People who have low self esteem are always hard on themselves. Sometimes they even cannot truly accept compliments because they would second guess people’s intentions.
At work expectations are set clearly. Even if there’s pressure in the workplace, compared to relationships or the social world where so much is unknown and uncontrollable, work is more straightforward.
It’s easier to meet the expectations and perform well at work. Therefore, some people with low self-esteem would shift their focus to work and put all their energies there.
Overachieving or underachieving
Many of us have already heard that people with low self-esteem tend to be under-achievers as they’re too afraid to take new challenges and not confident enough to fully utilize their talents.
However, there’s another extreme. Some of them are too anxious of failure and being rejected, so they will try their very best to be outstanding to prove their worth.
When we talk about self-esteem, the bottom line is about how people around you treat you, as we grow up taking the voices of people who are significant to us. Did they say you’re adorable, or you’re always not good enough? Did they neglect you that made you feel worthless?
That largely affects the way you view yourself and hence affect your self-esteem.
Based on the “Bottom Line”, we would form our “Rules for Living”, which are the strategies for dealing with life. For example, if you have the belief that you are always inferior to others, your Rules for Living would be “better not to speak up and to keep a low profile”.
So what are the consequences of having low self-esteem?
It Makes You Confuse Love with Low Self-Esteem
Having a low self-esteem, you expect people to treat you badly.
When people are being just quite nice to you, you feel overjoyed and have unrealistically good feelings for them. This can be easily mistaken as love and also scare people away who might be just interested in being friends with you (at first).
It Makes You Have a Lower Hand in the Relationship
As you think your partner is too good for you, you bear things that you shouldn’t stand for.
Sometimes you even confuse love with self-esteem. Are you giving in really because you love him/her so much or you just dare not to speak up and bargain?
It Makes Your Employers Feel That You’re Not Talented
People with low esteem sometimes are actually gifted. But they don’t know how to show it and “sell” themselves.
During meeting, they keep quiet, during presentation they speak weakly, during daily conversation they say “sorry” and “maybe” too often…As a result, employers and other colleagues perceive people with low esteem as people without much talents.
Over time, low self-esteem can lead to depression according to a study done by University of Basel researchers.
How to Improve Self-Esteem
As we can see, low self-esteem is a deeply rooted issue and leads to lots of consequences. To solve it, it’s not an easy task, but it’s possible. The key is, to use the right ways.
- Recognise what you’re good at
We’re all good at something, whether it’s cooking, singing, doing puzzles or being a friend. We also tend to enjoy doing the things we’re good at, which can help boost your mood.
2. Build positive relationships
If you find certain people tend to bring you down, try to spend less time with them, or tell them how you feel about their words or actions.
Seek out relationships with people who are positive and who appreciate you.
3. Be kind to yourself
That means being gentle to yourself at times when you feel like being self-critical.
4. Learn to be assertive
Being assertive is about respecting other people’s opinions and needs, and expecting the same from them.
One trick is to look at other people who act assertively and copy what they do.
5. Start saying ‘no’
People with low self-esteem often feel they have to say yes to other people, even when they don’t really want to.
The risk is that you become overburdened, resentful, angry and depressed.
5. Give yourself a challenge
We all feel nervous or afraid to do things at times. But people with healthy self-esteem don’t let these feelings stop them trying new things or taking on challenges.
Set yourself a goal, such as joining an exercise class or going to a social occasion. Achieving your goals will help to increase your self-esteem.
When you want to improve your self-esteem, don’t try too hard on thinking of ways to do so. There’s no direct way to improve it. It should be a by-product of our overall life’s satisfaction.
If you find yourself having low self-esteem, don’t be hopeless. Have faith in yourself that you can regain self-esteem and become a confident and successful person. Why not start today!
Check out my related post: Are men over confident?