Have you ever been part of conversations where you’ve been too afraid to share your thoughts? Even when you say something, you fear being judged by others. Or do you find yourself feeling discouraged by the smallest thing and being reluctant to try new things? This could be due to a lack of self-esteem.
We all have an inner voice that is critical of us. It stops us from saying and doing things. But when this inner voice begins to display a pattern of negative self-talk, we can develop self-esteem problems. Read on to learn how you can identify signs of low self-esteem and ways to boost your self-esteem.
What Are Self-Esteem Issues?
To deal with self-esteem issues, we must first understand what self-esteem is. The degree to which one feels confident of themselves and worthy of respect is known as self-esteem. People with high self-esteem think well of themselves and their abilities, while people with low self-esteem often experience shame, insecurity and self-doubt.
In short, self-esteem affects every aspect of our lives. Having healthy self-esteem is of utmost importance because it helps us make positive choices and reduce negative self-talk. It gives us the confidence to be comfortable in our skin and be our own person. People with high self-esteem and self-confidence have healthy interpersonal relationships and are better at dealing with difficult situations.
Here are some detrimental effects of low self-esteem:
- It affects your mental well-being as feelings of anger, guilt or sadness prevent you from enjoying life
- You may avoid taking risks because you feel it’s better to be safe than sorry, and you may consequently miss out on opportunities
- Constantly doubting yourself can hamper your productivity and prevent you from pursuing your dreams
What Are The Signs Of Low Self-Esteem?
The lack of self-esteem often spills into our professional lives, affecting our confidence and productivity at work. Maintaining confidence is key to career advancement. This is why you need to identify and address low esteem. Let’s look at some of the common signs through these examples of low self-esteem at work:
Taking Feedback Too Personally
You often break down or react angrily to the constructive criticism you receive from your manager or coworkers. You think of the feedback as a criticism of your abilities. You end up reacting emotionally to what they have to say about your job performance.
Being Indecisive About Simple Choices
You find it difficult to make a decision and stick to it. You change your mind about something or someone often. This pattern prevents you from strategizing or taking initiative because you feel that the grass is always greener on the other side.
Comparing Oneself With Others
Low esteem issues are reflected in the way you navigate your relationships with your peers. You may find yourself measuring your success by comparing yourself with others. Remember, your goals and objectives are unique. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.
Fear Of Voicing One’s Opinion
You second guess yourself and are unable to contribute to conversations or discussions. Even when you speak, you speak softly or very fast and seem embarrassed. An example of this is remaining quiet in brainstorming sessions and strategy meetings.
Giving Up Too Soon
You feel like giving up when you face a small hurdle or setback. Even a simple mistake prevents you from trying again. Any criticism or discouragement affects your motivation and confidence. You are unable to reach your goals because you give up too easily.
How To Overcome Low Self-Esteem
Confidence is a key leadership quality. When you have faith in yourself and your abilities, you’re more likely to take initiative and stay resilient in the face of challenges. You get out of your comfort zone and aren’t afraid to take risks and explore new opportunities. Let’s look at a few effective ways of dealing with low esteem issues:
Believe In Yourself
It’s easier said than done, but you need to start believing in yourself. It’s the only way others will believe in you and your capabilities. You can start by listing your strengths and weaknesses. Make a plan to capitalize on your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
Take A Step Back
When in doubt, try to look at a situation from a different perspective. Replace thoughts like “Why should I bother?” with “I won’t know unless I try”. When you look at things differently, you’ll realize that it isn’t so bad. Ask someone you trust for their opinion in case you aren’t to see things differently.
Live In The Present
We often tend to dwell on the past as a result of low self-esteem. By doing this we let our past define our future actions. We shouldn’t let one mistake or setback prevent us from taking risks and putting ourselves out there. Challenge negative self-talk and try to focus on the present!
Convince Your Inner Critic!
To be the very best version of yourself, you need to understand yourself first. If you have an inner critical voice that is constantly bringing you down and causing low self-esteem, you need to shut it out. One effective way of doing this is by fostering self-awareness and self-knowledge.
Harappa Education’s Interpreting Self will help you discover your best possible self. The Kaleidoscope framework will help you understand different aspects of your actions and behaviors. The Johari Window will teach you about effective ways to identify individual blindspots. Rediscover yourself and tackle your inner critic confidently!