Discover seven habits that cause low self-esteem and how you can stop them and feel more confident.
Your self-esteem is like a plant. The more you nurture it with good habits, the greater it becomes.
I know we all have our moments of self-doubt and insecurity, but let’s be real—nobody has time for that negativity. If you’re tired of feeling like your self-esteem is taking a nosedive, then this post is for you.
You’re about to identify seven sneaky habits that chip away at your self-worth (and how to tackle them). So, how do you know that you have low self-esteem? What habits pinch away at your self-esteem? I’m about to dish out some tough love and empower you to reclaim your self-confidence. Let’s get started.
1. Poor boundaries
Boundaries are like fences. They ensure that only the right people can come in through your gate when you want to allow them.
When you don’t set and keep to your boundaries, you end up feeling exploited, frustrated, and unimportant. You need to set boundaries and stick to them. Build ethics and working guidelines, and learn to say no when necessary. It’s also important to surround yourself with people who respect your values and boundaries.
We live in a world dominated by social media, and everyone seems perfect and successful. This makes self-comparison a not-so-obvious sign of low self-esteem.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself with someone you think is happier, prettier, or more successful. But not everything you see on social media is real. Constantly comparing yourself to others will heighten self-loathing and make you run a futile race towards perfection.
Everyone has different abilities, so focus on your strengths. Work on your weaknesses and celebrate your wins, no matter how small.
The constant need to be perfect can make you anxious, stressed, and burnt out because perfection is an illusion. When you get feedback or corrections as a perfectionist, you might start to feel like you’re not good enough.
But there’s not a single person on the face of this earth who is perfect. It’s what makes us human. We falter. You don’t have to dwell on your mistakes or how they make you unworthy. It’s fine to receive feedback. The most important thing is learning how to get better, not perfect.
4. Toxic relationships
Being in toxic relationships will quickly beat down your self-confidence.
When you’re surrounded by toxic people, your self-esteem starts to chip away as you believe the negative things they say about you. Sometimes, you even blame yourself for their destructive behavior.
Motivate yourself daily with positive affirmations. Surround yourself with people who light up your world. I’m talking about people who are kind and supportive of your goals and give constructive criticism.
People-pleasing is another habit that can lower your self-esteem, and it starts with being unable to say no to the requests of others.
When you constantly put the needs of others before your own, you can lose sight of your own values and desires. You think about how a certain person’s feelings will be hurt if you do something you like. What about your feelings?
Don’t deny yourself your true interests. It’s your life, and you should come first. Learn to prioritize your own needs and say no when necessary.
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Self-doubt results from a lack of confidence in yourself and being indecisive most of the time. If you constantly criticize everything you do, seek validation from others, or let them decide for you, it’ll become hard for you to trust your instincts or actions.
You need to intentionally make decisions and follow through with them, even if you feel unsure during the process. Another thing you can do is focus on your strengths and relive past successes to build your confidence.
7. Poor self-image
When people praise you and you find it hard to take credit, you should check your self-esteem. Don’t confuse a poor self-image with humility. Declining appraisals reflect how undeserving you think you are. A poor self-image also makes you project your self-criticism onto others and imagine that they are judging you.
The truth is that no matter how good you are, people will find faults. That’s why you shouldn’t let the opinions of others matter. Then, take intentional actions to treat yourself with compassion. Your physical appearance, qualifications, or gossip don’t determine your worth.
Final thoughts: 7 Habits that cause low self-esteem
You need to protect your self-esteem, as it will guide you in taking actions that’ll make you happy and fulfilled. But sometimes, we get carried away and allow certain things to creep in and become habits that reduce our self-confidence.
By tackling these seven habits above, you’ll reclaim your self-esteem and become a more progressive version of yourself. Although it takes time and effort to break these habits, you’ll eventually build high self-esteem with consistent practice and self-reflection. Here’s a FREE self-confidence workbook to guide you through your journey.