Three Thoughts About Yourself That Cause Low Self-Esteem

June 28, 2018 Sam Woolfe

Your thoughts about yourself are powerful. They can raise you up or keep you low. Learn three thoughts about yourself that need to go at HealthyPlace.

Some of your beliefs and thoughts about yourself will cause low self-esteem. The beliefs that you hold about yourself might be a major source of negative self-image. Unfortunately, harshly judging oneself is a universal problem. Some of us struggle with this unhealthy pattern of thinking more than others. But, if you find it difficult to ever look at yourself in a positive light – or realistically – then it’s worth being aware of the negative self-talk that stops you from being able to do this. Here are three beliefs and thoughts about yourself to watch out for.

1. “I’m lazy”

One common negative thought about yourself is that you're lazy. When you are hard on yourself, it always feels like you’re never doing enough. If you get distracted from work, your studies or something you feel you should be doing, you might call yourself lazy for doing so, over and over again. When you’re ‘shoulding’ all over yourself, it makes it hard to have some breathing space and just relax about what you do with your time.

Okay, you may be procrastinating. But, being all stern and punitive about it really just makes the problem worse. Then you’ll be distracted by guilt, shame, and negative thoughts about yourself. If you’re doing your best with the energy reserves at hand, then try to resist falling into the “I’m lazy” mindset. Outside voices and pressures make many of us latch onto this way of thinking. It’s never healthy or productive, though.

2. “I’m a failure”

When you suffer from low self-esteem, it can feel like every mistake you make is just another clear sign that you’re a failure. However, the problem of thinking you’re a failure all the time is much deeper than this – you may think everything is your fault about things that unfolded due to reasons that are nothing to do with you or your actions.

When major, stressful events happen – such as the end of a relationship or the loss of a job – it’s very easy to blame yourself for things going wrong. Also, if you start comparing yourself to others during these changes in your life, then you may think it’s blindingly obvious that you’re a failure. You will come to believe that everyone else around you is functioning well and able to maintain a stable relationship or hold down a job, and so there must be something deeply defective about you. This thought about yourself will lower your self-esteem.

Remember, though, that we are all imperfect – we all make mistakes, lose the things which we care about the most, and struggle to achieve everything we are capable of achieving. The setbacks in your life can always be a source of motivation and drive, rather than self-defeat.

3. “I’m not a good person”

You should always be ready to catch yourself falling prey to perfectionism, ‘shoulding’, and comparing yourself to others. These modes of thinking are often the culprits in your low self-esteem. One way that they all play out is in the formation of the belief that you’re not a good person. You may say to yourself, “I’m selfish” and “I’m inconsiderate”. And you use the good actions of others in order to justify these statements: “I never do anything for charity, but so and so does all the time” or “my friend is always looking out for me, but I never consider them.”

Whenever you talk in these absolutes and get stuck in black-and-white thinking, you get an unbalanced and unrealistic perspective of how things really are. Sure, you may behave selfishly or inconsiderately, sometimes. And, like everyone else, you can always be kinder, more generous, more caring, etc. However, being a ‘good’ person is not about being a perfect saint. As is often the case, you will find that the more you make a conscious effort to look at yourself positively, the more understanding you will be about your actions and thoughts about yourself. Also, healthy self-esteem puts you in the best possible position to be kind to others.

Don’t worry – most of us have these negative thoughts about ourselves from time to time, in some form or another. If you ever feel unworthy, know that you’re not alone and that it’s not your fault you feel like this. There are very strong factors outside of your control that encourage self-judgment. However, your environment does not have to take the front seat in how you shape your destiny. You can reconnect with your inner wisdom that speaks in a more down-to-earth and compassionate way. This will allow you to gain the peace of mind that you deserve.

APA Reference
Woolfe, S. (2018, June 28). Three Thoughts About Yourself That Cause Low Self-Esteem, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Sam Woolfe

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October, 17 2018 at 10:08 am

When you say, ". If you ever feel unworthy, know that you’re alone and that it’s not your fault you feel like this. " did you mean know that you're NOT alone? I hope so. Thanks for sharing.

terapia de pareja
July, 11 2018 at 10:02 am

Very clear, beautiful and useful article. Thanks for sharing. We will invite to our usuaries of couple therapy to visit this site as the reference for working self esteem.
Greetings from Mexicto City¡

Amber Tamblyn
June, 29 2018 at 3:39 pm

I struggled with my self esteem alot im 22 now and for the first time in my life I look forward to a new day! For me it really helped with an online guide I did som research and found this
I hope it changes someone elses life as it did mine.

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