You can be insecure and lack self-confidence without even realizing that it’s a problem. However, this poor self-image can affect many aspects of your life, from friendships and love to your career. It can prevent you from meeting people, progressing in relationships, and even getting promoted at work. If these problems sound familiar to you, consider the signs of low self-confidence and see if any of them resonate with you. You’re worth so much more than you give yourself credit for.
- You’re often socially withdrawn. If you’re invited to a party, you decline because you don’t know who’s going to be there. If your boss asks you to take on a task at work that involves talking to many of your co-workers, you tell them that there’s someone else better suited for the job or that you’re too busy. You opt out of social situations more often than not because as much as you dislike being alone, it’s less pressure than being with other people.
- You can’t take a compliment. Instead of just saying “thank you” when someone gives you a compliment, you brush it off. You don’t feel the compliments are deserved. If someone says you have pretty blue eyes, you say that you inherited them from your mom. If someone says that a dress looks great on you, you mention that it was a gift. By not owning the compliments you receive, you don’t accept that they’re deserved.
- You can’t take criticism. Any negative or constructive criticism feels like a knife in the heart. You obsess over it for days on end. Instead of taking criticism as something that can help you improve, you beat yourself up over it. No one is perfect, and when you’re reminded that you can do something better, you feel like you’ve failed.
- You apologize all the time, even when it’s not your fault. “I’m sorry” is one of the most common phrases out of your mouth. When someone does something wrong, you turn it around and make it your fault. Even if you know that you can’t be held responsible for it, you apologize to take the fault away from the other person.
- You never put your own needs first. Everyone else is more important than you. You always say “yes” when a friend asks you to do something for them, even if you don’t have time. You always pick up that shift at work when a co-worker asks you to work for them even though you desperately need a day off. Deep down, you don’t believe that you deserve to put yourself first.
- You self-sabotage. If you’re working on reaching a personal or work goal, you won’t meet it. Once you get close, you find reasons to stop or you convince yourself that you will fail. If you’re trying to get a promotion, you subconsciously turn in work that’s below the standards you’re capable of. If you’re training for a marathon, you start skipping training sessions until there’s no possible way you could complete it.
- You don’t stand up for yourself. If you’re in a disagreement with someone, you’re always the first to back off. You let the other party feel that they have won even though you know you’re right. You often doubt yourself so you don’t fight and stand up for what you should know is right. You’ll often agree with the other party just to make the conversation stop.
- You can’t make decisions on your own. Before you make an important decision, you need to ask all of your friends and family what they think. You may know what you should do, but if most of your friends and family disagree, you’ll do what they think you should do. Whenever you have a decision to make in your life, you always feel you need to talk to someone about it first.
- You compare yourself with others all the time. Job, career, relationship, clothing, housing – all of these are topics for comparison. Finishing college feels great until you find out that your cousin completed college and had a job waiting for her right away. You found a great apartment in the city and you can afford it all on your own, but suddenly it seems too small and dark when you visit your friend who just bought a bright and airy loft.
- You let others tell you you’re wrong. Even when you know you’re right, you let others tell you that you’re wrong and you accept it. Being right doesn’t matter if no one likes you, right?
If you want to feel better about yourself and move ahead in your career, working on your self-confidence is one of the best things you can do for yourself. When you spend time improving your confidence levels, you’ll find that opportunities open up for you. People are drawn to you and want to be around you. Make time for yourself because you deserve it.