5 Signs of Low Self Esteem and 5 Ways to Fix It
Last Updated on 3 months by Iva Ursano
I’ve battled low self esteem most of my life. It’s only been in the last few years or so I took control of my life and learned how to improve my self esteem. There were many moments in my life that I clearly recognized all the signs of low self esteem and knew I had to do something about it.
There’s no doubt that it’s hard to work on ourselves. We knew that when we began self care we will lose people along the way. It also really pushes us out of our comfort zones and we don’t like doing that either.
But we also realize that loving ourselves and being happy is really important and we want that! We’re tired of being depressed and sad and full of frustration and hurt. Amirite?
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So what is self esteem?
If you Google the definition you will find this:
In psychology, the term self-esteem is used to describe a person’s overall sense of self-worth or personal value.
Positivepsychology.com has a great article on self esteem as well.
So let’s look briefly at the above definition. An overall sense of self worth and personal value. How much or how little do we value ourselves? Do we feel we are worthy of love, friendships, good things in our lives?
Unfortunately, many of us answer no to these questions. But why? Where did that come from?
The causes of low self esteem
Sadly, so many of us were raised in dysfunctional families. Mental abuse, emotional abuse and physical abuse were the norm. When you live like that while growing up, you are programmed to believe you are worthless and will never amount to anything. A failure if you will.
That takes a huge toll on our self esteem and it takes a tremendous amount of work to de-program those limiting beliefs. Trust me, I know. I’ve spent a few years working on loving myself again and knowing my self worth yet still have a long way to go.
Hard as it is, it’s not impossible and certainly does require dedication and constant work on your part.
Another cause of low self esteem is failing at many things. Now if you read my stuff you know I hate the word failure and I only use it now to make a point.
But when we continually try something or have many relationships that don’t work, we simply lose faith in ourselves and our ability to be good at anything, hence why we have low self esteem.
You might want to check out this video from my YouTube channel Women Blazing Trails. I talk a lot about believing in yourself and your greatness.
5 Signs of Low Self Esteem
I think many of us pass off our sad state or frustration on things that happened in the past without actually recognizing that these feelings can actually be a sign of low self esteem.
We’re gonna talk about 5 signs of low self esteem now and if you see yourself here, not to worry. There’s help!
After we discuss the signs I am then going to give you some tips on how to overcome low self esteem so you can hold your head up high and be the magnificent being you truly are!
1 Always tired, no energy, headaches, stressed out
Now I get that these physical symptoms can manifest from other things but having low self esteem is definitely one of them. Imagine a person with self confidence and self respect, smiling and happy with lots of energy and spunk.
A person with low self esteem does not act or feel like this. There is nothing to be happy about and we always feel like crap, worthless and not really wanting to do anything because no matter what we do, nothing works.
2 Uncomfortable in social situations
I get that some of us are just plain shy or introverts but fact of the matter is one of the signs of low self esteem really is being super uncomfortable in social settings.
I used to be. I would worry what others thought of me, do they like me, am I too stupid to be around these people, will they hate me, can I make friends here? Oh the questions I would torment myself with. It was a constant battle.
You see growing up being called dumb and ignorant plays a huge role in how you interact with others. We feel worthless. We feel like no one will like us. These limiting beliefs play out in our interactions with others and it’s not frustrating and downright depressing!
Here’s a great article on how to dump limiting beliefs. I think you might like it!
3 Limiting Beliefs You Need To Dump Right Now
3 Can’t take a compliment or receive gifts well
When was the last time someone said “Oh you look so beautiful/handsome”? and it made you terribly uncomfortable and just couldn’t receive the compliment? Compliments make you squirm. You don’t think you’re pretty/handsome or smart or awesome or anything like that. You’ve never heard them before and you don’t believe them.
Thank your upbringing for that.
We also don’t accept gifts well, any kind of gift. We don’t deserve them. We are unworthy. I totally get that and it’s such a yukky feeling. But the truth is we are worthy and we are beautiful/handsome (more on that later).
4 Constant negative thoughts about yourself
We are dumb. We are useless. I am such a failure. Nothing ever goes right for me. I hate my life. No one likes me. I have horrible relationships and can’t find a suitable partner.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Limiting beliefs and negative self talk are huge warning signs of low self esteem. We hate ourselves, can’t love ourselves and feel totally worthless. It’s truly a vicious cycle but definitely one that can be stopped.
5 Can’t accept criticism
Let’s face it, no one likes criticism of any kind but not being able to accept any criticism is a sure sign of low self esteem. Remember the voices from the past? You’re no good, you’re dumb, you will never amount to anything. Ya those ones. We can’t let go of them.
We take things too personally and can’t accept constructive criticism. It hurts our feelings and then we’re back to feeling worthless and a failure again.
For the longest time I used to feel “attacked” when someone gave me constructive criticism. How dare they? Who do they think they are? To heck with them!!
That’s simply our low self esteem talking and we’re gonna deal with how to overcome low self esteem next!
5 Ways to Fix Low Self Esteem
Building self esteem is hard work, I’m not gonna lie. It makes us do things that we don’t want to do and leave people who are no longer good for us but for some reason we want to hang on to them.
Trust me, I’m guilty of doing this too (hanging on to toxic people). But I realized I had to let them go in order to love myself more and to build my self esteem and self confidence.
I had to learn how to love myself and value myself, also very hard to do. I feel I still have some learning and growing to do but I’ve certainly come a long way. You can do this too! I have faith in you.
1. Stop negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones
You are not your past. All the negative programming that was plugged in to you was by people who were already broken and who projected their hurt on you. You are not a failure. You are not a loser.
You are amazing and magnificent and you need to switch up your “I’m a loser” conversation to “I’m amazing”. When you catch yourself saying something negative about yourself flip that dialogue immediately.
Stop yourself and say NO I am not a loser. I am awesome and I deserve good things. It may sound like lies when you first start doing this but keep doing it and soon you will have no choice to believe it…….because it’s true!!! You ARE amazing!
2. Accept gifts and compliments with a smile
Accept gifts and compliments because you deserve them. But the more important thing here is that people really do love giving things to others. I know I love to give, compliments and gifts, not only because it really makes me feel good to do that but I know the receiver will really love it (though they may not show it at first)
People love to give. Let them give. Receive graciously and KNOW you are loved and deserving of whatever they are giving.
3. Stop worrying about what other people think
Stop worrying about what other people think of you. Half of them don’t even think highly of themselves. Their opinion doesn’t matter. YOU need to think highly of you. It will take time and work but you’ll get there.
Stop comparing yourself to others too. We all have something super special about us. Each and every one of us. So do you!! Embrace whatever unique gift or quality you have (and I’m sure there are many!) and shine your light bright for the world to see.
We are not in a competition here on earth. We’re all in this together.
Seek out the people who love you for who you are and dump all the people who just judge you and don’t accept you. You don’t need or want them in your life. Time vampires. Get rid of ’em!!
4. Read inspirational material
When I was building my confidence and my self esteem I read. A lot. That’s all I did was read. What did I read? Books that would help me recover from a life of trauma, hurt, pain and anger. I watched YouTube videos from great motivational speakers, I read amazing eBooks and other blogs.
I read inspirational posters. I printed them. I had post it notes with empowering quotes and inspirational sayings on them. You name it, I did it.
Surround yourself and your environment with uplifting and positive messages and people. THIS is what you need in your life. Not toxic people and negative things.
There has got to come a time when you dump all the limiting beliefs, forgive and let go of the past and look forward to a life of happiness and inner peace and joy. You can’t stay where you are forever. That’s no life at all. Certainly not one that you deserve.
5. Treat yourself with love and respect
A little bit of self care can go a really long way. You’ve been beating yourself up for years and that’s not working for you. How about starting to treat yourself with love and respect?
Start making time for you. Do nice little loving things to honour who you are. Do mirror self talk. Reward yourself for little things you’ve accomplished.
Be nice to yourself!!
The importance of loving and respecting yourself
When we value ourselves, love ourselves and know we are worthy and deserving of all great things in life, well that’s when you truly come alive. We are not put here on earth to suffer and be miserable. We are here for crazy ridiculous joy, happiness, love and abundance.
When we stay ‘stuck’ where we are, people will continually beat us down, we will be unhappy, frustrated and terribly unhealthy, and our life will never get better. You want a happier life don’t you?
When we spend time building our self esteem and our self worth, amazing good things come to us. Trust me on this one.
Think about it this way. The more negative thoughts we think, the more negative things will come into our lives. The more happy thoughts we think, well, you get the idea.
Much of our life has been created by our limiting beliefs and the thoughts we think. Change your thoughts, change your life.
Do you recognize any of these signs of low self esteem?
Don’t beat yourself up if you do. You’re human and we’re not perfect. I still sometimes see these signs in myself and know it’s time to pull up my big girl panties and reprogram my thinking.
I am an amazing person and so are you!!!!!
Try using one of the fixes for your low self esteem and watch how your life will change!!
Thank you Iva,
I needed these reminders and plan on practicing them.
Determined in Ohio