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3 Signs of Low Self-Esteem

In honor of Women’s History Month, I want to uplift and celebrate the powerful women leaders I serve.

I want to encourage you to step up and step into the history maker that lives inside of you. To support your endeavors, I will be talking and writing about characteristics that can enhance your ability to live, love, and lead more effectively.

In order for us to be at our best in life, career, and relationships, we must first believe in our ability to succeed.

We don’t always realize that we are change agents in our own right. Not because we want or need to be recognized on a global, national, or local stage, but because many of us are creating a powerful legacy that will pave the way for others to do the same. But, what tends to happen while we are building a great life and supporting others, is that we inadvertently neglect ourselves. That self-neglect can lead to poor mental, emotional, and physical health. It can also affect our self-esteem.

Many women don’t recognize that they have an issue with self-esteem because they don’t know the signs.

They aren’t working to repair it, because they don’t realize it’s crumbling. They are so busy pressing the gas on the road of life, that they fail to pull over and check the levels of their self-esteem. Today, let’s address how to recognize the signs that your self-esteem may need a tune-up. 

Self-esteem is developed at an early age and involves how much we feel valued, loved, accepted, cared for, and thought well of by others. How others treat and care for us during our formative years of development, impacts how much we value, love, and accept ourselves as adults.

The good news is, even if our self-esteem wasn’t nurtured as children or was damaged as an adult, it can be enhanced with the right tools.

By recognizing the need and implementing strategies for healthy self-esteem, what you think and how you feel about yourself can improve. But like I said earlier, many of us don’t know the signs that there are improvements to be made. Many don’t realize that they are struggling with low self-esteem. Through self-awareness, you can identify areas that need your attention.

Here are three signs that your self-esteem may need a boost.

1 | Self-criticism involves how you think, feel, and speak about yourself. It’s an inner dialogue of negative self-talk and impacts your mental and emotional health. Here are a few examples of self-critical statements:

  1. “I’ll never be as beautiful as she is.”

  2. “I never do anything right.”

  3. “Everyone at work thinks I’m an idiot.”

  4. “I’m a failure.”

Negative self-talk is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to low self-esteem. Mainly because you can’t get away from yourself.

SELF-ESTEEM TIP: One way to improve self-criticism and negative self-talk is to commit to talking to yourself like you would talk to a best friend. Your relationship with you is just as important as the relationships with those around you. If you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, don’t say it to yourself.

2 | Comparing yourself to others is another sign of low self-esteem. You feel as if you must measure up to an external standard of beauty or level of accomplishment. You believe that if you don’t live up to that standard, then you are a failure. You may find yourself looking at what other women are doing, seeing them as better than you, and then deciding not to move forward with an idea or goal.

SELF-ESTEEM TIP–One way to resist the urge to compare yourself to others, is to recognize and validate your own strengths. See yourself as your own competition versus competing with other women. Embrace your uniqueness and the purpose that only your “different” can bring to the world. Instead of comparing, gain inspiration from the success of other women and believe that your unique blessing is on the way.

3 | Fear of failure is another sign that your self-esteem needs a boost. Fear keeps so many of us from moving forward on our goals, ideas, projects, programs, and dreams. Sometimes it’s fear of failure, at others it’s fear of judgment. Either way, those fears are connected to low self-esteem and a belief that we are not capable, worthy, or powerful enough to face our challenges.

SELF-ESTEEM TIP–To conquer your fear of failure, you must face it. The best way to face it is to do it afraid. Get up on that stage and speak, even if your voice shakes. Launch that program and advertise it, even if no one shows up. Ask for that raise, even if it’s denied.

Try making a list of your current fears of failure, and create a strategy to conquer them through specific actions, one by one. It’s often easier to start small and build your way up to the larger fears. Fear only has power if we allow it to rule on the throne of our lives.

I hope these tips were helpful, but if you find yourself needing more help, ask for it.

If you try these strategies and you need more assistance, get it. If you don’t know where to start, try reading more about self-esteem on your own, consider hiring a therapist, or connect with me for a consultation about mental fitness coaching. 

No matter the method you try, just know that your self-esteem and what it means for your life, is worth it.

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