Identifying low self-esteem

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:

Emotions

  • depressed
  • hurt
  • angry
  • frustrated
  • anxious
  • ashamed
  • guilty
  • stressed

Thoughts

  • 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

Behaviours

  • 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.

 

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