You may be creating more problems with your self esteem than you realize. Killing it in fact!
Your self esteem is tied to your vision of yourself, your presence with others and the image of you shared with the world.
When you lack self esteem, you lack a confident presence in your own life. You are hollow when you should be whole.
If you suffer from ongoing self esteem concerns, you likely are fighting a host of insecurities and self sabotaging actions. And it is easy to have these counterproductive thoughts and actions steal your enthusiasm, break down your momentum, and kill your self esteem one moment at a time.
Take a look at these deadly sins killing your self esteem and see how conquering these habits can help you regain your confidence.
Self Esteem Problem #1: Compromising Your Values
Your core values represent who you are and how you demonstrate yourself to others based on what you deem most important. Once you identify what your values are you act in accordance with these beliefs and allow them to shape your life. Use our Core Values Journal to explore your core values more fully and to understand your life’s priorities.
No matter what you choose to prioritize in your life, your core values stand at the forefront, sometimes even unconsciously coming to the surface. You know what you stand for and what you believe in. This knowing can contribute to your self esteem.
The effects of denying your core values
When you put your values to the side, it can only happen through conscious decision and effort. You have elected to be different or support actions different than what you believe in.
Compromising your values can take many forms:
- Looking the other way when a co-worker falsifies the numbers on a financial report
- Not inviting a relative to a family event because other family members don’t want you to do it
- Staying at work late when you have a game to attend for your child
- Fake smiling at a friend who has bitterly hurt your feelings nonchalantly in casual conversation
You know when you feel something is wrong or right, and most importantly when it is different than what you understand as your core values. And even if no one other than you knows or feels the disconnect, you know when you have compromised your own core values. The sinking, sick, uncomfortable sadness inside tells you that you have permitted a disconnect to occur.
Reclaim your self esteem by representing yourself authentically and in alignment with your values.
- Let others know when their actions or words do not align with your beliefs or standards
- Take on decisions and actions that your feel strongly about regardless of outside opinion
- Be honorable and act with integrity even when faced with difficult choices
- Acknowledge your emotions and be open about your feelings with others and allow the same to be received by you
Related Post: 5 Ways to Be More Authentic and Build Amazing Confidence
Self Esteem Problem #2: Putting Yourself Last
Overstated humility will often lead to putting yourself in the background instead of the foreground.
We are taught to hold the door for others, allow another person to step ahead in line, or give to those less fortunate than ourselves. While these acts are exemplary forms of chivalry and compassion, they also train a less desirable attribute. The attribute of diminishing self worth.
While an inaccurate conclusion, it is easy to assume that if putting others before yourself is commendable, it is not commendable to put yourself first.
Self prioritization can become unattractive when humility and charitable works are over-accentuated. True harmony lies in the balance of both.
Honor yourself and your self esteem by caring for yourself as much or more than you care for others. This healthy self love technique puts you in the best position to give the best of yourself in everything that you do. It also helps to thwart feelings or patterns of personal depletion by giving more than what your body, mind, and spirit can withstand to give at any given time.
Placing yourself in a position of priority is healing to your spirit and particularly to your self esteem.
Self Esteem Problem #3: Demonizing Self-Pride
The world is full of hope, inspiration, and optimism because of the actions that others have taken as a leap forward in their personal life progress.
To take pride in your accomplishments, your skills and talents, and your ability to overcome challenges is a reward for yourself and those able to witness your evolution.
To bask in self pride and personal acknowledgment provides a boost to your self esteem, an energetic elevation to your self worth, and an opportunity to experience more fullness in life. When we hide from experiencing self pride, we reduce our big wins as inconsequential and insignificant happenings and neutralize the difference between one experience and another. The world can become bland without the acknowledgment of good, better and great.
Key elements to remember when healthfully practicing self pride:
- Admiring your work or your own image is not the same thing as vanity
- Saying aloud what you did well is not the same thing as boasting
- Sharing your accomplishments with others is not the same thing as showing off
- Reflecting on how well you have done is not the same thing as gloating
When you recognize that exaggerated, mean-spirited, and intentionally hurtful forms of self pride are not the only forms of self pride, you give yourself permission to engage in healthy self acknowledgment, respect, and love.
Self pride is an important means to create and sustain healthy self esteem.
Self Esteem Problem #4: Devaluing Your Opinion
Knowing yourself is knowing what your independent thoughts and opinions are and owning them.
Your entire life experience is made up of instances where you learn yourself and the world around you. And while you gain significant influence from the world that builds your sense of opinion, your opinion is still yours alone.
To diminish your opinion is to remove your voice and to relinquish your sense of self in exchange for others.
Without your thoughts and your decisions of how to respond or act because of your thinking, you render your true self as almost invisible and inconsequential. This lack of presence can have a significant impact on your self esteem.
Sometimes you withhold your opinion and hamper your voice intentionally. You may choose when and where to share your opinion and determine if the share of your opinion is necessary or appropriate for the time and place. But even with this practical assessment you still honor that your opinion exists. And you use of tact is not the same as abandoning your opinion.
To preserve your voice and your self esteem it is important to practice authenticity in your thoughts and feelings.
- Be honest with your thoughts and opinions and genuine when asked how you feel on a subject
- Make a habit to respectfully share your thoughts when the opportunity presents itself
- Refrain from apologizing if your opinion is different than others. Difference of opinion is not a mistake or misstep and therefore do not require correction.
- Permit yourself to share your opinion with conviction. There is no need to force, pressure, or over-project your stance but energy and enthusiasm can provide necessary passion to a strong position.
Self Esteem Problem #5: Criticizing Yourself
Critical thinking and assessment are useful at the right time and place. However, those who are apt at these skills often turn the looking glass upon themselves and many times way too intensely.
There is balance in reviewing ourselves, our work, or our interaction with others. But there can be burden with intentionally examining yourself to find youreslf flawed or erroneous in your actions. Additionally, the presence of error does not equal total failure or complete lack in any person.
Criticizing yourself intensely or plaguing yourself with negative can become cruel, disheartening, and its own form of bullying toward yourself. A pattern of negative self talk can be an even more damaging practice because you have the opportunity to repeat hurtful thoughts and words incessantly.
Changing the course of your self critique to regular positive and favorable feedback can have a significant impact on improving your self esteem. Particularly when imparting genuine and thoughtful commentary and reinforcing acknowledgment of your best attributes, you can become the cornerstone of self validation and self worth for yourself.
Self Esteem Problem #6: Comparison with Others
The strength of individuality can be muted by the comfort of conformity especially when you deem someone else to be better than you.
Comparing who you are and what you do with others can belittle your sense of self when you deem your source of comparison as superior. The difficult but necessary shift is in seeing others with strengths and abilities as inspiration rather than competition.
The world contains such variations of skills, achievements, forms of beauty, and talent that inevitably you will find those who present themselves better than you perceive yourself to be.
That said, it is also equally possible to find those who underperform in comparison to you or who perform similarly to you. The question then becomes, what are you seeking to find?
Look to admire, learn from, and be inspired by others and the world around you. This is a much better support to your self esteem than counting yourself lesser in the contrast. You have your own uniqueness that includes a countless number of aspects to be proud of.
Build confidence by looking for and celebrating the best in you and valuing the inspiration around you to become more.
Self Esteem Problem #7: Fear of Failure
There is no circumstance where you can live without ever trying and failing. But at same time every attempt does not end in failure. Therefore to stand in perpetual fear of failure, waiting for the worse to occur, can create an even worse outcome than the event itself.
Anxiety, stress, lack of confidence, and low self esteem are just some of the symptoms when you suffer serious fear of failure.
However, facing your fears, regardless of the outcome, can build an internal strength and fortitude that can bring good fortune.
- Take on a new task at work knowing that you may have to learn as you go
- Travel to an unfamiliar location and explore without a defined plan
- Talk to a new person in your favorite coffee shop even if they may not engage you back
- Ask for a raise or new position even if you think your boss is not a fan
Taking risks can feel beyond uncomfortable. But everything that feels bad is not bad for you.
And while you have a chance to have an unfavorable end result, you also have opportunity for more. Moving beyond fears creates opportunity for growth, learning, better experiences, and personal gains. Walking away from these opportunities limits your ability to have more friends, greater skills, and even more money.
Above all, taking a chance on yourself can lead to higher self esteem, more confidence, and a feeling of preparedness for the next challenge on your life journey.
When you suffer problems with your self esteem, look to see their true origin. When you can confront and repair the poor habits that compliment this negative outcome, you have the opportunity to build your confidence and sense of self worth.
Instead of allowing self criticism, sabotage, and comparison with others to kill how you perceive yourself, be authentic, positive, and expressive.
You hold the power to strengthen your self esteem and boost your confidence by allowing yourself to fully be you.
If you know someone who could use a confidence boost, share this post and inspire small changes that can make a big difference in their self esteem. And if you have more ideas of your own, share them in the comments for others to see.