect or abuse ourselves
I would be surprised if everybody doesn’t identify with at least a few of these, and I imagine everybody has moments of low self-esteem. However, if you identify with lots of these and feel them regularly, and they frequently affect your daily life, I would say you are suffering from low self-esteem and you should start to take actions to improve this.
But what should you do if you have just realised you have low self-esteem?
In the next post, I’ll write about what you can do next. In the meantime, why not start this 30 day self-esteem challenge.