Although not everyone can be self-assured all the time and we all feel a bit down on ourselves once in a while, if you have low self-esteem, it can affect your daily life and everything you do. It is not healthy to go around feeling bad about yourself, thinking that you are not worthy of a good life, friends, or nice things. But what is self-esteem? Basically, it is how you think of yourself. If you are feeling like you have no friends and cannot figure out why you may have low self-esteem. If you think you are not important or self-worthy, you could have low self-esteem. Read on to find out more.
Signs of Low Self-Esteem
There are specific signs that you may have low self-esteem that you may not even recognize.
- Some of the signs of low self-esteem may include:
- Constantly thinking of past mistakes
- Not being able to make or keep eye contact with others
- Believing others who talk negatively about you
- Talking bad about yourself
- Thinking that you just are not good enough
- Feelings of guilt, shame, and blaming yourself for everything
- Trying to be perfect
- Thinking you cannot make any friends
- Being uncertain about everything you do
Is Confidence the Same Thing as Self-Esteem?
Although confidence and self-esteem may seem the same, they are not. Having confidence in yourself means that you believe in yourself because you have achieved things and are happy to take on new challenges. You trust that you can do whatever you put your mind to and do not typically fear the unknown as some people do. However, even if you have self-confidence, it does not mean that you have high self-esteem. You can have one without the other.
Having One Without the Other
For instance, people who have confidence in themselves but low self-esteem, tend to focus on what they think they do best and nothing else. They may do a lot of volunteering, work too much, or concentrate on schooling and nothing else. Having confidence in your schoolwork but thinking you are not good at your job is one sign of having one without the other. Self-esteem is your emotional opinion of yourself. If you have high self-esteem but no confidence, you may shy away from doing certain things that you do not think you are going to be good at. Also, you would rather work on a team than do things on your own.
Focus on You
If you have low self-esteem and no confidence in yourself, it is better to focus on your self-esteem first. Self-esteem is all about how much you value yourself. When you start realizing that you are a worthy and valuable person, confidence will not be far behind. One way to do this is to write down all of the things you feel are good about you. After you do that, have someone you trust do the same thing. About you, not them. Most likely, they will find a lot more things that are amazing about you than you did. If you don’t believe them, ask them to explain why they feel that way. You will see it if you try.
Don’t Worry About What Others Think
This may seem contradictory to the above exercise, but it is not about those you are close to. The other people referred to in this step are those who don’t really know you but tend to make you feel bad. They may be coworkers who talk down to you or a toxic relative that just likes to make you feel bad. Don’t worry about them. Worry about how you feel about yourself and ignore the others.
Let Go of the Negativity
Let go of those who are negative or toxic. Do not stay friends with that person who just seems to hang around with you because they enjoy taking advantage of you. Or maybe they feel better about themselves by talking bad about you. These kinds of people usually have low self-esteem as well and will just drag you down with them. Cut them loose. Even if it is a family member. Just because you are related to someone does not mean you have to like them. If they are toxic, suggest they talk to a counselor. But don’t hang around and wait for them to change. Let them go.
Do something good for yourself that makes you feel or look better. Take an exercise class, get a haircut, buy some new clothes that you look great in, or start eating healthier. When we look better, we feel better about ourselves. That self-esteem that has been missing in your life will start coming back to you as you look in the mirror and see how awesome you look. You may be surprised how different you may feel in a new pair of good-fitting jeans.
Both your physical and mental health needs to be taken care of to have high self-esteem. If you are sick and don’t take care of yourself, you don’t look good and you know that. When you are not feeling your best, you are not at your best, which can lead to low self-esteem. You have to take care of yourself. Even if you don’t have time, make time. The same goes for your mental health. Self-esteem comes from within you, so if you are not mentally healthy, you will not be able to have high self-esteem. Talk to a counselor. You don’t have to make an appointment and you can do it online. So, go ahead and take that first step to higher self-esteem right now.
Photo by @KAYSHA from nappy.co