We are all unique but low self-esteem signs can look similar in most people. Regardless of our differences, those of who struggle with low self-esteem react to similar situations and have many of the same negative thinking patterns. Although these six signs of low self-esteem aren’t the only ones to look out for, they are very common for those who are suffering from low self-esteem.
Six Signs of Low Self-Esteem
- You compare yourself to others, a lot. Whether it’s your body, face, or your career, you find it difficult ignore the urge to compare yourself to other people. Those who have a healthy self-esteem may compare but wind up looking at others as role-models or find a way to be happy for other people for whom they admire. Instead of focusing on what they feel they are lacking within themselves, they look for ways to improve their self-esteem internally.
- You can’t make decisions easily. Whether its an apple or a banana, you have more anxiety when it comes to decision-making. Perhaps you’re overly concerned with making the wrong decision, even if there is no wrong decision. Maybe you worry what others will think of you or what the possible outcome is for the decision. Start to mitigate this by making small, daily decisions and praising the yourself for them. Picking the lunch spot with friends or noticing that you picked the route home from work without checking with a friend or family member will help you feel more confident.
- You have trouble trying new things. Again, this is like making a decision. You worry about getting out of your comfort zone and/or what the possible negative outcomes will be. Instead, try to do something new with a family member or friend. Surprise yourself by going to a restaurant or store that is new to you, maybe sign up for a class with a friend. Don’t let your low self-esteem keep you from living your life.
- You are overly focused on your outer appearance. Perhaps you are struggling with what to wear or how you look and are worried about how people will perceive you. The truth is, you never know what others are thinking and don’t have control over it, so excessive worrying about it will only cause you more distress. Instead, try to recognize your amazing inner qualities. “I am a great listener, people enjoy talking to me.” This is an example of an affirmation that will help with low self-esteem.
- You mind-read. You don’t have a crystal ball, and oftentimes mind-reading comes up because your low self-esteem is trying to mess with your head. You don’t know what someone else is thinking or doing; you can assume, but remember the old adage, “When you assume you make an ass out of you and me.” It keeps you stuck in this cycle of low self-esteem because there is no proof, just your insecurity. So, instead try to stop the mind-reading and ask others what they are thinking. You can spend a whole night lying awake, over-thinking about that incident today, but you can’t do anything about it now.
- You judge others. We all judge, but those who have low self-esteem judge other people more frequently because they feel bad about themselves. You reflect your insecurity about yourself by focusing on what others have or in an effort to find flaws in others. Notice your judgmental and negative thoughts about others and attempt to squash them before then come out of your mouth or into your mind. The more you stop the judgments the less your low self-esteem will persist.
The more self-aware you are, the more self-esteem can improve. So start recognizing if you suffer from these common signs of low self-esteem and see if there are areas you can work on today.
Emily is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are.You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.