Low self-esteem can stop you from reaching your full potential in life. The good news is that it’s possible to dramatically boost your self-worth in a few simple steps, the first of which is identifying that you’re struggling with a lack of confidence to begin with. Here are the classic signs of a woman with low self-esteem and how to deal with it.
- People-pleasing Women with low self-esteem tend to be people-pleasers. They have a desire to please other people because they believe that’s the only way they can win acceptance and validation. In other words, they don’t feel like they’re good enough with proving themselves. Generally speaking, people who have low self-esteem also tend to avoid conflict for the same reason.
- Comparing yourself with others You might feel lacking in some way, so you naturally compare yourself with others to measure your own progress. Unfortunately, this tends to make self-esteem issues worse, as you tend to compare your reality with other people’s edited highlights.
- Declining to set boundaries Do you have trouble setting boundaries? This is another sign of low self-esteem. Again, women with self-esteem issues don’t always possess the confidence to assert themselves and make their needs and wants known. They feel like by asserting themselves, they’re burdening other people.
- Speaking negatively about yourself Negative self-talk is one of the classic signs of a woman with low self-esteem, as is “being highly critical” of yourself and ignoring your positive qualities. While many people use self-deprecation as a form of humor, those with low self-esteem actually believe the mean things they say about themselves. They think and say things about themselves that they’d never say to other people.
- Being overly sensitive to criticism In the same way, people with low self-esteem tend to be overly sensitive to criticism. Because their view of their own worth is already fragile, it doesn’t take a lot to completely shatter it. By comparison, when people have self-confidence, they tend to accept criticism and constructive feedback more easily.
- Putting other people down Sometimes, low self-esteem can manifest into bullying and other problematic behavior. People who put other people down often suffer from self-esteem issues themselves. Dragging others down is the only way they can feel good about themselves, because they lack the confidence to raise themselves up.
- Not taking credit for your achievements When a person has low self-esteem, they rarely want to take credit for their achievements. Do you hate compliments and brush them off when people give them to you? Or maybe you insist that you didn’t do anything when someone points out what you’ve accomplished. These are signs of low self-esteem. Similarly, people with self-esteem issues tend to take the blame for things that aren’t their fault.
- Failure to build healthy relationships Another one of the biggest signs of a woman with low self-esteem is the failure to maintain healthy relationships. This is usually because she believes she’s unworthy of a decent partner. “If you struggle with low self-esteem, it can threaten your overall relationships,” licensed therapist Cheryl A. Clarke, LMFT, told the website.
How to overcome low self-esteem and build confidence
- Identify the root cause of your issues. Deal with low self-esteem by identifying where your issues started. Did you suffer events in your childhood that have led to feelings of unworthiness? Were you bullied at work? Has pop culture had a negative effect on how you view yourself? Work out what has affected your self-esteem so you can remove triggers and address limiting beliefs.
- Practice self-love. Even if you don’t feel like loving yourself, fake it until you make it. Show yourself the same love you show to your friends and family. Start by noticing when you say negative things about yourself. Then stop saying those things. Don’t be so hard on yourself and focus on the things you do love about yourself. The more you practice self-love as a routine, the more natural it will feel.
- Build positive relationships. The NHS recommends building positive relationships to boost your self-esteem. “Try to build relationships with people who are positive and who appreciate you,” they advise. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good, and cut out the people who bring you down. It’s always easier to love yourself when you witness others loving you every day.
- Practice being assertive. Being assertive can take some practice if you’re not used to it. Start by identifying what boundaries are important to you. Calmly stand up for yourself when those boundaries are crossed, the way you’d stand up for someone you love. After a while, it will feel like second nature to impose your boundaries and demand the respect you deserve.
- See a therapist. This is all a lot to take on by yourself, so seeing a therapist to help you boost your self-esteem is always a good idea. A professional therapist can give you in-depth exercises and strategies to deal with low self-esteem feelings. And they can help you figure out what the root cause of your issues is so you can address it head-on.
- Push yourself out of your comfort zone. One of the best ways to increase your self-esteem is by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Show confidence and courage in your day-to-day life and you’ll naturally feel proud and full of self-love. It doesn’t need to be anything drastic, either. Take baby steps and challenge yourself in small ways, without overwhelming yourself. Remember, building your self-esteem is a marathon, not a sprint!