Low self-esteem is when you do not measure up to yourself. It is when you feel you are not good enough – and especially when there is no particular reason in the present moment for that. Of course, for some strange reason, you can always find a rationale for not loving you. Something is constantly not good enough and you have an internal need for improvement – and “fixing”.
Do I have low self-esteem?
You are the only one who can answer that question. If you answer truly and honestly right now, do you feel that you are enough? Do you feel that you have what you need to go through life? If the answer is no to any or both of those questions, then you might be suffering from low self-esteem.
The answer to this question might be yes if you feel you are the worst human being that lived on the planet. Or that no one loves you because you somehow don’t deserve this.
What emotions are associated with low self-esteem?
Usually, sadness is the main ingredient of low self-esteem. Of course, as this might become constant in your life, you might not notice how constantly present it is for you as you go about your everyday life. (It becomes a kind of background noise). However, self-doubt, self-blame and even self-loathing might be your constant companions directing huge amounts of energy back to yourself where you feel angry towards yourself and can even experience depression.
What do others observe when I suffer from low self-esteem?
- Habitually, you will start your sentences by giving some excuse. For example: “I know I don’t know this very well but…”. Or “This will probably be wrong but I think…”
- You second-guess yourself. What this means is that you will basically say something and then say the exact opposite – so that you have all the possibilities covered and no one can blame you.
- Moreover, you might find fault with others, at situations or at yourself constantly. Perfectionists might be suffering from a low self-esteem if nothing ever is good enough.
Friends and family will usually say something like “oh, it’s not that bad” but you feel that they don’t mean it and they just want to make you feel better.
Well, what then? Do I need to change something?
That is a tricky question. Because you are you. You don’t need to change something externally – you don’t have to change how you behave or what you show to the world. That would basically mean that you love your inner demons so much that you are willing to change externally but you want to keep your internal hell in place. (Not particularly fun – mind you). What if I told you that any change you need to make is the exact opposite? To realise and become aware of the bad relationship you have with yourself and change that? And by doing that, external situations are bound to change as well.
Is this easy to do?
Like everything else, this is challenging to achieve. You have to challenge yourself and you have to be compassionate to yourself with the right balance. Challenge the “poor me” voice but acknowledge it and allow yourself to feel the fact that you may need some kind of support from others to find your balance. Both are OK.
Realise that you might be the worst enemy of yourself right now. So go easy on yourself. Seek help and allow soothing and friendly voices to relax you and bring you back to reality.
Life is full of challenges. There are no souls who have been blessed (or actually cursed) with no difficulties in their lives. This is one of them.
You will realise the gift of resilience and uniqueness once you find yourself acknowledging yourself more and realising the amazing qualities that you bring to the world. Allow yourself to see your strengths and your uniqueness.
And an exercise for you! Answer the following questions and notice how you feel as you do:
- What are you proud of in you?
- What is your best quality?
- What are your strengths?
And remember that these questions do have answers (and “nothing” is not an acceptable one!)