These 6 Little Things Can Cause Low Self Esteem, But Here's How To Make Sure They Don't
Self-esteem can sometimes be hard to come by. Sure, in a perfect world, that wouldn't be the case, and you'd wake up every day feeling like a million bucks. But the reality is, there are good self-esteem days and bad self-esteem days, and feeling confident and comfortable with yourself is usually something you have to continuously work toward and maintain, which includes avoiding those little things that can cause low self-esteem in your day-to-day and exacerbate those feelings of being less-than or not-enough. Those feelings are false, BTW. They may be loud, insistent, and persuasive, but I can assure you, they are not true..
As Seline Shenoy, a podcast host, life coach, and author of the book Beauty Redefined, tells Elite Daily, pretty much everyone asks themselves, at one point or another, "Am I good enough?"
"We may have allowed the weight of low-self esteem to influence how we judge ourselves and others and the choices that we make in life," Shenoy says. "This insidious feeling of inadequacy diminishes our confidence in our ability to make headway in our careers, relationships, and other endeavors that are close to the heart."
And while low self-esteem can keep you from living your #bestlife, Shenoy promises that when you begin to shift some of these nasty habits, life can get better in ways you never imagined. And, rest assured, overcoming these six little things isn't nearly as hard as you think it is. Here's how to navigate those subtle, everyday things that are trying to tear down your self-esteem.
1. You Stay In Situations And Relationships That Don’t Fulfill You
According to Shenoy, staying in situations and relationships that don’t fulfill you isn't just a waste of your time, it's also "a major drain on your energy." So, she says, if you find yourself in this position, become aware of the fact that you’re not in alignment with your values and your highest vision for your life.
This can be difficult, of course, but what it really translates to is taking steps to help you overcome that fear of change so you can move toward and embrace the people and circumstances that are right for you.
2. You Don’t Speak Up For Yourself
Shenoy says that when you struggle to defend yourself and fight for your rights in the face of unfairness or disrespect, it's easy to accidentally give away your power. "Your urge to please and prove yourself pushes to seek approval and validation at any cost," she tells Elite Daily. "A person with high self-esteem will not tolerate disrespectful behavior and will be quick to cut out or confront anyone who hurts them and treats them unfairly."
The next time you feel someone is being disrespectful toward you, try taking them aside to confront them about their behavior — in a civilized way, of course. You can even send them an email or text if that feels more comfortable at first, but either way, it's important not to let people walk all over you and treat you in ways you don't deserve.
3. You’re Always Comparing Yourself To Others
In this day and age, scrolling all day long through filtered selfies and incredible vacation pics makes it hard to not compare yourself to others. But the truth is, Shenoy says, this can take a major toll on your self-esteem.
"A compulsive need to compare oneself to another has a corrosive effect on our spirit and dampens our vitality and zest for life," she tells Elite Daily, adding that it can also cause anxiety and a loss of time that could have easily been put to better use. "We need to understand that everyone comes into this world with a unique destiny and life path, and that comparing ourselves to others is redundant," Shenoy says. Essentially, putting yourself up against other people in this way only serves to distract you from what you're actually capable of accomplishing in your own life.
Overall, Shenoy says, it's best to focus your attention and energy on your endeavors only, "so that you can make the most of your journey."
4. You Sacrifice Everything For Others
When you get right down to it, life should be all about love, right? As Shenoy explains, relationships with others offer you a chance to share your love and be of service to another being — but still, you can't forget about number uno.
"Displaying generosity is an honorable and noble way of living, as long as we don’t get drained out in the process," she tells Elite Daily. "It’s important to place limitations on how much we’re willing to give of ourselves, and have the discernment to recognize when we’re overstretched and being taken advantage of."
Of course, that's easier said than done sometimes, but beginning to recognize and enforce boundaries can still be an emotional lifesaver in the long run.
5. You Wait Around For Things To Happen
"When fear is the driving force, you tend to wait around, wishing for things to happen, instead of taking action," Shenoy says. But not doing anything to change your circumstances, and assuming a passive stance in life, can exacerbate those gnarly feelings of low self-esteem.
"We have to develop the drive and confidence to take the initiative to make things happen and become proactive in our approach toward our life," she tells Elite Daily. If that seems daunting, try making these changes in small ways at first, like doing some research on that French class you've always wanted to take, or perusing job listings that are more in line with your long-term goals.
6. You’re Overly Critical Of Yourself
Yes friends, this one is tough to avoid. But it's so important to not only be kind to yourself, Shenoy says, but to remember that, usually, no one judges you nearly as harshly as you judge yourself.
"We’ve all heard that condescending voice within us that tells us that we’re not good enough or that we don’t do enough," Shenoy tells Elite Daily. "It affects how we feel about ourselves, the way we relate to others, and most importantly, our self-worth."
According to the life coach, it's absolutely possible to overcome the nasty effects of your inner critic by becoming more aware of the unpleasant emotions it brings up, and processing them in a healthy way. "By toning down the harsh voice of the inner critic," she says, "you’ll be able to hear the more loving, compassionate, and wise part of you that believes in your worth."
And you are worth it, y'all. We all are.