A Comprehensive Checklist Of Red Flags Of Low Self-Esteem

A Comprehensive Checklist Of Red Flags Of Low Self-Esteem

Find out ways to ensure you don’t let your own worth down

Luke CoutinhoUpdated: Friday, February 23, 2024, 09:21 PM IST
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Pic: Freepik

Everything starts with awareness. Are there any easier alternatives to overcome low self-esteem? No. The first step to building it back up is recognising these red flags and breaking these patterns down.

Here are seven red flags of low self-esteem:

You constantly criticise yourself. You are your own worst critic, dissecting every move you make and being extra hard on yourself when you make mistakes.

You constantly seek external validation or approval from others instead of trusting your own intuition.

Failure terrifies you. While everyone fears failure, your fear holds you back from growing in relationships, career, business, or life goals.

You constantly compare yourself to others, caught in the comparison trap.

You neglect your own needs and always put others first. It may seem admirable initially, but neglecting yourself is a disastrous recipe for poor self-esteem.

You struggle to set boundaries, finding it tough to say ‘no’ and constantly over-committing.

You over-apologise for everything, even when it’s not your fault.

If these signs hit close to home, don’t feel attacked. Recognising these red flags is the first step to taking action. It’s a slow process that takes time, and here’s exactly how to build it back up.

Five steps to improve your self-esteem:

Stop being a people pleaser: It’s natural to want to be liked by others, but when it becomes an obsession, it can be detrimental to your self-esteem. Constantly seeking others’ approval, doing things you don’t want just to fit in, and changing yourself to meet others’ expectations can wear down your self-esteem. Remember, your self-worth should not be determined by how many people like you or approve of your choices. Building self-esteem involves realising that not everyone will like you, and that’s okay. Everyone’s values are different. What’s important is: Do you like yourself?

Draw healthy boundaries respectfully: If you don’t set your boundaries, someone else will. Boundaries are necessary in every relationship. Setting a boundary doesn’t mean you’re rude or arrogant; it means you respect yourself, and others should too. Boundaries empower you to say no when needed, protect your time and energy, and prevent others from taking advantage of you. Practice saying no whenever required, and don’t be scared to communicate your limits to those around you. Remember, it’s acceptable to put yourself first at times. Find and extend your purpose beyond likes, comments, and shares. Most of what you see on social media isn’t real. People with purpose find fulfillment in their true passions and goals. It’s what drives them, not external validation.

Flip the script on negative self-talk: Write notes or record positive messages to yourself. Mention what you love about yourself, your strengths, talents, qualities, and big and small wins. Go through these when you feel low, under-appreciated, or unacknowledged. Let this self-appreciation seep into your subconscious mind.

Embrace your imperfections: Even nature has flaws, and who are you? Just a product of nature! Stop comparing. Remember, we always compare the worst of ourselves to the best of others, which is unfair. Most of what we see on social media and in magazines isn’t even real. Airbrushed skin, photo-shopped bodies, edited skin tones—most of it isn’t close to reality. Social media often paints an inaccurate picture. Appreciate your unique qualities, and keep in mind that your journey is completely your own.

Identifying your worth on your values, priorities, and nature: If your self-worth hinges on looks, weight, success, and productivity, you’ll inevitably struggle because success isn’t daily, productivity varies, and weight fluctuates. Should your self-worth constantly change as well? One of the best ways to build self-esteem is to anchor it in your values, priorities, skills, and authentic nature. Identify what truly matters to you, your core beliefs, and principles. Embrace them, letting them guide your choices and actions. By grounding your self-worth in these intrinsic factors, you become less susceptible to external influences and opinions. This fosters a strong and resilient self-esteem capable of weathering life's ups and downs. Your worth becomes a reflection of the values you have and the person you are turning into.

Self-esteem is a precious asset everyone should nurture and protect. In a world of comparisons, people-pleasing tendencies, and external validation, it’s easy to lose sight of our true selves. Yet, by setting boundaries, acknowledging and accepting our flaws, and anchoring our self-worth in our values and nature, we can cultivate a robust and healthy self-esteem that carries us through life's challenges. It might seem tough, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

(Luke Coutinho is an integrative lifestyle expert)

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