How do I know if I have poor self-esteem, you may ask. It may be that your self-esteem is not poor, but you could still have a wounded image of yourself that needs healing. Here are some signs:
- You need the compliments or approval of others to feel good about yourself. This could also be a symptom of approval addition if the need for the approval is too great.
- You say unnecessarily negative things to yourself about yourself.
- You emotionally beat yourself up for making a mistake, doing something stupid, missing an appointment, being late, and so on.
- You believe you’re not worthy of being treated well or fairly. Note: There’s a difference between being humble and letting others emotionally walk all over you.
There are many other signs, but I’ll address these things. Some ways to combat these symptoms are:
- To combat approval addition:
- List the areas in which you hunger for approval or compliments from others, i.e. your work, appearance, cooking, housecleaning, mechanical skills, problem solving, to name a few.
- Next, write down beside each area what it is you believe about yourself, for example appearance: I’m not pretty (or handsome).
- Dig a little deeper. Is there some practical thing you can do about the situation? Face products (makeup, wrinkle cream), weight loss?
- Think about all your positives, the things you do well, what’s unique about you (what talents you have that others may not). Celebrate those. Remember that beauty is only skin deep. Others may look great on the outside but be ugly on the inside by being mean, inconsiderate, etc.
- If you have friends, ask them what they like about you. If you have to, tell them you want to learn more about yourself. You might be surprised about what you learn.
- The world will direct enough negative against you as it is. You don’t need any more from within you. If you have negative friends or friends that don’t respect you, consider forming relationships with more positive people.
- Again, others will beat you up enough (emotionally). If you really need to work on something, i.e. being late, then take steps toward the goal of being on time. Being on time is rather important.
- Know there’s room for improvement, but you don’t have to be perfect. Cut yourself a little slack.
- What’s behind the feeling or idea of unworthiness? Do people overlook you, ignore you or disrespect you? Are people (unjustly) criticizing you or treating you badly? Are you comparing yourself to someone else (i.e. they’re a better (fill in blank) than I am)? If you’re a good person and others are not playing nice, it says more about them than it does about you.
Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams